Restless leg syndrome is a well known health condition which affects a lot of people. Restless leg syndrome is considered to be a neurological condition and according to the data, more than 10% of all people in the United States suffer from it. Even though it is known to occur in men and women, women are more prone to suffering from it. It is not that uncommon in children either. The patients should know that the actual cause of the condition remains unknown even today. However, the experts have come up with several theories. The most common problem that a person who is suffering from restless leg syndrome may experience is when he or she goes to sleep. Treatment options for restless leg syndrome
Before any treatment plan can be designed, the condition needs to be diagnosed first. The doctor will be able to diagnose restless leg syndrome thanks to the symptoms which are seen in a patient. The most commonly seen sign of restless leg syndrome is a disturbed sleep. Once the condition is diagnosed, the treatment options can be discussed. Treatment options also depend on the symptoms and their severity. Lifestyle changes are discussed most commonly and the doctors advise people to make some changes in order to achieve the best possible results. Since most patients who suffer from restless leg syndrome have problems with sleeping, a lot of them take naps during the day and that is a very common case. It is important to know that a person who takes a nap during the day will disturb the sleeping cycle by doing that. It is not uncommon that nap which a person took during the day is the actual cause of his or her sleepless nights. People need to avoid taking naps during the day because by doing that they seriously disrupt the sleeping hygiene. In order to make the hygiene better, naps during the day need to be excluded. Apart from removing the naps, there are some other lifestyle changes which should be taken into serious consideration. Exercising is very important. However, it is important to find the right amount of it because too much exercise can make the symptoms of restless leg syndrome worse while too little can trigger the condition. Some of the best exercises that experts recommend are walking, yoga, cycling and stretching. In addition to this, heavy consumption of alcohol and smoking needs to be eliminated. Caffeine should be excluded from the diet as well. There are certain foods which can trigger the restless leg syndrome and they should be excluded from the diet. Some of the best known triggers are sugar, gluten and triglycerides. On the other hand, including certain nutrient supplements such as magnesium, B12, folate and calcium is also important.
Four categories of medications to treat restless leg syndrome
There are a lot of cases where lifestyle changes are not enough for a person to relieve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. When lack of sleep starts to affect persons daily activities, then he or she should talk to a doctor about taking certain medications. There are four categories of medications which are mainly prescribed for people suffering from restless leg syndrome. Anticonvulsant agents are the first and are known to reduce muscle contractions. Gabapentin is the best known anticonvulsant agent. Benzodiazepines are also commonly prescribed because not only do they suppress muscle contractions but they also play a part in staying asleep and reduce waking up every movement. These medications are sedatives as well. The doctors mainly prescribe Clonazepam to the patients with restless leg syndrome. The doctors also prescribe dopaminergic agents in these situations because they increase the levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and it plays a very important role in regulation of muscle movements. The fourth group of medications which are being prescribed for people who suffer from restless leg syndrome are opioids. Methadone and propoxyphene are the best known opioids.
Risk factors for periodic limb movement disorder
There are a lot of factors which lead to periodic limb movement disorder in people. Family history is one of them and according to the experts more than 60% of people who are diagnosed with restless leg syndrome have someone in the family who is suffering from it as well. If that is the case, a person is highly likely to be diagnosed with the condition before he or she reaches the age of 40. If the condition of periodic leg movement disorder is diagnosed in children, then it is highly likely that there is a connection with inattention and hyperactivity. Pregnant women are also likely to be diagnosed with restless leg syndrome as well. According to the data, more than 20% of them are diagnosed with it. Apart from these risk factors, there are some others which occur like osteoarthritis, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and many more. The data claims that more than 70% of people who are diagnosed with restless leg syndrome are also diagnosed with osteoarthritis.