How Do You Know If You Have Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, is a condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them. It usually occurs in the late afternoon or evening hours while sitting or lying down and generally worsens with age. RLS affects approximately 10% of U.S. adults and is commonly misdiagnosed as insomnia, or other neurological, muscular or orthopedic conditions.

Though the exact cause of RLS is unknown, anemia, or iron-poor blood, may be a catalyst to its symptoms. RLS also occurs in those suffering from bulging, ropy varicose veins. In this situation, it is important to talk with your physician because there are medications and treatments that may be helpful. In fact, many RLS sufferers have found relief after treating varicose veins in their legs with non-surgical Sclerotherapy.

Signs and symptoms of RLS

Common signs and symptoms of restless leg syndrome include:

  • Sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness
  • Involuntary, repetitive, jerking or periodic limb movement while sleeping or at rest
  • Strange itching, tingling or crawling sensations occurring deep within the legs
  • An irresistible urge to move the legs to relieve these sensations
  • Overall restlessness (pacing, tossing and turning in bed, rubbing the legs)

Common causes of RLS

RLS can sometimes be caused by an underlying medical condition. Restless leg syndrome has been linked to many medical conditions, such as:

  • Amyloidosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Lyme disease
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Nicotine
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Spinal nerve damage
  • Some tumors
  • Varicose veins
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency

RLS has also been linked to the following medications or substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Beta-blockers (for high blood pressure)
  • Caffeine

If medications have failed to treat your restless leg syndrome or if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of vein disease—especially if you have one or more of the medical conditions listed above or are currently taking any of the medications listed above—ask your physician about getting relief. *

Schedule a consultation with a skilled physician at Carolina Vein Specialists to find out if common vein problems may be an underlying cause of your restless leg syndrome by calling 336-645-3824.

*Carolina Vein Specialists treats restless leg syndrome only if it’s associated with vein disease.