Restless Leg Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments
Do you ever have the uncontrollable urge to move your legs? Does this feeling often intensify at night, making it difficult to sleep? If so, you may be experiencing signs of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Although there are a variety of potential causes, one of them is vein disease, or venous insufficiency. Vein disease is also the underlying cause of varicose and spider veins.
If you are experiencing restless leg syndrome symptoms, contact a vein doctor to explore your treatment options. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to help ease your discomfort and improve your quality of sleep.
What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?
Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a common condition that causes unpleasant, overpowering sensations in the legs that you can only ease with movement. Many people describe these sensations as an itchy, prickly feeling, or a “creeping” up and down their legs.
Symptoms typically begin at night, and can be either chronic or sporadic. RLS can keep you from falling asleep and can often wake you up in the middle of the night. This can make it challenging to have a healthy sleep schedule. In turn, lack of sleep can impact:
- Cognitive health: Memory and concentration can be impaired, affecting your productivity. This can even interfere with your career or academic performance.
- Physical health: You may be at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain.
- Emotional health: Your mood can change from happy and agreeable to grumpy and irritable. These types of mood changes can negatively affect your social life and personal relationships.
If restless legs syndrome is impacting your overall health, discovering its root cause is key to finding effective treatment.
Restless Leg Syndrome Causes
At this point, restless leg syndrome causes are not entirely understood. However, it has been observed that this condition is often hereditary. If you have a close family member with restless leg syndrome symptoms, you may be more likely to develop them. However, you could also develop RLS if:
- You’re anemic or have low iron levels
- You’re pregnant
- You take certain medications such as antidepressants
- You have a related health condition such as vein disease
Signs of Restless Leg Syndrome
Doctors diagnose RLS based on several signs and symptoms. You may have restless legs syndrome if:
- You have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs
- You often experience an uncomfortable feeling, such as a tingling, throbbing, or itching, in your legs
- The urges to move your legs intensify the longer you sit or lay down
- Your discomfort begins or worsens in the evening
- You have limb twitches throughout the night
- General restlessness and the urge to move your legs affects your quality of sleep
You should be aware that restless leg syndrome pain and other symptoms can be mild or severe. Symptoms can also come and go over time. If you are experiencing any signs of restless leg syndrome, we recommend seeking medical help.
What Treatment Is Available?
Appropriate treatment for restless leg syndrome symptoms depends on what is causing your issues. For instance, if you are pregnant, your symptoms may resolve on their own after delivery. If you are diagnosed with anemia as the underlying cause, iron supplementation may be recommended. If the underlying cause can’t be medically determined, sleeping pills may help you get some much needed rest.
At USA Vein Clinics, we want you to be aware that vein disease is an often overlooked cause of RLS. Ask your doctor about testing for venous insufficiency before taking medications or going to physical therapy. If vein disease is the cause behind your restless legs, vein treatment can help relieve your discomfort.
Find Relief for Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms
If you’re looking for relief from your RLS symptoms, you’ll find compassionate support from our vein experts at USA Vein Clinics. We offer treatment for vein disease at 160 locations nationwide. Our treatments are performed as outpatient procedures, so you can leave immediately afterwards and quickly return to your daily tasks.
Our vein specialists would love to help you learn more. If you have questions about vein disease symptoms, treatment, insurance coverage, or life beyond RLS, call us at (888) 768-3467. If you prefer not to call, you can also schedule your consultation online. We now offer you a choice of in-office or telemedicine appointments. No matter where you choose to visit us, we look forward to helping you improve your quality of life.