If you ask medical professionals the cause of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) you’re likely to receive various different answers. But we’ll cover most of those here in a moment.
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
In short, it’s a disorder of the nervous system which mainly affects your legs. The discomfort is so persistent, that many who suffer from this disorder state the urge to move their legs is almost impossible to resist.
It very often interferes with sleep patterns, and for this reason it is also considered to be a sleep disorder.
Which groups of people are susceptible to Restless Leg Syndrome?
The true number of people who suffer with this disorder is unknown. Educated medical estimates state that as much as 1% of the population could be affected 1.
Of those diagnosed with the problem between 2 and 3% have what are classed as moderate to severe symptoms. This class of symptom is deemed severe enough to affect their total quality of life.
Three things which are understood
Women are slightly more prone to suffer from this condition than men
The vast majority of sufferers with a severe form of Restless Leg Syndrome are either middle-aged or older.
If you have a family member who suffers from this syndrome the chances are that restless leg syndrome will start at a younger age than average, but will progress at a slower rate.
Causes of this Syndrome?
This is where there is a BIG problem. The cause of this condition is generally unknown. Leading authorities suspect that it is caused because your brain takes up or uses iron in an abnormal manner.
It is known that genetics has a major say. Around 60% of those with Restless Leg Syndrome have family members who are also affected 2.
What causes Restless Leg Syndrome in terms of medical conditions include such things as an iron deficiency or diabetes. A minority of sufferers will have such things as; end-stage kidney disease or Parkinson’s disease. Even pregnancy has been linked to Restless Leg Syndrome. And studies have also suggested a link with ADHD.
If such conditions are present, and they are treated then their Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms can be improved.
What are the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?
The major symptom is uncomfortable sensations in the legs, although it has been known to affect the arms and other parts of the body. These sensations are so strong that there is an irresistible urge to move their legs in an attempt to gain relief.
The condition also causes an uncomfortable feeling in the legs. This feeling has variously been described by sufferers as; an itchiness, like pins and needles or a horrid ‘creepy crawly’ feeling in the legs.
When are such symptoms most severe?
This is yet another problem sufferers have to put up with. Such sensations are frustratingly more noticeable and at their height when you are trying to rest. This is particularly when lying or sitting down.
This is a particularly difficult condition to cope with and while it is obviously painful for the sufferer it can also cause great anguish to their loved ones, particularly in the majority of cases where it is not known what causes Restless Leg Syndrome. It should be noted that many sufferers are looking to natural medicine in their attempt to ease this condition.