Restless legs syndrome is far from an innocent disease, as it may seem to an uninitiated person. The reasons causing this unpleasant phenomenon can be serious diseases of the nervous system, hormonal disorders, and pathologies of other internal organs. Therefore, if you notice alarming symptoms in yourself or in your loved ones, be sure to consult a doctor for consultation and a full examination. What you need to pay attention and how to recognize the disease?
Symptoms of the disease manifest themselves during a night’s sleep, in the evening after the end of the work day, when a tired person returns home and relaxes. With restless legs syndrome, it is not at all necessary that the victim’s limbs move constantly, as you might think by the name of the disease – sometimes the disease makes itself felt simply by burning or tingling in the legs, feet, and hips. In severe form, the patient’s sleep is disturbed, the nervous system suffers, and the disease often leads to disability if untreated.
Causes of the syndrome
Modern medicine has not established the exact causes of the emergence and development of the disease, it has only been proven that tired legs syndrome is often associated with diseases of the nervous system.
Other common causes are:
- some medications;
- physical exertion, constant fatigue;
- excessive consumption of beverages and foods containing caffeine;
- disruption of the thyroid gland;
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- nervous disorders, depression, stress;
- pathology of the spine and spinal cord;
- kidney or liver damage;
- operations on various internal organs;
- multiple sclerosis;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- alcoholism, smoking and drug addiction.
The list is quite large and diverse, sometimes the disease appears during normal pregnancy due to the development of iron deficiency anemia, a lack of magnesium, increased excitability, changes in hormonal levels. Therefore, several medical specialists from different directions should participate in the examination. Depending on the cause, the symptoms of restless legs syndrome also vary.
Symptoms and manifestations
Syndrome of tired legs, as a rule, makes itself felt at night. The main symptom is involuntary rhythmic muscle contraction of the lower limbs. Sometimes hands move too.
Restless legs syndrome – symptoms of the initial stage:
- tingling in the legs;
- feeling of “running goosebumps” in the limbs;
- pressure in calves or knees;
- the desire to continuously move and move your legs to get rid of discomfort.
At first, a person does not attach importance to these alarming symptoms and associates them not with illness, but with ordinary tiredness or overwork. But over time, the discomfort increases, there are pains and cramps, the disease reaches a stage where the patient cannot sleep at all. Unpleasant sensations wake him up and stop him from falling asleep again. A person becomes irritable, nervous, gets tired quickly, as he cannot fully relax during a night’s sleep, his performance decreases.
If the cause is a disease of another internal organ, the symptoms can be supplemented by painful sensations in the part of the body that is affected by the underlying disease. Another symptom typical of this disease is: pain and discomfort disappear if a person walks or just moves his legs, and intensifies if he returns to a state of rest.
How is the diagnosis?
Restless leg syndrome at an early stage can only be diagnosed with a comprehensive examination using modern sophisticated equipment. It is very important to correctly establish the cause of the disease, consistently excluding false ones, and not just to eliminate the symptoms with the help of sleeping pills.
The difficulty is that the movements of the legs or hands can wake a person, but he himself for a long time will not even guess that he is sick. Symptoms are usually detected by those who are at night next to a sick person – spouses or parents. They notice movement and twitching, repeated frequent waking at night, drowsiness during the period of daytime wakefulness, decreased activity and irritability.
For suspicious symptoms, a diagnostic procedure such as polysomnography is performed. It consists in recording all the movements of a person in a dream, when he cannot control himself, with the help of a special apparatus. Then the records are analyzed, on the basis of which one can say with precision whether a person suffers from a syndrome or not. A clinical blood test is also done to determine the cause of the disease. According to the content of iron and magnesium, it is possible to establish the presence of this syndrome. The thyroid gland is always checked.
Methods of treatment: medicines and folk remedies
Treatment of restless legs syndrome should be carried out under the supervision of an appropriate specialist. If it develops after surgery, the neuropathologist should conduct the observation together with the surgeon who performed the operation. If the reason is alcoholism, drug addiction, you can not do without the participation of a narcologist and a psychotherapist. Mandatory prescribed such drugs:
- soothing drops or pills, antidepressants, such as Novopassit;
- pain medication if tired leg syndrome in advanced form;
If the symptoms appear very strongly and give the victim real torment, they use more serious medications – restless legs syndrome is successfully treated with Mirapex, Nozepam, Alprazole, Carbamazeline, Clonazepam. The dosage and duration of treatment are set only by the doctor, since these are quite strong antidepressants.
Sleeping pills are best not to use: they allow a person to fall asleep and sleep soundly until the morning. But at the same time they cause addiction, addiction and do not cure the main disease. Constantly using sleeping pills or powders, the patient worsens his mental state, gradually taking drugs more often and more and more in large dosages.
At home, you can reduce unpleasant symptoms with the help of such tools:
- various physiotherapy – massage, acupuncture;
- strict adherence to the regime – the daily routine needs to be adjusted and not violated.
In order to cure restless legs syndrome, it is very important to have good nutrition, the patient should receive a sufficient amount of not only vitamins, but also minerals – potassium, magnesium, calcium. But this does not mean that you need to overeat, – on the contrary, overweight exacerbates the patient’s condition. It is recommended to get rid of extra kilos and not to eat heavy, fatty foods before bedtime.
During pregnancy with this disease, it is imperative to take a multivitamin complex and not to forget about fresh fruits and vegetables, fermented milk products. The menu should be varied, dishes – nutritious, but not overloading the digestive system. Meat is necessary, but not in the form of fried chops or smoked meats.
Chocolate also contains a large amount of caffeine, because of the use of confectionery and sweets with this product must be completely from appearing.
Although this therapy does not require special hospitalization, sometimes it is better for the patient to undergo it in the hospital, since adherence to the procedure and the performance of physical procedures require self-discipline. It is necessary to tune in to a long and high-quality treatment in order to succeed, and this requires great endurance and willpower. In hospitals and sanatoriums, the process is controlled by staff and adjusted if necessary. At home, the same person often violates the daily routine and diet and returns to bad habits, as soon as the symptoms began to appear less and weaker.
On the other hand, at home the patient feels the support of his relatives, and this is very important. Self-tuning and a positive attitude towards life make it easier to endure the symptoms and fight the disease.
At least three hours before bedtime, you should not drink coffee, strong black tea, soda with caffeine content, alcohol or energy. You need to give up smoking and other bad habits if you want to permanently defeat restless leg syndrome and regain your health.
Medicinal herbs and plants with a calming effect are widely used in alternative medicine: valerian root, evader peony tincture, motherwort, oregano, hops. But during pregnancy, it is impossible to use homemade infusions and herbal teas without prior consultation with a doctor – even homeopathic medicines can harm the health of the expectant mother and child.
They also recommend the following recipe, which helps to quickly and effectively eliminate unpleasant symptoms: fresh, uncured honey should be combined in equal proportions with edible apple cider vinegar. The resulting mixture is applied to the limbs and do a massage with your hands or using a massager. After the procedure, the limbs are rinsed with warm water. You can take this mixture inside, in the morning on an empty stomach, but first you need to dilute it with warm water. A spoonful of honey and a spoonful of vinegar will need 100-120 ml of water.
Ordinary baths also help relieve pain and other symptoms of the syndrome. The temperature is selected individually in an experimental way. One brings relief hot water, the other – barely warm. Make baths better before bedtime.
Restless legs syndrome is usually cured. If you want to maintain your health, remain active even in old age, get rid of smoking and drinking alcohol even on holidays, play sports, try to smile more, stay calm, do not succumb to despondency and depression.