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What're the risk factors for restless legs syndrome?

Leg restlessness at bedtime occurs in more than 15% of adults. It is more common in women than in men, and its prevalence increases with age. Up to half the people with restless legs syndrome have a family history of the disorder. In about 40% of patients, restless legs syndrome begins in adolescence.

Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder are thought by some experts to be strongly associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in some children. One study suggested that a quarter of children diagnosed with ADHD also has restless legs syndrome or PLMD, and this may actually contribute to inattentiveness and hyperactivity. More research is needed to determine if restless legs syndrome is a cause of some cases of ADHD or if it simply aggravates it. The disorders have much in common, including poor sleep habits, twitching, and the need to get up suddenly and walk about frequently.

People with pregnancy, osteoarthritis, varicose veins, diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure, emphysema, chronic alcoholism, or hereditary ataxia have a higher-than-average incidence of restless legs syndrome. Some of these conditions may cause restless legs syndrome and in some patients restless legs syndrome and these medical conditions may have a common cause.

Drugs like antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, beta blockers, antihistamines, oral decongestants, diuretics, or asthma drugs might worsen or provoke the condition. Smoking, alcohol abuse, caffeine, stress, fatigue, prolonged exposure to cold, iron or folic acid deficiencies are also associated with restless legs syndrome.

More information on restless legs syndrome

What is restless legs syndrome? - Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that produces an intense, often irresistible urge to move the legs caused by or associated with unpleasant feelings in them.
What causes restless legs syndrome? - The cause of restless legs syndrome remains unknown. Restless legs syndrome is a central nervous system disorder. Stress generally makes restless legs syndrome worse.
What're the risk factors for restless legs syndrome? - Risk factors for restless legs syndrome include pregnancy, osteoarthritis, varicose veins, diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis.
What're the complications of restless legs syndrome? - Severe and persistent restless legs syndrome symptoms can cause considerable mental distress, chronic insomnia, and daytime sleepiness.
What're the symptoms of restless legs syndrome? - Restless legs syndrome symptoms are unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings or sensations in the legs often described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling.
How is restless legs syndrome diagnosed? - The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome is based primarily on the patient's history. Polysomnography may be used to rule out other sleep disorders.
What's the treatment for restless legs syndrome? - Treatment of restless legs syndrome depends on the severity of symptoms. Medications used to treat restless leg syndrome include carbidopa, levodopa, opioids.
What non-drugs therapies are available? - Exercise may be one of the best ways to achieve healthy sleep. Stimulus control is the standard treatment for primary chronic insomnia. Paradoxical intention is a psychological approach.
What medications cure restless legs syndrome? - Daily drug treatment is recommended only for people who have restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms at least three nights a week.
How to prevent restless leg syndrome? - Prevention of sleeplessness is dependent upon the patient's ability to relax. Diet is very important in preventing restless legs syndrome.
What's periodic limb movement disorder? - Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is repetitive cramping or jerking of the legs during sleep.
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