Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Specialist in Aventura FL
Stop suffering with restless leg syndrome (RLS). Our board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Luis Mesa MD is highly experienced in the treatment and management of RLS. Contact us today or book an appointment online to see what our team of specialists can do for you. We are conveniently located at 21110 Biscayne BLVD ST 405 Aventura, FL 33180.
Table of Contents:
What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?
What are the symptoms of RLS?
What causes severe restless legs at night?
When to see the doctor for restless legs syndrome (RLS)?
Restless legs syndrome, known as RLS, is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. The symptoms of RLS are usually worse at night and during periods of rest or inactivity. This can make it difficult for people with RLS to fall asleep or stay asleep. The exact cause of RLS is not known, but it is thought to be related to abnormalities in the brain’s dopamine system. The diagnosis of RLS is based on the patient’s symptoms, a physical examination, and a detailed medical history. There are no specific tests for diagnosing RLS. However, a doctor may order blood tests or other diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms similar to RLS. Treatment of RLS often includes medications and lifestyle changes, as well as iron supplements in some cases.
The main symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are an irresistible urge to move the legs, and uncomfortable sensations, such as tingling, pulling, or aching. These symptoms typically occur in the evening or at night, and are usually relieved by movement, such as walking or stretching. Other common symptoms of RLS include:
• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
• Fatigue or sleepiness during the day
• Irritability, depression, or anxiety
• Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
• A feeling of “ants crawling” or “pins and needles” in the legs
• Pain or discomfort in the legs, especially when sitting or lying down
The symptoms of RLS may vary in intensity and frequency, and they may not always be present.
The exact cause of restless legs syndrome is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to abnormalities in the brain’s dopamine system. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that helps to regulate movement, and a lack of dopamine in certain areas of the brain may contribute to the symptoms of RLS. Other factors that may contribute to the development of RLS include:
• Genetics – RLS is more common in people who have a family history of the disorder.
Iron deficiency – Low levels of iron in the blood, known as iron-deficiency anemia, have been linked to RLS.
• Chronic kidney disease – People with chronic kidney disease are at higher risk of developing RLS.
• Pregnancy – RLS symptoms may occur or worsen during pregnancy.
• Certain medications – Some medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anti-nausea drugs, can cause the onset of RLS symptoms.
RLS symptoms often get worse at night, when a person is more likely to be inactive and lying in bed. This inactivity can exacerbate symptoms, making it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
It is recommended that you see a doctor if you have symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and they are affecting your quality of life or sleep. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible to help you manage your symptoms. A doctor can help you determine whether your symptoms are caused by RLS or another condition with similar symptoms. Some signs that you should see a doctor include:
• Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to RLS symptoms
• Severe RLS symptoms that interfere with daily activities
• Development of new or worsening RLS symptoms
• RLS symptoms that occur during the day
• RLS symptoms that are accompanied by other symptoms, such as cramps, numbness, or weakness in the legs
• RLS symptoms that are severe, frequent, or long-lasting
• RLS symptoms that are not relieved by self-care measures
Additionally, if you are experiencing any other symptoms that you suspect may be related to an underlying health condition, it is also recommended to see a doctor for evaluation. Treatment will help you manage your symptoms and significantly improve your quality of life and sleep.
At Dr. Luis Mesa, MD and experienced team will help provide quality treatment for various sleep conditions. Contact us today or book in online to get started down the road to better sleeping! We serve patients from Aventura FL, Surfside FL, Golden Glades FL, Andover FL, Miramar FL, Hollywood FL, West Park FL, and Miami Gardens FL.