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Restless Legs Syndrome: Causes, Effects and Treatments

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03 Oct 2018
Le syndrome des jambes sans repos : Causes, effets et traitements

Willis-Ebkom's Disease (RLS) is a manifestation of the constant need to move the legs following a tingling sensation or sensations of electric discharges of lower limbs that are felt during periods of immobility; lying down or sitting for a long time or during the night during sleep.

This need to move the legs can go as far as the need to move the whole body.

It is a neurological disease, unknown because it affects a low rate of the population.

Its causes

The causes of Willis-Ebkom's disease are still unknown, but this syndrome has been diagnosed in the majority of people who suffer from iron deficiency anemia that is to say those who have as iron deficiency.

This deficiency can cause a lack of iron in the brain which implies a dopaminergic system failure. This system transmits information to other neurons on which the action will be executed. Any failure of this system will lead to clinical signs.

Other cases have been detected in patients with renal failure and pregnant women.

Willis-Ebkom's disease can also affect several members of the same family, hence the hypothesis that this disease is hereditary.

Women are subject to this syndrome since it affects them twice as much as men, during their pregnancies and even after menopause.

Its effects

Following these unpleasant feelings, these involuntary movements during sleep can increase up to contortion. Aches and sensations of general fatigue are felt in the morning when waking up, the syndrome can be severe and cause insomnia and sleep disturbance that can alter concentration and memory.

In some cases, this deterioration can degenerate into a depressive syndrome.

Its treatment

Before treatment, it is necessary to think of having a healthy way of life and to avoid all the stimulants.  Think about getting massages, taking hot baths and more importantly staying physical activity. Placebo treatments are effective in 40% of cases.

Otherwise treat the iron deficiency with a natural supplement or a prescription by your doctor.

In severe cases of Willis-Ekbom disease, drugs are prescribed to relieve the patients of this heavy discomfort.

There is no specific treatment for restless legs syndrome. Dopamine-compensating drugs are prescribed to compensate for the lack of dopamine, which is responsible for transmitting information to the nervous system.