by Gary M.Miller
Author: Gary M. Miller
What the heck is making me feel like I need to move my legs back and forth everytime I lay down? Have you ever felt like you were more comfortable in bed when you were paddling your feet as if to be swimming across the English Channel? Maybe you were an Olympic swimmer in a past life and you don't remember it! Actually, that's not the problem you are having. You may not be familiar with the symptoms and causes of what is known as Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS? RLS is a condition which is quite interesting and which has also been referred to as "Jimmy Legs", "Jumpy Legs" or "Heebeejeebees". The scientific name for this syndrome is Ekbom syndrome.
The movements associated with restless leg syndrome are described by sufferers as an uncontrollable urge to move their limbs in order to stop the feeling of "uncomfortable nervousness" or "unusual buzzing" in their legs. Although it does tend to be focussed in the legs most of the time, it can still happen in the arms as well. Moving the affected body part relieves the person's suffering but only temporarily. The irritable sensations which cause the patient to move in the first place may return almost immediately when they stop. The overall RLS condition often starts in early childhood and is a progressive disorder that often gets worse when it is not given medical attention. There is good news, however, for the many sufferers of this condition! Updates on the treatment for restless leg syndrome have recently provided positive results and symptoms have been shown to disappear permanently once the treatment begins. Thank goodness you can finally stop that incessant kicking! You probably thought you were going to be paddling across an imaginary ocean for the rest of your life!
Although certain treatments have proven successful, the causes of RLS are still a mystery. Patients do not tend to be to distraught about the fact that the causes are unknown. They are just glad to be rid of the problem and to get on with their lives. Different health institutes, however, such as the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and the National Institutes of Health, have conducted serious research to try and determine the causes. Nonetheless, scientists continue to admit that no one really knows for sure what the exact cause of RLS is. They do, however, point toward the dopaminergic system in the body and the presence of iron deficiencies in the blood as an essential cofactor in the development of RLS. Still, they can't determine the exact cause. It was also found that over 20% of all cases of RLS are associated with the iron deficiency in the blood. Other associations included folate deficiency, diabetes, thyroid problems, uremia, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, and certain auto-immune disorders. Once again, treatment of the condition now exists and often eliminates the RLS so the exact causes tend to remain somewhat unimportant to suffering patients. They just want to get better! If you are among these people suffering from RLS, you can now visit your local sleep clinic and ask about the treatments available.
For the sake of those interested in the scientific progress, it has recently become a hypothesis that RLS may possibly be caused by genetic factors. Researchers are now looking for the gene or genes that cause RLS because they have discovered that RLS runs in families. Pregnancy also seems to have a significant effect on people who tend to suffer from this condition more readily. It was found that close to 25% of women who develop RLS are pregnant or suffer from iron deficiency but the symptoms consequently disappear after giving birth. Patients who are undergoing dialysis for end-stage renal disease are also prone to developing RLS. It would seem that, apart from the genetic explanation, that there are still many other factors that scientists are considering for further research. Whatever direction their research may go in, it is great news to learn that RLS can now be treated and that the treatment is only a phone call away. Whether you know the causes of RLS or not, you can get yourself on the road to a solution in no time. You can alleviate yourself of this condition and begin to enjoy a more happy and healthy lifestyle in no time at all.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/medicine-articles/the-causes-of-restless-leg-syndrome-277389.html
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