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Why Do People Get Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is a type of neurological disorder that can be characterized by different sensations in your legs that are unpleasant and uncontrollable. Although not typically painful, it can be overwhelming at times where you have an almost unavoidable urge to move your legs to relieve the feeling. RLS typically occurs in the night when you are trying to get to sleep, but it can happen when you lie down to relax or during a nap.

Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Symptoms can vary between people and hard for them to describe. However, common descriptions of symptoms include:

  • Tingling
  • “Creepy-Crawly” feeling
  • Prickling
  • Itching
  • Pulling
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Tugging

Some people have said that RLS feels like they have insects crawling on their legs or a “deep bone itch.” Most say it’s not painful but overwhelmingly disturbing and uncomfortable.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

Often, RLS can appear for no real reason. Some researchers have suspected it is caused by an imbalance in the dopamine chemical of your brain responsible for sending a message to control the movement of your muscles.

Heredity

In some cases, RLS has been known to run in families and researchers have been able to identify genes for RLS in people.

Chronic Diseases

Certain medical conditions and chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes and kidney failure can trigger RLS symptoms. Relief is experienced typically when these conditions are treated.

Medications

Different types of medicines have been known to worsen the symptoms of RLS including antidepressants, anti-nausea drugs, allergy and cold medications that contain antihistamines and antipsychotic drugs.

Pregnancy

Hormonal changes and pregnancy in women can worsen RLS temporarily. Some women end up getting RLS when pregnant when they never had it before, particularly in their last trimester. After delivery, however, the symptoms tend to go away.

Restless legs syndrome affects both sexes although seems to be more common in women. It affects all ages, even younger children as well as middle-aged or older adults. It often goes undiagnosed or sometimes misdiagnosed, particularly if there are only mild symptoms. However, once it is properly diagnosed, there is successful treatment for RLS.

If your restless legs are keeping you up at night, be sure to call Dr. Chris Pittman and our Tampa vein specialists at 855-396-8841. Here at Vein 911, we will work with you to find RLS treatment options for your restless legs, which may include ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy that many patients have benefitted from.