What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome
Genetics also plays a role. About half of people with restless legs syndrome have a family member with it.
Many medical conditions are linked to RLS, including iron deficiency, diabetes, end-stage kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, and pregnancy. But most people with restless legs syndrome do not have one of these conditions. If you have one of these conditions, treating it can improve RLS symptoms.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome? The main causes of restless legs are being linked to dopamine imbalance, chronic stress , glutamate consumption , mineral imbalance from lack of absorbable minerals your the diet and even heavy metals exposure. The heavy metals can displace more important minerals from being absorbed
Poor sleep habits can cause your hormones not to naturally balance themselves like they do when you hit the critical deep levels of sleep, particularly dopamine levels. If you are having issues falling or staying asleep then stopping your insomnia is a great start, see Herbs for Sleep. RLS is most common in people with Parkinsons, Huntingtons and Alzheimers because of the mercury and nervous system toxicity issues. Also Diabetes Mellitus and Arthritis can cause restless leg syndrome to become more likely.
Zeolite can be taken to help detox heavy metals from the body and take away the one of the most probable causes. It can also help relax the muscles as its a natural alkaline mineral that is a potent detoxifier. It is best to treat RLS as soon as possible as its an underlying condition to many diseases and letting you know that you need to detox the toxins out of your body asap.
How Often Do Symptoms Occur
The frequency of symptoms can vary from person to person. Moderate cases of RLS typically see symptoms occur about once or twice a week, while severe cases may cause symptoms to appear more than two times a week.
Sometimes RLS symptoms may go away for weeks or months at a time before reappearing. This typically happens in the early stages of developing this condition.
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Pathological And Functional Imaging Data
A comparative summary of the similarities and differences between PD and RLS/WED is shown in .
Although there is general agreement on the fact that treatment with dopaminergic drugs induces a dramatic symptomatic improvement in RLS/WED as it does in PD, there is little, if any, solid evidence from pathological, and both standard and functional imaging studies, indicating a pathophysiological relationship between the two disorders. This lack of evidence has been demonstrated using diverse techniques such as, for instance, transcranial ultrasonography findings and postmortem studies of patients with RLS/WED, which did not demonstrate any of the typical pathological characteristics of PD, such as accumulation of -synuclein in Lewy bodies88. Pittock SJ, Parrett T, Adler CH, Parisi JE, Dickson DW, Ahlskog JE. Neuropathology of primary restless leg syndrome: absence of specific tau- and alpha-synuclein pathology. Mov Disord. 2004 Jun 19:695-9. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.20042,99. Ryu JH, Lee MS, Baik JS. Sonographic abnormalities in idiopathic restless legs syndrome and RLS in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2011 Mar 17:201-3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2010.11.014.
When Should I See A Doctor About Restless Legs Syndrome
You should see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis of RLS and to exclude other conditions that may resemble RLS. The doctor can treat associated problems like iron deficiency.
If you have RLS, you should also see a doctor if you are:
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Having trouble concentrating
You don’t have to wait until one of these things happens. If you just want to feel better, see your doctor.
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How To Treat Restless Leg Syndrome
How to Treat Restless Leg Syndrome naturally. The best way to treat RLS naturally is to stop the source of your pH imbalance which is causing your symptoms of restless legs. It is the usually the balance between the minerals calcium and magnesium and very little magnesium in most foods. Calcium makes your muscles contract, magnesium makes your muscles relax. Adding pink Himalayan sea salt to your diet can help. You can also use a holistic nerve and muscle relaxing cream called Mind Body Matrix It naturally relaxes the legs that are prone to restless leg syndrome.
Drinking a high level quinine tonic water can also be very helpful for RLS. Organic Hemp CBD Oil or Creams contain Cannabinoidsand can help reduce or stop the twitching and provides awesome pain relief Supplemental Iron and Magnesium are tops since they are deficient in people with restless legs and muscle cramps. All types of disease are imbalances that when you discover what they are and balance them, your symptoms will vanish too.
The Link Between Rls And Parkinsons: Dopamine Agonists
Although the cause of RLS remains unknown, we know that RLS runs in families in about one-half of the cases, and that some families have an abnormality on chromosome 12. Because RLS is well treated by medications that also treat Parkinsons disease, it is likely that some aspect of brain dopamine function is altered in RLS. However, unlike in Parkinsons disease, in which the deficit in substantia nigra dopamine-producing cells can be proven in many ways, no such abnormality has been shown in RLS. For example, studies show that there is no major deficit on PET or other imaging studies of the brain, as is there is in PD. The spinal fluid is normal in RLS, but shows low dopamine in PD.
