Restless leg syndrome as the name indicates is the condition in which the affected person feels the desire to move legs while resting. RLS or Willis-Ekbom disease becomes sever in the evening or at night, relieves temporarily upon moving. This disorder gets worse with age and can disrupt the sleep behavior causes daytime fatigue and early exhaustion. Constant sleepless condition disturbs the focus from the routine task with impaired memory. It is strongly suggested that RLS is characterized as a neurological disorder and the symptoms are stimulated by the brain. By the ratio, women are more susceptible to restless leg syndrome than man.
Restless leg syndrome is not an alarming disorder but it makes the person unable to perform routine tasks and divert the attention of the individual. The throbbing, pulling, aching or creeping sensation occurs during rest creating anxiety, day drowsiness and developing difficulty in the sleep time.
Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome:
In most of the case, the cause of restless leg syndrome is idiopathic (unknown cause). It has been concluded that dysfunction in certain brain parts that control movement leads to it. Other suspected causes are:
Researchers have found the sites where genes of RLS may be present. It suggested that if the symptoms appear before elderly, the cause is genetic. It is observed that the families of young patients of RLS run this disorder from their forefathers.
Basal ganglia are the part of a brain that uses dopamine as a neurotransmitter to control motor movements of the body. Damaging in the nerve cells of basal ganglia leads to imbalanced or low released of dopamine that results in spams and uncontrolled movement. The dopamine levels fall at the end of the day, provides evidence of symptom severity in evening and night. Individuals with other dopamine dysfunctionality like Parkinson disease are more prone to develop RLS.
Hormonal changes in the pregnancy define the occurrence and symptom worsening of restless leg syndrome. Mostly in last trimester, the symptoms are seen which disappear typically after four weeks of delivery.
Patients suffering from certain diseases are more likely to develop RLS.
- Anemia or blood deficiency disorders.
- Kidney failure ( associated with mineral and vitamin deficiency)
- Polyneuropathy ( associated with heavy metal toxicity, hyperthyroidism, and other conditions)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
There are numerous factors that intensify the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Drugs also make the symptoms worse are antipsychotics, antidepressants, Lithium (used to treat bipolar disorder), antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, and anti-nauseatic drugs.
Other Possible Stimulators:
Excess use of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine disrupt the brain sensory messages and activity to normally control the movement. A bad lifestyle like lack of exercise, overweight or obese, and stress contribute to restless leg syndrome development or they may exaggerate the symptoms.