Health Conditions Associated With Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome is known to be a common sleep-related movement disorder that disturbs people during nighttime. Affected individuals feel a strong desire to move their legs. For no obvious reason, the strange burning, tingling, and creeping sensations start to develop in your legs. Even though the doctors are not sure about the cause of this condition, it often runs in families which genes may be to blame.

Here are the conditions that may be associated with Restless Legs Syndrome:

  • Kidney disease

   Healthy kidneys clear excessive toxins, waste, and water from your blood. Once they are no longer function as well, you may have chronic kidney disease. As many as 57% of people with kidney disease also have Restless Legs Syndrome. The common risk factors for Restless Legs Syndrome in people with kidney disease include high blood calcium levels, low iron levels, and anemia until the condition is advanced. If you have a kidney transplant, your Restless Legs Syndrome will usually go away after.

  • Parkinson’s disease

Your body uses dopamine to help control your movements. It is a problem with this neurotransmitter that causes Restless Legs Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. In Restless Legs Syndrome, lack of iron which the brain uses to make dopamine may be the cause of the symptoms. In the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, a nerve cell that creates dopamine is dying. Half of the people with Parkinson’s disease also have Restless Legs Syndrome.

  • Diabetes

There is a study that compares an individual with diabetes to those without, patients with diabetes were more likely to have Restless Legs Syndrome. Almost half of the patients with Restless Legs Syndrome have type-2 diabetes.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

A vicious cycle often forms between Restless Legs Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. People with rheumatoid arthritis are 2-6 times more likely to have Restless Legs Syndrome. When Restless Legs Syndrome disturbs sleep, they feel more fatigue and stress and are more likely to experience debilitating flare-ups of arthritis.

Pain medications used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis might reduce iron levels which increase the risk of having Restless Legs Syndrome. A particular study has found that only 20% of people with both conditions needed treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome. Nevertheless, iron supplements and other treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome can improve many aspects of your health.

  • Pregnancy

With the surges of estrogen and other hormones during pregnancy, lots of women report changes in their sleep patterns. There about 10% of pregnant women develop Restless Legs Syndrome usually in the last trimester. Also, changes in levels of the nutrients folate and iron may play a role.

  • Periodic limb movement of sleep

Eight out of ten people with Restless Legs Syndrome also flex, jerk, or twitch their legs during sleep. This is another disorder but a related condition. At times you’ll wake up because of these movements, but other times you may not even be aware that they are occurring.

  • Insomnia

If you have Restless Legs Syndrome, you know that the condition usually gets worse at night. It interferes with your sleep which contributes to insomnia. When insomnia happens most nights over weeks, it is said to be chronic or long-term. Loss of sleep can lead to more serious health issues.

Treating your Restless Legs Syndrome may improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Lifestyle changes, counseling, and other medications can also help both conditions.

Leave a Reply