Sleep can be disrupted for many reasons. However, many of these reasons can be helped by avoiding certain beverages, leading a healthy lifestyle or simple treatments. Unfortunately, the actual cause of RLS is unknown but once diagnosed it can often be successfully treated.
What is Restless Legs Syndrome?
Restless legs syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system in which a person feels the need to move the legs at a frequency that interrupts sleep. In addition to the urge to move the legs, there is also typically an uncomfortable feeling associated with the urge such as a tightly or pins and needles feeling. For most people, the symptoms are often worse at night making it hard to sleep.
What are the Symptoms of RLS?
Symptoms of restless legs syndrome can range from mild to severe in tolerability. The most common symptoms include:
- Intense Itching or crawling feeling in the legs and possibly arms
- The feeling of needing to move the legs for relief
- The restlessness that prevents one from sitting still or sleeping.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
There are a few avenues that can be taken in diagnosing RLS. First and foremost an evaluation with your primary care doctor as well as a sleep specialist as a first step is key. Second, a blood test may be performed to check your overall health and hormone levels. In addition to a blood test, your health care team may also want to check your nerve function. Lastly, a sleep study to collect information on your sleep disturbances will help your doctor treat your RLS. If your RLS is not caused by an underlying issue, your doctor may choose to treat you with a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as oral medication.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are located in the Denver and Lone Tree area and you are having trouble sleeping due to restless legs, give us a call to schedule an office evaluation. Associates of Otolaryngology is ready to help you find your individual treatment plan.