The following are some examples of questions you may want to ask after being diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).
Diagnosing Restless Leg Syndrome isn’t easy. However, your health care provider has taken into account all the symptoms you’ve described, analyzed your medical history and made the diagnosis.
The next question most people who suffer from RLS will ask is…
What’s My Prognosis?
Here’s the scoop from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS):
“RLS is generally a lifelong condition for which there is no cure. Nevertheless, current therapies can control the disorder, minimizing symptoms and increasing periods of restful sleep. Symptoms may gradually worsen with age, although the decline may be somewhat faster for individuals who also suffer from an associated medical condition. In addition, some individuals have remissions—periods in which symptoms decrease or disappear for days, weeks, or months—although symptoms usually eventually reappear. A diagnosis of RLS does not indicate the onset of another neurological disease, such as Parkinson’s disease.”
Well, what exactly is RLS?
According to the NINDS (and its description is similar to those provided by the Mayo Clinic and Web MD) RLS is a neurological disorder. The other medical authorities classify RLS as a sleep disorder as well. Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome include throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. For some reason, the RLS symptoms ordinarily occur at night when a person is relaxing or at rest. These symptoms usually, but now always increase in severity during the night. You’ll find comfort by moving your legs. The symptoms of RLS range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.
The crazy thing about RLS is the fact that if you try to relieve your discomfort by lying down and trying to relax, you will wind up activating the symptoms. Consequently, most of those who suffer from RLS find it difficult, if not impossible to fall asleep and remain sleeping. And if you fail to treat the disorder you’ll wind up being exhausted during the day, which leads to chronic exhaustion.
Restless Legs Syndrome can be a Job and Relationship Killer
Among the most pernicious qualities of RLS is the toll it can take on your career and your relationships. Many people with RLS report that their struggle with RLS has put their jobs and personal relationships in jeopardy because they are sleep deprived, unable to concentrate and can’t accomplish routine tasks. RLS also can cause or exacerbate depression and anxiety. And traveling while you are fighting the symptoms of RLS can be such a major nuisance that you’re reluctant to leave home.