Lastly, RLS does not progress to cause other major symptoms such as tremor, gait disorder, or loss of taste or smell, and does not progress to PD. In fact, one of the leading possibilities as the cause of RLS and for which there is good scientific evidence and much research is a form of iron-transport abnormality in the brain. In effect, RLS patients may have low levels of iron in brain nerve cellsjust the opposite of some portions of the brain in PD.
Dr. Poceta is a Consultant in Neurology and Sleep Disorders in the Division of Neurology, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, and the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center. His current interests include organized medicine and Internet medicine.
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Characteristics Of Restless Leg Syndrome
There are certain features of RLS that make it a unique and specific disorder.
Iron And Its Relation To The Dopamine System
Iron is an important cofactor in several DA metabolisms and can also produce neurotoxic species.
Usually iron accumulates in the normal aging brain, in particular in the putamen, globus pallidus, red nucleus, and substantia nigra . Elemental iron plays a critical role in oxidative metabolism and it also serves as a cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters .
In PD, neurodegeneration occurs mainly in SNc , while other iron-rich areas remain unaffected. In early stages of the disease the identification through the use of transcranial ultrasonography of a hyperechogenicity of the SNc correlates positively with the increase of iron and ferritin evaluated in post-mortem analysis , allowing an early identification of patients at risk for PD .
The increase in neuronal iron may be secondary to an increase in influx, facilitated by transferrin receptor-2/divalent metal transporter-1 endocytosis or the diffusion of ferric citrate , an increase in efflux, due to alteration of the activity of ceruloplasmin, or a dysregulation of iron homeostasis, mediated mainly by the iron storage protein ferritin .
Some studies have shown reduced ferritin concentrations in the SN from Parkinson’s disease brain, suggesting an alteration of this storage mechanism and a consequent increase in the level of free and potentially harmful iron .
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Risk Factors For Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
About 6% of the general population has PLMD. However, the prevalence in older adults is much higher, reaching almost 60%. Studies suggest that PLMD may be especially common in older women. As with RLS, there are many conditions that are associated with PLMD. They include sleep apnea, spinal cord injuries, stroke, narcolepsy, and diseases that destroy nerves or the brain over time. Certain drugs, including some antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, may also contribute to PLMD. About a third of people with PLMD also have RLS.
Acute Onset Unilateral Restless Leg Syndrome After Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation
M. Bock, R. Zuzuarregui
Objective: To describe a case of acute onset, unilateral restless leg syndrome after subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinsons disease.
Background: Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative condition associated with profound sleep disruption. RLS is a common but poorly understood nocturnal symptom that may be associated with Parkinsons disease. DBS is now widely used for the treatment of Parkinsons disease, but little is known about how it affects the presence or severity of RLS.
Method: We report here a patient with tremor-predominant Parkinsons disease who developed new onset, unilateral RLS after STN DBS.
To our knowledge, this is the first case report of the acute development of symptoms meeting diagnostic criteria for RLS during initial stimulation with STN DBS. Existing evidence suggests that STN DBS may improve RLS in the long term, likely due to the modulation of basal ganglia outflow and downstream effects on diencephalospinal dopaminergic pathways. Our case illustrates that stimulation may also cause the emergence of RLS. Further understanding the effect of STN DBS on RLS through individual cases can illuminate relevant neural networks.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:
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How Is Restless Legs Syndrome Treated
RLS can be treated, with care directed toward relieving symptoms. Moving the affected limb may provide temporary relief. Sometimes RLS symptoms can be controlled by finding and treating an associated medical condition, such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, or iron deficiency anemia.
Iron supplementation or medications are usually helpful but no single medication effectively manages RLS for all individuals. Trials of different drugs may be necessary. In addition, medications taken regularly may lose their effect over time or even make the condition worse, making it necessary to change medications.
Treatment options for RLS include:
Lifestyle changes. Certain lifestyle changes and activities may provide some relief in persons with mild to moderate symptoms of RLS. These steps include avoiding or decreasing the use of alcohol and tobacco, changing or maintaining a regular sleep pattern, a program of moderate exercise, and massaging the legs, taking a warm bath, or using a heating pad or ice pack. There are new medical devices that have been cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration , including a foot wrap that puts pressure underneath the foot and another that is a pad that delivers vibration to the back of the legs. Aerobic and leg-stretching exercises of moderate intensity also may provide some relief from mild symptoms.
Change Your Daily Diet
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common restless legs syndrome causes and linked to conditions such as diabetes and anemia, that contribute to restless legs syndrome symptoms.
Eating foods rich in protein are great sources of B vitamins and iron. Good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish. I also recommend eating foods rich in electrolytes, including those high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium such as leafy green vegetables, avocados, sweet potatoes, and bananas.
