Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome Specialist

Restless leg syndrome is a condition that can cause difficulty falling asleep and is strongly associated with leg kicking during sleep. It is mainly characterized by the urge to move your legs and a discomfort that happens most often after dark, while awake. This discomfort can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and can result in a poor night’s sleep. So if your legs are feeling restless and you’ve got to move them around, think about seeing us at the HYDE PARK CENTER FOR SLEEP DISORDERS.

  • Irresistible urge to move legs
  • Unfomfortable sensations in lower limbs
  • Increases symptoms during the evening 

In most cases of RLS (primary RLS) the caus is unknown. However RLS has a genetic compoment and can be found in families. A leading theory is that RLS is related to a dysfunction in one of the sections of the brain that controls movement called the basal ganglia. Dopamine is needed to product purposeful muscle activity, and disruptions or abnormalities in the basal ganglia may cause RLS. Associated underlying medical conditions and symptoms include. 

  • End stage renal disease
  • Iron deficiency
  • Use of alcohol nicotine or caffeine
  • pregnancy during the last trimester
  • neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Certain antipsychotic medications, antinausea drugs, and some cold and allergy drugs that contain older antihistamines

RLS can be treated, care is usually directed towards relieving symptoms. Front line treatments usually begin with lifestyle changes and can often move to treatment with pharmaceutical drugs if not resolved.

  • Lifestyle changes like avoiding the use of alcohol or tobacco. 
  • Massaging the legs or taking a warm bath.
  • Iron supplements for individuals with 
  • Anti seizure drugs such as gabapentin
  • Dopaminergic agents such as ropinirole, pramipexole and ritigotine
  • Benzodiazepines such as clonazepamn or lorazepam

Call (312) 646-4725 for a Chicago sleep consultation