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Restless Leg Syndrome - A Complete Guide

Are you having a kind of tingling feeling in your feet with this sensation creeping and crawling to your legs? Do you feel an urge to move your feet and legs at night when you the only thing you desire is to have some rest?

Look nowhere else! Here you are going to know about Restless Leg syndrome more in detail. Though it is not limited to pregnancy only, commonly it is being reported by approximately one-third of pregnant women. The sensation is as irritating as it is tiring because it won’t let you stay still.

What is The Restless Leg syndrome?

Restless Leg syndrome is associated with a tingly creepy-crawling feeling in the legs and feet most probably during the bedtime. With that, you feel an urge to move your feet to get rid of the sensation. The feeling subsides with the movement but it tends to come back again. The situation is nerve-racking since you require maximum rest during your pregnancy and night is the best time to relax your stiff body that has been carrying the weight of the little one all day long. Although some may have the symptoms in their second trimester, mostly you are more likely to have this syndrome in your last trimester. 

What causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

There are fewer known facts about what causes this syndrome however there are few reasons and speculations pull forward by the scientists as the possible reasons which result in causing it in a pregnant woman. They may include:

  1. Imbalanced Hormones

One of the probable reasons might be estradiol and progesterone which tends to increase in the last trimester.

  1. Imbalanced brain chemical

Another cause put forward is the imbalance in the brain chemical named dopamine which is responsible for the proper and smooth functioning of the body muscles.

  1. Vitamins and minerals deficiency

Scientists also believe that a deficiency of iron or folic acid, which is a man-made vitamin to make healthy red blood cells might cause Restless Leg syndrome.

Impact of Restless Leg syndrome on mother’s heath

The syndrome may impact different women differently but commonly it causes lack of sleep giving way to depression and irritation. You may feel lazy and restless during the day due to not having proper sleep at night. After experiencing this syndrome during the pregnancy, you might have a longer labor and there are high chances of requiring a C-section.

Are there any restless leg syndrome tests available in the market?

There is no single test available for RLS. The symptoms will tell about the diagnosis being employed. They will majorly depend upon family history, physical examination of the patient, the prior test results. Nevertheless, there is a criterion that your GP should look for to check if you are suffering from the syndrome and prescribe some possible tests.

  • An overpowering urge to move your legs and feet due to a tingly and unpleasant feeling.
  • It gets worse when you are lying or inactive.
  • The feeling gets relieved by moving your legs or rubbing them
  • The feeling is powerful at night time.

The possible tests may include:

Blood test: To check for conditions such as amnesia, diabetes, and most importantly, the levels of iron

Sleep Tests: the GP may suggest the mother take a sleep test such as an immobilization test. The test will involve the patient lying on a bed for a particular period during which any involuntary moments are examined.

Polysomnography: In some cases, this test may also be recommended which involves taking note of the patient’s rate of breathing, brain waves, and heart rate during the period of the night.

How to treat this syndrome? What vitamins help to cure Restless Leg Syndrome?

Getting treated for Restless Leg syndrome during pregnancy is a challenging job to do. There are not enough empirical studies conducted on pregnant women to know about the best treatment for them. So, nothing can be said for sure, and then there is also a potential risk to the fetus as well due to medications.

Regardless of this fact, certain things can be done. According to a study conducted in 2014, it was found that taking vitamin D reduced the RLS. The bottom line is that studies have shown RLS can be cured with Vitamin D, folic acid, Vitamin C, and E. Restless Leg Syndrome can also be treat with Aevum RiboGold RLS Restless Leg Syndrome Cream. However, for a pregnant woman, it is imperative to consult a doctor before taking any supplements and any other medications.

Can you treat Restless Leg Syndrome with magnesium?

Some doctors prescribe the intake of magnesium as well. There are natural sources of taking magnesium such as vegetable greens, legumes, etc. as well if you do not want to take in the form of supplements.

But in any case, talking to your doctor or midwife is advised.

Potential medications

If the symptoms don’t do away with the help of vitamins, some doctors also suggest their patients take opioids which is a narcotic. The purpose is to give some rest to the mother when she is under the influence of medication. However, because of its potential downsides for the newborn, they are prescribed for a short time or not prescribed at all.

There is a vibrating pad available in the market with the name of the Relaxis. This is an FDA approved product that causes vibrations. They are used by placing them under the foot while lying down on the bed. But you can only get this device with the help of a written prescription.

Is there any risk to your baby due to the syndrome?

Luckily there is no impact on the growth of the newborn due to a mother suffering from RLS.

Conclusion

The RLS might be one of the many annoying feelings that a mother faces during pregnancy but there is no doubt in it being bothering and irritating. Though there is no defined test and medication to get rid of it. However, as mentioned in the details above there ways to cure it, most of them involving the use of supplements having minerals and vitamins. One such thing in this regard can be using cool and warm pads to help you relieve the itchy and twitchy feeling.