Healthy Living

Restless Legs Syndrome: The Causes

According to stats, more than twenty percent of all RLS cases are as a result of an iron deficiency in the human body. Iron insufficiency is co-factor when it comes to the development of L-dopa, the main factor in the formation of dopamine.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome: The Causes

Key Takeaways

  • Antiemetics can lead to restless leg syndrome
  • Antipsychotics can trigger the symptoms of restless leg syndrome
  • Anticonvulsants can also lead to restless leg syndrome
  • Benzodiazepine withdrawal can also lead to restless leg syndrome
  • Antihistamines can also lead to
  • Antidepressants can also lead to restless leg syndrome
  • Hypoglycaemia can worsen RLS symptoms
  • Opioid withdrawal

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological condition affecting millions of people around the world. The condition is characterized by the having the constant urge to move your leg, which usually occurs at night. Although RLS is serious, it is a treatable condition. 

Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

Genes

Family history can play a vital role for having restless legs syndrome. In fact, it is estimated that more than 50% of people with restless legs syndrome will have a family member suffering from this condition.

Surgery

If you have ever had a surgery of any kind (back surgery or injury), you are at risk of getting restless legs syndrome.

Obesity

Research shows that obesity can cause restless legs syndrome. Therefore, learn how to cut down on excess fats in your body for a healthier diet and to minimize the risk of getting RLS.

Lack of exercise

Being sedentary and not doing enough exercises can lead to obesity and restless legs syndrome.

Depression and other mental illnesses

People suffering from depression can also get restless legs syndrome. In addition, if you are suffering from other neurological problems, you can also develop this disorder. Therefore, it is vital that you seek treatment as soon as possible to minimize the risk of developing this condition.

Pregnancy

Pregnant women can also experience restless legs syndrome, especially during their third trimester. However, the symptoms of RLS usually go away within 1-2 months after delivery.

Alcohol

Excessive alcohol intake can trigger RLS symptoms. Alcohol can also worsen the condition. Therefore, if you are at risk of developing RLS because of alcohol consumption, you’re advised to cut down on your alcohol intake.

Sleep deprivation

Lack of sleep can trigger the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Therefore, it is vital that you improve the quality of your sleep to minimize or alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

Iron deficiency

According to statistics, more than 20% of all RLS cases are as a result of an iron deficiency in the human body. Iron insufficiency is a co-factor when it comes to the development of L-DOPA, which is the main factor in the formation of dopamine. If your body lacks the sufficient iron, then you are at risk of developing the restless legs syndrome. The following are iron-deficiency conditions that may lead to RLS:

  • Varicose veins and venous reflux
  • Folate deficiency 
  • Magnesium deficiency 

Other factors

Certain diseases and conditions can also lead to restless legs syndrome. They include:

Medications

The following are certain medications that can also lead to or trigger the symptoms of RLS: 

  • Antiemetics
  • Antipsychotics 
  • Anticonvulsants 
  • Antihistamines 
  • Antidepressants 
  • Benzodiazepine withdrawal
  • Opioid withdrawal