Is Restless Legs Syndrome Hereditary?

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are restless legs syndrome hereditary

Are you having trouble getting a good night’s rest because of restless legs? Perhaps you remember family members mentioning restless leg sleep issues. Which leads us to the question, is restless leg syndrome hereditary?

Restless leg syndrome, otherwise known as RLS, is a condition that may lead to uncomfortable sensations in the legs, especially in the calves. People with RLS sometimes feel the urge to move, especially towards the end of the day or night when you are laying down. The sensations that people with RLS experience are often difficult to define but may be described as an unusual aching, throbbing, itching, or crawling feeling.

Several studies over the years have indicated that close to 22% of all RLS cases are caused by vein disease. When the root issue of restless legs is related to vein disease, treatment can significantly improve those symptoms. It’s important to note that not all cases of RLS are associated with vein disease. However, vein disease is often an overlooked cause when diagnosing RLS.

Here is a closer look at some of the main causes of restless leg syndrome.

Can I Inherit Restless Leg Syndrome?

Like varicose veins and vein disease, restless leg syndrome can be hereditary. Close to 50% of people suffering from RLS have a family member with the same condition.

This is not to say that you must go through similar discomfort if you have someone in your family with RLS. In most cases, RLS is manageable, but it can be made worse by the following conditions.

  1. Chronic Diseases

The major culprits in this category include Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and as mentioned above, vein disease. Iron deficiency and peripheral neuropathy may also trigger RLS symptoms. However, getting the right treatment for these conditions helps alleviate symptoms of RLS.

  1. Vein Disease

As mentioned briefly above, vein disease is a commonly overlooked condition that may be the root cause of your RLS symptoms. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 98% of patients who were suffering with RLS saw a significant symptom relief after receiving nonsurgical vein treatment.

  1. Pregnancy

A number of women experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy, especially in the last two to three months. In such cases, non-medical treatments such as leg massages can be used to manage the condition. However, the condition usually corrects itself a few months after pregnancy.

  1. Medications

Some medications cause restless leg syndrome as a side effect. Medications containing antihistamines are known to exacerbate RLS symptoms. Other medications known to make this condition worse include antidepressants, anti-nausea medicines and antipsychotic drugs.

  1. Alcohol

Alcohol can also lead to restless leg syndrome. Where this is the case, eliminating alcohol will bring much-needed relief.

  1. Sleep Deprivation

If you haven’t been sleeping well, for whatever reason, you’re more likely to get RLS and a host of other conditions.

Request a Consultation Today

Is restless leg syndrome hereditary? The bottom line is that in some cases it can be. There are many cases of RLS; however, it’s important to rule out vein disease as a possible factor. Getting tested for underlying vein disease can help doctors pinpoint if your RLS symptoms is caused by malfunctioning veins or if it could be something else. Get to the root of the problem so you can get better, more restful sleep by requesting a consultation with our experts today.

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