restless leg syndrome

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome? Viral Video Explains Details Of Syndrome

What is restless leg syndrome?

Many people may have heard of the term, but most have no idea what it is or exactly what causes it in the first place.

The popular YouTube channel SciShow answered this particular question in a two-minute video that was first posted online Saturday.

So, what is it?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, restless leg syndrome (also known as “Willis-Ekbom Disease”) is actually a neurological sensorimotor disorder. Its most prominent symptom is when a person has an overwhelming desire to move his or legs while at rest. In most cases, that overwhelming desire is usually accompanied by other sensations and feelings that are rather unpleasant.

How many people are affected by restless leg syndrome? The report claims that 10 percent of adults in the United States of America currently suffer from restless leg syndrome (or RLS). Even though it is not very common, it is also possible for someone suffering from “restless leg syndrome” to experience these particular symptoms in other parts of their body. For instance, there have been reported cases of RLS-symptoms found in people’s faces, torsos, arms, and genital areas.

In most diagnosed cases of restless leg syndrome, the symptoms occur during periods of inactivity. For instance, when a person is sitting down or even resting for extended periods, he or she may start to experience the unpleasant sensations and overwhelming urge to move their affected body parts. After the desired movement has been made, he or she will usually experience slight relief from those symptoms. Unfortunately, restless leg syndrome symptoms are primarily known for reaching their highest degrees of severity during evening and late night hours — causing affected people to experience disruptions in their ordinary sleep routine.

How can one find out if they are have restless leg syndrome? This particular disorder is added to the growing list of disorders that people can mistakenly assume that they have just from the symptoms alone. However, consulting the advice and expertise of a licensed physician for an official diagnosis is highly recommended.

Dr. Richard Bogan opened up to AmeriSleep in a June 2015 interview about restless leg syndrome. Dr. Bogan covered a wide range of topics during that expert interview, including what it is and who is affected by it.

When asked to explain the cause of restless leg syndrome, Dr. Bogan made it clear that they still do not have a confirmed answer for that particular question. However, he did state that they “have a lot of clues as to what’s going on.”

“The way I like to think about and they way I explain it to my patients is that when you are preparing for sleep and you actually sleep, the brain is inhibiting motor activity and it’s relaxing the muscles. When we are asleep our muscles our relaxed, we have low oxygen consumption, and the brain is turning things off. With Restless Leg Syndrome, it appears that there is some problem with doing this in the motor control centers in the brain and neurotransmitters.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, maintaining a sleep diary to show the doctor can also serve to be a huge source of assistance for both you and your healthcare professional. The records provided within your sleep diary should detail the dates and times of any occurrence or episode in addition to the level of severity experienced with your symptoms. Using this information and results from other tests and assessments, your doctor will be able to rule out factors that could possibly be causing the same symptoms.

For instance, people are that are pregnant, suffering from an iron deficiency or even end-stage renal failure may experience similar symptoms associated with confirmed cases of restless leg syndrome.

[Image Credit: Adobe Stock]

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