“Trying to describe my symptoms is the challenge of the century. They usually begin while seated, with a jerky and uncontrollable movement of either leg accompanied by creepy-crawly sensations, resulting in an irresistible desire to stand up and walk, which almost instantly results in relief…”
The excerpt above is from a retired TV producer speaking about his experiences with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), in an article by the Consumers Union of United States, Inc. published in the 12/9/2013 edition of Washington Post.com.
“…The pressure to do so can interrupt any other activity, such as eating dinner, reading, sometimes sleep or even an evening at the theater or a concert. The effects on my psyche, over the years, have been devastating. The only good news is that experience has taught me that those feelings will last only a few minutes even though the pleasures of the evening have been disrupted.”
This man’s complaints might seem strange to some, but to millions of people who suffer from RLS, his complaints are all too real. Yet, the long-suffering ex-producer is luckier than most – his condition was properly diagnosed.
According to a survey conducted in 2005 by the Archives of Internal Medicine, almost 70% of those respondents who actually have RLS were misdiagnosed as having maladies ranging from arthritis, poor circulation and varicose veins to depression and neurosis. Researchers now believe that as many as one in ten adults may suffer from RLS, which means a great many of those who have RLS are slipping under the radar.
The Symptoms of RLS
Physicians say that a person who is diagnosed with RLS diagnosis say that the patient must have an uncontrollable urge to move one or both legs and have the following additional symptoms:
- Uncomfortable sensations.
- The symptoms almost always occur at night during rest
- The RLS symptoms are usually relieved by walking or stretching
The Cause of RLS?
US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Restless leg syndrome: is it a real problem?