Healthy fats help control blood glucose levels and can promote a healthy inflammatory response. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocado oil, and wild-caught seafood that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
In contrast, you should avoid toxic foods such as alcohol, caffeine, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and sugar. These foods could make your restless legs syndrome symptoms worse.
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Who Gets Restless Legs Syndrome
About 10% of people have restless legs syndrome, also called RLS. About 2% to 3% of them have moderate to severe symptoms that affect their quality of life. Also:
- Slightly more women than men get it.
- Most people with severe RLS are middle-aged or older.
- Only 2% of children get RLS.
- People with RLS in their family usually get it at a younger age.
Restless Legs Syndrome Faqs
Q: Is restless legs syndrome painful?A: Not generally. People tend to describe the sensations caused by restless legs syndrome as uncomfortable, such as feelings of crawling or itching. In severe cases, people may report feeling pain.
Q: Does restless legs syndrome get worse with age?A: Primary restless legs syndrome has no cure. Although symptoms may worsen with age, treatment and therapy can bring symptoms under control and minimize disruption to everyday life.
Q: What vitamin and/or mineral supplements are good for restless legs syndrome?A: Sometimes restless legs syndrome is caused by an iron deficiency, in which case iron supplements can ease or reverse symptoms. If a person has a healthy and balanced diet, there is usually no need for supplements. A medical professional can assess whether symptoms of RLS are caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency and can recommend supplements where necessary.
Q: Does magnesium help restless legs syndrome?A: Although some people with restless legs syndrome report that products like magnesium oil spray have been helpful, and others report magnesium supplements helped with insomnia,, Harvard Menâs Health Watch notes that studies on magnesium and sleep have, to date, been small and of short duration. A well grounded scientific basis for using magnesium to help with restless legs syndrome is currently lacking.
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Nonmotor Features Of Pd In Rls/wed
Interestingly, a study of autonomic function in RLS/WED found significantly higher prevalences of sialorrhea and constipation when compared with controls, the latter becoming nonsignificant after adjustment for age, sex and medications4747. Shneyder N, Adler CH, Hentz JG, Shill H, Caviness JN, Sabbagh MN et al. Autonomic complaints in patients with restless legs syndrome. Sleep Med. 2013 Dec 14:1413-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2013.08.781.
Restless Legs Syndrome Triggers
Sitting or resting are common triggers for RLS symptoms. Additionally, some substances can make symptoms worse. These include:
- Medications, including certain drugs used to treat nausea, colds and allergies, and mental health conditions
Incidentally, most of these substances when taken in excess or too close to bedtime can also adversely affect our sleep architecture.
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Problems With The Common Pathophysiology Theory
Symptoms of RLS in PD are milder than in patients with idiopathic disease and may be difficult to differentiate from other sensory and motor symptoms in PD, in particular akathisia affecting the lower extremities . RLS symptoms may also be a manifestation of wearing-“off” phenomenon, a levodopa related complication of PD .
Prolonged dopaminergic therapy in RLS patients, in particular with levodopa use, may result in a phenomenon known as augmentation in which the severity of symptoms increases, onset of symptoms begin earlier in the day and more rapidly, and spread of distribution to other body parts occurs. In contrast, PD patients develop dyskinesias and motor fluctuations after treatment with dopaminergic agents. These complications are not seen in RLS patients.
Hypofunction of the endogenous opioid system has been postulated to be a mechanism related to the pathogenesis of RLS. Exposure to the iron chelator desferoxamine in cell cultures of rat substantia nigra resulted in DNA fragmentation while pre- administration of enkephalin significantly protected the cells from damage by iron deficiency .
Symptoms For Restless Leg Syndrome
If you are being affected by RLS you will notice some common signs. You may have RLS if you are experiencing two or more of the following Symptoms for Restless Leg Syndrome:
- Uncontrollable Jerking
- Painful Legs
If you are experiencing any of the above RLS Symptoms then you should treat it as soon as you can. It can effect your sleep and lead to poor health and lowered immune function!
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Restless Leg Syndrome In Children
There is thought to be a genetic link with restless legs syndrome, especially with primary restless legs syndrome . The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation reports that 35 percent of people with the condition say they first experienced symptoms before the age of 20, and that 1.5 million children and adolescents in the United States are believed to be affected.
Children with RLS are likely to be tired during the day, due to disturbed sleep. This can affect their performance in school, social functioning and interactions with peers and family.
RLS is usually diagnosed based on a personâs description of their symptoms. However, it can be difficult for children to express what they are experiencing and accurately report their symptom history. Children exhibiting twitching and fidgeting may be mistaken for having ADHD. There is research to suggest 25 percent of children with RLS or periodic limb movements in sleep may be misdiagnosed as having ADHD.