Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Posted by e-Medical PPT Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Wittmaack–Ekbom syndrome, is a condition that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations.It most commonly affects the legs, but can also affect the arms or torso, and even phantom limbs.Moving the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary relief.
RLS causes a sensation in the legs or arms that can most closely be compared to a burning, itching, or tickling sensation in the muscles. Some controversy surrounds the marketing of drug treatments for RLS. It is a "spectrum" disease with some people experiencing only a minor annoyance and others experiencing major issues.
RLS is either primary or secondary.
* Primary RLS is considered idiopathic, or with no known cause. Primary RLS usually begins before approximately 40 to 45 years of age. In primary RLS, the onset is often slow. The RLS may disappear for months, or even years. It is often progressive and gets worse as the person ages. RLS in children is often misdiagnosed as growing pains.
* Secondary RLS often has a sudden onset and may be daily from the very beginning. It often occurs after the age of 40, however it can occur earlier. It is most associated with specific medical conditions or the use of certain drugs.
The most commonly associated medical condition is iron deficiency,which accounts for just over 20% of all cases of RLS. Other conditions associated with RLS include varicose vein or venous reflux, folate deficiency, magnesium deficiency, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, uremia, diabetes, thyroid disease, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson's disease and certain auto-immune disorders such as Sjögren's syndrome, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. RLS can also worsen in pregnancy.

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