Restless Legs Syndrome: What it is and what causes it?

Restless Legs Syndrome: What it is and what causes it? Also known as acromelalgia, is a neurological disorder It caused by the sudden movement of the extremities and which usually affects the dream, during which they may experience tingling sensations, chills, burning or pain, which ultimately results in the need to move. Although virtually unknown to many, according to medical data is estimated to affect 15% of the population between 18 and 65 years.

The restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that causes, in turn, a sleep disturbance eroding its quality as it is during rest or sleep when shown! sudden movements legs (myoclonus) and sensations, as tingling or chills, forcing us to move the lower extremities. According medical data is calculated that 15% have restless legs syndrome, and its prevalence increases with addition age.

The cause This syndrome is still a question without definitive answer, although doctors and specialists do not rule out having a genetic component, since it is estimated that one third of patients have in their medical history family history (which SPI is denonima primary or family). They collect the studies who is considered one of the leading specialists in the field, Dr. Diego García-Borreguero, director of the Sleep Research Institute and chairman of the Spanish Society of Sleep, who, in statements collected in the media and given lectures, states that when researching "it appears that at least six out of ten patients have a close relative who is also affected to some extent." Also it stresses that, contrary to what one might think, we have a "common disease", although "most of those affected are unaware they suffer from this picture, attributing error to other tables, for example, circulation problems" .

However, it is not the only hypothesis, as it is also considered that the cause could be related to a decrease in dopamine, brain neurotransmitter responsible for the coordination and performing the movements. The experts also believe that there are other risk factors. Thus, in addition to age, lack of iron or suffering from disorders such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or impaired renal You can also make us more vulnerable to restless legs syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome can also occur as a result of another pathology (Anemia, iron deficiency, kidney failure ...) being known as Secondary RLS. Also, in the case of women, during the pregnancy They are more vulnerable to suffer this disorder. According to medical data it is estimated that around 15% of pregnant women, especially during the last months of pregnancy, suffer from restless leg syndrome. Symptoms usually disappear after delivery.

The urge to move the legs at night causes a deterioration in the quality of sleep, because the patient tends to wake up more frequently, which can end up causing problems insomnia. Lack of rest leads even still another problem, and that is to worsen symptom during the day (most concern, aching legs), while it can make us feel more irritable, tired and listless. Many patients recognize sleep less than five hours overnight.

itch, chill or tingle are some of the feelings that often accompany the urgent need to move the legs, more frequent when the person is lying, directly affecting and as pointed out, rest. It's not a pleasant feeling, quite the opposite, may appear occasionally elsewhere, like arms.

Restless Legs Syndrome: Diagnosis

Eight out of people with RLS suffer abrupt leg movements during sleep, which usually last just over twenty seconds, but enough to disrupt the dream and undermine the break. In fact, insomnia is one of its main consequences. Tiredness and drowsiness They may worsen symptoms, so diagnosis and treatment also consider associated disorders involved.

review our Lifestyle It can also help us monitor and improve RLS symptoms from avoiding exciting drinks in a healthy and balanced diet as activities take a walk, drink bathrooms relaxing and stretching exercises to practice a therapy which can be complemented with yoga or Tai Chi, among other.

Restless leg syndrome: what to do

Since 2004, the Spanish Association of Restless Legs Syndrome, AESPI works at provide a pathology still unknown for much of society, and further improving the prevention and diagnosis. In fact, as pointed out by the association, although the diagnosis of this syndrome is usually in middle age, it is common symptoms have appeared long ago in childhood. What they are called Growing Pains, and even higher childhood hyperactivity or difficulty sitting, they can actually hide an incipient problem restless legs. It also should be noted that in recent years much has been achieved in treatments (Dopaminergic substances) with very effective results that achieve mitigate and symptoms disappear.

AESPI offers the patient and family a series of Practical tips to improve the quality of life:

  1. Talking openly about the disease, both the physician and the family.
  2. Not try to fight the urge to move, as this can make the symptoms become more pronounced. It is advisable to follow an exercise program to improve flexibility, correct posture and strengthen muscles and joints of the legs. Exercise can help improve control over this disease.
  3. Write a sleep diary scoring drugs and therapies that continue to combat the symptoms and share it with your doctor.
  4. Keeping the mind active It helps reduce symptoms.
  5. Stretches morning and night: Therapies such as yoga, musicoterapia, Tai Chi Y acupuncture They are a good ally to mitigate the physical and emotional symptoms.
  6. Help other patients: Support groups provide insight and help others who suffer from the same diseases.
  7. Get higher: Raise the table or shelf so you can work standing or read.

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