The Florida Hospital group has released some shocking statistics in regards to Americans suffering from an all-too-common issue.
According to a study, over 5 million Americans suffer from some form of Restless Legs Syndrome. On average, 1 out of 10 adults suffer from RLS, and over one million grade-school children are afflicted as well.
Not many tests can be done to determine if someone is suffering from RLS, but symptoms include an overwhelming urge to move the legs, an aching or itching sensation, or even throbbing pain. All of these things make it nearly impossible for someone with RLS to get a good night of sleep.
Restless Leg Syndrome could also be a symptom of a much more serious issue going on inside the body. Fortunately, there are things that you can do that will soothe and prevent any pain from happening in your legs. From adjusting your diet, to being a little more active, there’s a lot of ways to help your body feel great.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
There are many things that could be the root cause behind RLS. One of them is a family history of Restless Leg Syndrome. If you have a parent, or grandparent who suffers from RLS, there’s a chance that you might get it, too. Other causes of RLS be traced back to chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.
Certain medications are known to worsen restless leg syndrome, such as allergy medications, anti-depressants, and any drugs containing sedatives, or antihistamines.
Pregnant women commonly experience symptoms of RLS during their pregnancy. Many factors contribute to this including hormonal changes, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, or changes in dopamine levels. All of these could lead to an expecting mother to experience RLS symptoms.
While it is a sleeping disorder, RLS and its symptoms are only worsened by sleep deprivation. Insomnia, not getting a full night of sleep, or sleep schedule changes can make someone suffering from RLS experience worse pain than normal.
Doctors also warn that substances like alcohol and tobacco contribute to RLS. Some doctors believe that overconsumption of alcohol will only intensify the pain associated with RLS.
How Can I Fix It?
One way to alleviate the aches and pain associated with RLS is to regularly rub, and massage your legs. Before bed, be sure to gently massage your calves and hamstrings, while simultaneously stretching and flexing the calf, ankle, and leg muscles. Do this right before bed to limit any discomfort you may experience.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute believes that a lack of iron in the blood could be a contributing cause of RLS. Iron helps the body produce dopamine, and when our body is short on it, the brain has a tough time controlling the body’s movements. Check with your doctor to make sure you are getting the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
People with RLS report lower levels of fatigue, and better nights of sleep after participating in 30-minutes or more of stretching. You don’t need to go run miles on a track, but a casual jog, or bike ride may be the difference between feeling the pain of RLS, and having a normal night of sleep.
With over 5 million Americans suffering from RLS, we owe it to them to share this information. Hopefully someone you know will read this, and be able to get the help they need!