Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS means restless leg syndrome. It’s not a true sleep disorder because you aren’t asleep while it is occuring. This was popularized on Seinfeld as “The Jimmy Legs.” They should really make this the official name because it sounds way better.

Symptoms of RLS:

1. Intense urge to move your legs.
2. Unpleasant sensations in your legs that can be described as creeping, crawling, pulling, tingling, or electric.
3. Symptoms get worse while resting or during periods of inactivity.
4. Movement of your legs relieves the symptoms.
5. Symptoms are worse in the evening or while you’re in bed.

To get a diagnosis of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) you will need to see a sleep specialist or a neurologist that has knowledge of RLS. Diagnosis is determined by your medical history and an examination. Tests that can assist in reaching a RLS diagnosis include blood tests and an overnight sleep study. Typically RLS symptoms are easily found by answering the following questions.

In treating Restless Leg Syndrome it is important to see if there may be other medical conditions associated to the problem. These include: diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, arthritis, and the use of some medications.

Treatment of these conditions may resolve RLS.
Some RLS isn’t caused by diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, arthritis, or medication. If this is the case with you, then there are some home remedies that can be attempted to help with occasional episodes of RLS.

You can try: hot baths before bedtime, leg massages, heat, ice, asprin, regular exercise, or eliminating the consumption of caffeine. Probably the best over the counter drug you can use to treat both RLS and PLMD is Manganese. 10mg of this appears to have a strong effect on decreasing the creepy crawling feeling caused by Restless Leg Syndrome.

If home remedies don’t help with RLS, then you may need your physician to prescribe medication to help. Sometimes this involves eliminating medication that may be causing the RLS. It is VERY IMPORTANT to have a physician monitor medication changes.

Medications that can TREAT RLS: I-dopa/carbidopa (Sinemet), pergolide (Permax), pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip), conazepam (Klonopin), gabapentin (Neurontin), codeine, and propoxyphene (Darvon). Best non-prescription drug that is effective is an over the counter Manganese supplement as well as Magnesium (though Magnesium is plentiful in most diets. This supplement can be highly effective at calming your legs when trying to get to sleep.

Medications that can WORSEN RLS: amitriptyline (Elavil), fluoxetine (Prozac), antidepressants, (Benadryl), cold and allergy medications, prochlorperazine (Compazine), metoclopramide (Reglan), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, Lithotabs), haloperidol (Haldol) phenothiazines (Mellaril, Thorazine).

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