Restless legs syndrome: what are the most effective symptoms and treatments?
Restless leg syndrome or Willis-Ekbom disease: what is it?
Also called Willis-Ekbom's disease or "impatience", it is very often linked to a decrease in iron levels, which disrupts the regulation of dopamine - neurotransmitter for communication between certain neurons. Women are twice as affected, and their symptoms often more intense, without knowing the reason. The disease is also more common with advancing age.
Restless leg syndrome: a disease that disrupts everyday life
The repercussions are multiple: sleep, concentration, work, mood, social life ..., but also cardiovascular complications with an over-risk of overweight, diabetes .... " Of the 9% of severe chronic insomniacs in France, a certain proportion actually leg syndrome without unrecognized rest ", warns Professor Yves Dauvilliers, director of the Inserm Sleep Unit and coordinator of the Hypersomnie Rare reference center at the University Hospital of Montpellier.
Restless legs: how to recognize the symptoms?
- Unpleasant sensations in the legs (in the arms for 20% of patients) are associated with an irrepressible need to move the limbs, sometimes with tingling, tingling and burning sensations.
- Impatience is only present at rest or aggravated by it, especially when lying down or sitting.
- Unpleasant sensations appear or worsen in the evening or at night.
- Movement and walking improve the symptoms.
What are the treatments for restless legs syndrome?
In case of typical symptoms, " you have to go to an expert center early ", advises Professor Dauvilliers, who regrets:" Dopamine agonists, often used as first-line drugs, are overdosed. Only low doses can restore a normal connection between neurons. "Two antiepileptics and codeine often come in reinforcement." Well-dosed treatment can greatly relieve "adds the specialist.
Research is therefore underway to develop new treatments, including iron and codeine. On the other hand, adjustable foot wrapping systems with pressure points or light therapy have never been proven effective.
Good gestures to relieve themselves
- Walking, moving, massaging one's feet, showering one's legs with fresh water, or doing some pedaling, lying on one's back are an effective aid.
- Avoid coffee, tea and chocolate: they aggravate sleep problems.
- Behavioral therapies can eventually temper insomnia, without affecting the disease itself.
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