Recurrent Breast Cancer

Monday, September 15, 2014

 Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition of “pins and needles” in the the legs. It causes sleep loss, stress, and fatigue. Women are are twice as likely to be affected than men. Symptoms continue over time. By age fifty, it could progress to sleep disruption with daytime sleepiness. Hypertension, headache, and memory problems develop.

Twenty five to seventy five percent of affected people have a family history of RLS. Eighty five percent have difficulty falling asleep and daytime grogginess. 

Symptoms could be triggered by low blood iron, magnesium, and folate. Five to fifteen percent of the adult U.S. population may be affected. It’s more common in the elderly, but a third of severe cases have symptoms before age twenty. 

Nocturnal leg movements at night disrupt sleep. The condition gradually progresses in people over fifty. Those with a RLS family history could have symptom onset at age forty five. An overnight sleep study verifies the diagnosis. 

Prescription medicines used to treat RLS include Ropinirole (Requip), Pramipixole (Mirapex), Rotigotine (Neupro), Carbidopa/Levdopa (Sinemet), Gabapentin, (Neurontin), Enacacarbil (Horizant), Opioids (Codeine), muscle relaxants (benzodiazepines), and Pregabalin (Lyrica). 

Blood testing for magnesium, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), Vitamin B-12, and serum folate is reasonable to rule our low levels of these hormones Exercise and stretching reduce symptoms. People with mild RLS should consider limiting caffeine and alcohol. 

“If there is anything that links the human to the divine, is the courage to stand by a principal when everybody rejects it.” Abraham Lincoln.