5 Things to Know About Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a medical condition that affects around 10% of the United States population. This condition primarily manifests during the nighttime hours, inducing an uncontrollable desire to constantly shift the legs. Despite being devoid of pain, RLS can be remarkably uncomfortable, often leading to disruptions in sleep patterns and disturbances in daily activities. Here are five things you should know about RLS

Have you been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy? We can help.

Women in bed holding her leg in pain.

1. Up to 10% of the U.S. population may suffer from RLS

Onset can happen at any stage of life, affecting both genders, although females are more prone to it. Many individuals who experience severe symptoms are middle-aged or older, and over time, these symptoms tend to become more persistent and prolonged.

RLS typically persists throughout a person’s life, with no known cure. Nevertheless, there are treatments accessible to alleviate the symptoms.

2. RLS is both a sleep disorder and a movement disorder

Symptoms typically manifest during the late afternoon or evening, reaching their peak intensity at night during periods of rest. RLS has the potential to significantly disrupt your sleep, rendering it challenging to either start or resume sleep after awakening. Furthermore, the discomfort can often be eased by moving the legs or walking, but these sensations frequently resurface once the motion subsides. Since movement is needed to relieve symptoms, it is also classified as a movement disorder.

3. Nerve damage plays a role

Researchers have found a strong link between restless leg syndrome and the sensory issues commonly observed in peripheral neuropathy. This suggests that the way our body processes sensations could contribute to the development of RLS.

Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder characterised by the deterioration of sensory nerves located in the periphery of the body, often as a result of specific diseases or injuries. Symptoms can vary from one individual to another and may encompass sensations such as tingling, numbness, heightened sensitivity and severe, sharp pain in the limbs.

4. A lack of iron could cause RLS

Research has closely looked at the link between low iron levels and restless legs. Studies show that people with restless legs often have less iron in their bodies than average.

5. RLS can be genetic

According to Cleveland Clinic, RLS can be genetic, and 92% of patients have a relative with this disorder. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to RLS typically experience symptoms at an earlier age compared to those without a family history of the disorder.

Although restless leg syndrome isn’t considered life-threatening, it can certainly be quite bothersome. Diagnosing RLS can be challenging for doctors because there isn’t a single definitive test for it. If you’re encountering symptoms of RLS, it’s advisable to reach out to your healthcare provider. This step can help rule out other conditions, like peripheral neuropathy.

WinSanTor is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of treatments for peripheral neuropathies. We believe in creating a solution that works and brings relief to millions that are struggling with this disease. Learn more about our companyour drug and subscribe to our newsletter.

Sources

FAQs

Is restless leg syndrome a sleep disorder?

Symptoms typically manifest during the late afternoon or evening, reaching their peak intensity at night during periods of rest. RLS has the potential to significantly disrupt your sleep, rendering it challenging to either start or resume sleep after awakening.

Does nerve damage cause restless leg syndrome?

Researchers have found a strong link between restless leg syndrome and the sensory issues commonly observed in peripheral neuropathy. This suggests that the way our body processes sensations could contribute to the development of RLS.

Does a lack of iron cause restless leg syndrome?

Research has closely looked at the link between low iron levels and restless legs. Studies show that people with restless legs often have less iron in their bodies than average.

Is restless leg syndrome genetic?

According to Cleveland Clinic, RLS can be genetic, and 92% of patients have a relative with this disorder. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to RLS typically experience symptoms at an earlier age compared to those without a family history of the disorder.

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