What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome and What Are My Treatment Options?

After a long day, you want nothing more than a good night’s rest to reset yourself. For those with restless legs syndrome (RLS), however, this much-needed rest may not come thanks to unpleasant sensations that compel their legs to move and twitch. During the Coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing that ensued, many people are complaining more frequently about RLS. 

At Soffer Health Institute, board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Ariel Soffer, and our medical team offer a wide range of services that cater to vascular health, which includes restless legs syndrome.

Here’s a look at this condition and what we can do about better managing restless legs syndrome.

Restless legs syndrome 101

Restless legs syndrome affects up to 7-10% of the adult population in the United States, which means millions of people struggle with jumpy legs that prevent them from getting the restorative sleep they need. 

The hallmark of RLS is uncomfortable sensations in your legs during the night that leads you to move or twitch your legs. These sensations may present themselves in different ways, including:

To stop the sensation, you feel an urge to move or jerk your legs to shake away the discomfort. These movements likely prevent you from getting the sleep you need, leading to daytime fatigue.

The exact cause of RLS, which is also called Willis-Ekbom disease, isn’t clear, but there are some factors that may place you more at risk, including:

In addition to the above, researchers have found that an iron deficiency may play a role in RLS, which brings us to some of your treatment options.

Treating restless legs syndrome

When it comes to identifying RLS, we rely on a review of your symptoms, as there’s no diagnostic test for this condition.

If we find that you meet the criteria for RLS, we thoroughly evaluate your health and review your medical history, as well as your family’s medical history. These steps are important as they guide us in our treatments. For example, if we find that you have an iron deficiency, our first steps will be to replenish your iron through supplements and dietary adjustments.

If we discover that you have a family history of RLS, our approach may be slightly different and include:

RLS affects people in varying degrees of severity, and we take this into account when we recommend a treatment program. If your RLS is mild, for example, a few lifestyle tweaks may be sufficient in quieting your legs. If, however, your RLS is severe, causing you pain or chronically preventing you from getting sleep, we may turn to prescription medications.

The first step in treating RLS is to perform a thorough evaluation, which we can do at our Florida locations in Aventura and Weston. As well, we offer telemedicine so that we can discuss your problem while you stay in the comfort of your own home. To get started, simple click here to contact us.                     

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect at Your Vein Evaluation

The human body contains a whopping 60,000 miles of blood vessels that circulate oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body. Given their importance, you want to make sure your blood vessels are functioning properly.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Your once-smooth legs have developed tiny, spider-like veins across the surface, and you want to not only know how they developed but what you can do to get rid of them. We answer both questions here.

How to Work Out When You Have Vascular Problems

The blood vessels in your body aren’t functioning optimally and you want to do all that you can to help them. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your circulation and, here, we review which types.

I Have Poor Leg Circulation. Now What?

Your legs are often the first areas of your body to develop poor circulation since they battle both distance and gravity in relation to your heart. Here, we explore a few tips for improving the circulation in your lower extremities.

Three Tips for Managing Restless Legs Syndrome

You fall into bed exhausted, and you’re ready for a good night’s sleep. Your legs have other plans as they tickle, itch, or need to move, keeping you awake and frustrated. Here are some tips to help with restless legs syndrome.

Habits That Support Your Vascular Health

Whether we’ve already found a problem with your vascular health or you want to take action to avoid cardiovascular issues down the road, these habits will go a long way toward a healthy future.