Restless legs syndrome (RCS) is one of the most common conditions in adults, affecting as many as 10% to 15% of patients who have epilepsy. This condition is defined by a constant sensation that one’s legs are continually moving, and even when they’re sitting down, often results in excessive sweating, which can be accompanied by lightheadedness. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 7-10% of people with epilepsy suffer from Restless legs syndrome (RCS).
When a person has Restless legs syndrome (RCS), this condition means that their muscles are constantly monitoring for electrical signals known as sensory input, or SIS (sensation–information–sensory interactions). The nervous system doesn’t want our feet, eyes, or even any other area of our body to perceive anything different than what it expects. As a result, your foot will continuously move and constantly move until you get uncomfortable.
The first time I had symptoms, I was 20 years old, living in Miami Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast and I thought at first it may just be hormonal. What made me curious was how long does the condition last? Is there something else going on with my nerves that caused this phenomenon? Well, a few months after my diagnosis of Restless legs syndrome (RCS), I started studying neurology with Dr. David Zisko of St. John’s Hospital in New York City. He found a small number of cases that he believed were linked to various brain injuries, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. We were then able to connect this information and my new affordable assignment led us to understand the cause of Restless legs syndrome (RCS) and possibly the cause and symptoms of RCS may vary among various groups of patients.
Here are some things I’ve learned from working with doctors at St. George’s Health & Medical Center, my local hospital where I live:
1. Restless Leg Syndrome — Symptoms
Common symptoms include racing and pulsing noises in the legs, particularly in the morning and even in the evening. In addition, intense pain can occur due to pressure ulcers and infections. On the flip side, milder leg sweats or swelling can occur during exercise. These tend to disappear within two days when the symptoms resolve completely.
2. Types — Seizures
Primary seizures include those that require medical attention when patients experience no other warning signs or complications such as vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, and headaches. Secondary Seizures include those that develop suddenly after an episode of primary Seizure and usually present as an aura. Tertiary Seizures include any condition that occurs without any prior history of seizure activity. However, if you have ever suffered from a primary Seizure, you should not be concerned about these types of Seizures because we have to be aware and alert that it’ll take a bit longer to stabilize because the brain gets activated and the immune system goes into overdrive, making it harder to control whether or not the next Seizure will occur.
3. Treatment of Restless legs syndrome (RCS)
Treatment of RCS is similar to epilepsy management in general. When we see these episodes of Seizures, our treatment approach is based on the severity of the Seizure, the type and location of the Seizure, and whether or not there are accompanying risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and/or other neurological conditions. If there is a certain factor of anxiety, depression, or low blood sugar, we may have to take medications to help with anxiety and depression because the patient may need to go back on more medication. Patients with primary Seizures may also need medicines to help relieve the stress and the impact the condition put on their bodies. Medications are typically taken orally.
4. More and Better Diagnosis
It is important to screen patients to rule out possible underlying conditions, like migraine, sleep apnea, migraines, thyroid problems, etc. Also, as the name suggests, it is recommended to look out for the following:
- The “V” shaped spot on your lower leg that may feel cold or tingle
- The “V” is located deep near your thigh, behind your knee, and above a kidney.
- The “V” shape is at the back of your calf and the bottom of your heel.
- The “V” is on the palm of your hand or on the tip of your foot. It feels hot or rough.
- The red area on either side of the V.
- The “V” in your calf or groin.
- The “V” on your buttock or chest (not necessarily a painful V)
- The spots on the upper back of your thighs, buttocks, or underarms may be achy or sore.
It may feel like a weak link or crack.
You may find that you also experience these same symptoms in a different place in your body. For example, if you have Seizures in your arms or legs, you may feel an occasional twinge in your neck. Another example is if you have Seizures in your hands and feet or in the centre of your chest. You may have experienced a burning discomfort in the right side of your body.
5. Cause and effects
There are no cures for this condition. However, the best treatment is to deal with the root causes. There are many reasons why Restless legs syndrome (RCS) may occur, ranging from genetics to the environment and to an underlying medical or neurological condition called Focal Electrolyte Hyperactivity. Many researchers(the writing planet) suggest that there could be an increase in comorbidities if you have been pregnant before getting diagnosed with Restless legs syndrome (RCS), but others disagree and say they believe the actual cause may be related to specific chemical abnormalities in the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Other studies have shown that the exact cause may be related to some of the genes responsible for regulating muscle movement. Furthermore, another study suggests that an increased amount of calcium could be involved. So, if someone has already had previous surgery, or just had too much caffeine last night, it’s highly likely to trigger a second occurrence of RCS.
6. Risk factors for Restless legs syndrome (RCS)
Risk factors for the development of Restless legs syndrome (RCS) include being female or having twin pregnancies, having a single baby, or having children with other siblings.
Some may have epilepsy, a predisposition to chronic inflammation, hypoparathyroidism, and obesity. Which all can lead to the development of RCS. Having twins due to surrogacy, an increase in the age of the pregnancy, and exposure to sodium chloride, of which may increase the chance of developing RC. People who are very active or may have epilepsy may have a higher chance of developing RCS. Some of the genetic risk factors for RCS include epilepsy. Focal Electrolyte Hyperactivity (FEGH), high blood pressure, diabetes, cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, childhood trauma, alcohol abuse, nicotine use, depression, and heart attack.
7. Factors associated with the development of RCS
Factors associated with the development of RCS include:
Being Female — women face a higher chance of developing the disorder, 2 out of 3, compared to men. Higher chances of developing RCS occur in women whose parents have epilepsy. A pregnant woman can pass the condition to her unborn child during childbirth. Therefore, mothers with epilepsy should seek evaluation and screening tests for both pre and postcard labour.
women face a higher chance of developing the disorder, 2 out of 3, compared to men. Higher chances of developing RCS occur in women whose parents have epilepsy. A pregnant woman can pass the condition to her unborn child during childbirth. Therefore, mothers with epilepsy should seek evaluation and screening tests for both pre and postcard labour. Single Kids and High Family Income — people who earn less than $12,000 have about 3 times the odds of developing RCS. Compared to individuals earning between $24,000 and $48,000 a year.
People who earned:
people who earn less than $12,000 have about 3 times the odds of developing RCS compared to individuals earning between $24,000 and $48,000 a year.
They have more chances of developing RC if she has epilepsy and she is taking drugs to treat epilepsy. Those who do not have epilepsy have a greater chance of developing the condition as well.
They have more chances of developing the condition if she has epilepsy and she is taking drugs to treat epilepsy. That who do not have epilepsy have a greater chance of developing the condition as well. Gender — Women are around 3.5 times more likely than men to develop the condition. But women with epilepsy are also more likely to develop the disorder if their parents have epilepsy. Females who have epilepsy have more chances of developing Restless legs syndrome (RCS) if their mother has epilepsy as well.
8. Treatments and vaccines
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends only a drug called carbidopa-decarboxylate. Done by injecting one dose through a syringe and giving a couple of shots every four weeks. To prevent future seizures. With this therapy, you can control muscle spasms and improve posture and balance. Carbidopa-decarboxylate can be given for free by prescription for anyone over 18 as part of your treatment plan. But for people who don’t have access to health care. You can purchase this free medication online and have it shipped to you to be administered at home. But with this medication, treatment stops when your doctor prescribes stopping doses. You can also try acupuncture (which many consider “magic”) or muscle relaxation