There are many conditions that aren’t well understood by doctors and restless leg syndrome (RLS) is one of them. The condition isn’t rare. It’s thought to affect as many as one in ten adults. Still, it’s often misdiagnosed, fobbed off as the result of poor circulation, arthritis, pinched nerves and even varicose veins. Also, the exact cause isn’t completely understood, resulting in no true cure. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to alleviate the symptoms but your first port of call is to get the right diagnosis.
Know the symptoms
The tricky thing about RLS is that the symptoms can manifest differently in every sufferer., the main thing is that you’d have an uncontrollable urge to move one or both legs. This would typically get worse when you’re at rest or trying to sleep but isn’t always the case.
The urge to move if usually accompanied by uncomfortable sensations such as crawling, prickling, burning or tingling. This would be alleviated by moving your legs. It would also mean that getting a good night’s sleep could end up feeling impossible. If you sleep with a partner, chances are they’re also going to struggle to get a good night’s sleep. Also, simple things like sitting on a plane, going to the movies or enduring a long meeting could become things you’re going to dread.
In mild cases, the symptoms can come and go but the condition tends to get worse with age.
How to get help
At both Health Renewal and Sleep Renewal, our doctors are well acquainted with RLS. After a 45 minute consultation, your doctor will have given you a full examination and may request blood tests to get a full picture of your health. The consultation alone, however, is usually enough to determine whether you have RLS, as well as the type – primary of secondary. Primary RSL has no known cause but the secondary type is linked to another condition such as high blood sugar or nerve damage. If we can effectively treat that, it often resolves the RLS.
As far as treating the symptoms of any type of RLS goes, we realise there isn’t a one kind fits all solution. What works for some patients can actually end up making things worse in others. This is why we’d work with you closely, to ensure you’re monitored every step of the way, while we work to find the solution that’s best for you. We’d also put you on a combination of nutraceutical supplements that would be tailored to suit. For example, many RLS sufferers are iron deficient. After a blood test to confirm it, we’d be able to help you correct that. We’d also suggest nutraceuticals that have been proven to help assist with the management of RSL symptoms, just one being valerian root.
The bottom line
Despite being a common condition, RSL is still misunderstood and often misdiagnosed. At Health and Sleep Renewal, however, our doctors are well versed in treating this tricky condition. After a consultation, we’ll be able to diagnose you as well as discern the type. We can then create a tailor-made treatment path that might include prescription medication as well as nutraceuticals proven to help manage the symptoms of RLS. In short, you don’t have to suffer alone, we can help you enjoy a much better quality of life.
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