Restless Legs Syndrome Associated with Crohn’s Disease

Restless Legs Syndrome is associated with Crohn’s Disease according to a new study. The authors of this study suggest that Restless Legs Syndrome might be an extra-intestinal manifestation of Crohn’s Disease.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming irresistible urge to move the legs. The main symptom of this condition is an overwhelming urge to move the legs. It may also cause an unpleasant creeping or crawling sensation in the thighs, calves, and feet. The sensation is often worse at night. Some people with this condition have the symptoms occasionally while others have them every day. The symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, the condition might be very distressing and disturb a person’s daily activities.

The cause of this condition is not yet clear but in some cases, it is caused by an underlying condition mainly iron deficiency. Some neurologists believe the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome may have something to do with the body handles a chemical, dopamine. It is involved in controlling muscle movement and might be responsible for the involuntary leg movements linked with Restless Legs Syndrome.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. It may lead to abdominal pain, malnutrition, weight loss, fatigue, or severe diarrhea. This condition could be painful and debilitating. Stress and diet could be the main cause of this disease. However, doctors know that these factors might worsen the condition and not the cause of the disease. Several factors such as malfunctioning immune system and hereditary, likely play a role in its development. Moreover, the risk factors of Crohn’s Disease may include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Most people develop this disease and are diagnosed before they are around 30 years old
  • If you have a first-degree relative with the disease
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Naproxen Sodium, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac Sodium
  • White people have a higher risk of having this disease especially people of Eastern European Jewish descent  

Restless Legs Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease

A study had to look at the subject of Restless Legs Syndrome and see what type of disease and other conditions have been associated with it.

Restless Legs Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease are both associated with lack of iron and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Researchers, therefore, have investigated the potential link between these two disorders.

Patients with confirmed Crohn’s Diseasecompleted the evaluation to check the presence of Restless Legs Syndrome. The incidence of Restless Legs Syndrome in patients with Crohn’s Disease was 43%. The occurrence of Restless Legs Syndrome was significantly higher in patients with Crohn’s Disease. In 91.8% of patients, Restless Legs Syndrome started during or after the onset of Crohn’s Disease. As a result, Restless Legs Syndrome occurs often in people with Crohn’s Disease. The occurrence of Restless Legs Syndrome in people with Crohn’s Disease is higher than for many of the previously known secondary causes of Restless Legs Syndrome.

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