symptoms

Restless legs syndrome tends to affect men and women as they age, making it difficult to sleep at night. In many cases, you will sleep for a few hours and wake up to a painful condition in the lower legs or the overwhelming sensation to move your legs. Other individuals experience intense twitching or tingling sensations in their legs while they are sitting on a chair.

There are several reasons behind why restless legs syndrome develops, but there are also ways to avoid this medical condition.

Anemia Can Lead to Restless Legs Syndrome

Low iron levels are a primary cause of restless legs syndrome, and some older adults have anemia because they are not consuming the right types of foods or getting the right nutrients. You may avoid eating red meat that contains a lot of iron because it is expensive or because of dental health issues. However, dried fruit, dark leafy green vegetables, and beans also contain iron. You can also look into iron supplements to help offset any deficiencies.

Anyone with Parkinson’s May Have Restless Legs Syndrome

Parkinson’s disease is caused by changes in the brain’s dopamine levels and researchers believe that this also leads to restless legs syndrome. Elderly individuals who have Parkinson’s disease often have problems sleeping at night, and may fall out of bed frequently. Fortunately, the medications that help to control Parkinson’s disease symptoms can also reduce the incidences of having restless legs syndrome.

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Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Cause Restless Legs Syndrome

Over 30 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also have restless legs syndrome, and researchers believe that it is caused by cytokine release. Cytokines are secreted by the body’s immune cells, and the individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis have a faulty immune system. Simple remedies for restless legs syndrome include massaging the leg’s muscles before going to bed. 

Restless Legs Syndrome and Circulatory Problems

Those with restless legs syndrome often have circulatory problems in their lower extremities that are caused by varicose veins and blockages. It is possible to visit a vein treatment center to have blockages removed and varicose veins repaired. This type of minor surgery can help to prevent painful and annoying symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

Anyone with restless legs syndrome will need to find the right medical specialist who can perform the correct tests to determine what is causing the condition in order to plan an appropriate treatment. If you know you suffer from any of the above, be sure to mention it in an appointment with your doctor.


Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy. For more information on varicose veins, a Utah Vericose Vein Center, Ivein can help direct you to the best types of treatment. 

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