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Restless Leg Syndrome: Causes, Home Remedies, and More

Restless leg syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs that are usually relieved by movement. The movements involved are often uncontrollable and cause an irresistible urge to walk or shake the affected limb.


This condition affects nearly 10% of men, 20% of women, and 25% of pregnant woman worldwide. It may be seen in infants as well, but is usually mild and resolves within a few months.



There are a variety of potential causes of restless leg syndrome, including:

Iron deficiency anemia:

This is the most common cause of restless leg syndrome. Low levels of iron can lead to a shortage of oxygen in the blood, which can trigger restless leg syndrome symptoms.


Pregnancy:

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to restless leg syndrome.


Kidney disease:

People with kidney disease often have restless leg syndrome. This may be due to the build-up of toxins in the blood or an imbalance of minerals in the body.


Parkinson's disease:

About 60% of people with Parkinson's disease experience restless leg syndrome. This may be due to the death of dopamine-producing cells in the brain.

Certain medications:

Some medications can trigger restless leg syndrome symptoms, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants.


Aging:

Older adults are more likely to experience restless leg syndrome due to changes in the blood flow and nervous system.


Other conditions:

Thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and blood clotting disorders can also contribute to restless leg syndrome symptoms.



Seeking home remedies


Seeking home remedies for restless leg syndrome is a good choice when self-care is preferred or desired. Some common treatments include walking, hot baths, dietary changes, relaxation techniques, and massage.




Heat therapy:

Applying heat to the legs can help with muscle cramps that are associated with restless leg syndrome. Taking a hot bath or using a heating pad on the legs may ease symptoms.


Dietary changes:

Constipation is common in people who have restless leg syndrome. Eating high-fiber foods and drinking plenty of fluids can help to keep the bowels moving and reduce symptoms.


Relaxation techniques:

Learning how to relax the body and mind can be helpful in managing restless leg syndrome symptoms. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing may be beneficial.


Massage:

Massaging the legs can help to relieve tension and cramps. Massaging the feet, ankles, and calves can be especially helpful.


 

When restless leg syndrome is severe and does not respond to self-care measures, medications may be prescribed. These medications include dopaminergic drugs, iron supplements, and anticonvulsants. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an underlying problem that is causing restless leg syndrome.


Restless leg syndrome can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. However, there are many ways to manage the symptoms. With self-care measures and/or medication, most people can find relief from their symptoms.


 

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