Each cell in the body contains some of the mineral iron. Brain cells use it for a special purpose. Its use is to make a chemical called dopamine that the nerves use to communicate with the muscles and control the movements. Having not enough iron, the messages between the body and brain sometimes go awry. One concern is Restless Legs Syndrome which is uncomfortable sensations that cause a strong urge to move your legs.
Role of Iron in the Body
Iron has several functions in the human body and all contribute to good health and proper functioning. It contributes to:
Causes of Iron Deficiency
There are two main reasons you might end up short on iron. Several conditions increase your iron needs. Children and toddlers as well as pregnant women need more iron to support growth and development. People who lose blood, such as people who donate blood often or women with heavy menstrual periods also lose iron and should replace it.
In other circumstances, you don’t get sufficient iron in diets. Vegetarians might be at risk because the iron from plants is not as definitely absorbed as the iron from meat. Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, pregnancy, or rheumatoid arthritis all affect how much iron is in the brain or how it’s used. All increases your risk for Restless Legs Syndrome.
Increasing Iron Stores
If you have Restless Legs Syndrome, your doctor may test your iron levels and look out for symptoms of iron deficiency such as:
If blood tests show you are lacking iron, your doctor may recommend iron supplements. Usually, you will take them along with other medications for Restless Legs Syndrome.