Rastless bones are often overlooked by the doctors.
– I do not want to describe the plagues as direct pain, but rather an uncomfortable feeling. The body is in high spirits and I feel in a way that the legs live their own lives, “says Helen Olsen.
She is a communications advisor in the Association Restless Leg, and struggles with the disorder, also called Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
– Worst is it in the evening, and before I got medication against the plagues, I had big sleep problems. This is very common among people with this condition, she says.
Sugar trigger the plagues
The plagues may vary widely from person to person.
Someone has discomfort in parts of the leg, others throughout, but common to all is this urophobic improvement when they move their legs. It’s also a part that has symptoms in the arms, “she says.
Olsen says that some factors can reinforce the plagues.
– Some people get worse if they use medicines for example depression and alcohol, smoking and coffee can exacerbate the plagues. Even I have learned that I get less symptoms if I stay away from sugar, she says.
According to Olsen, it will be individual what causes the plagues.
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– Between five and ten percent of Norway’s population has restless legs, so this is a relatively common condition. For some, the plagues are so pronounced that it can be defined as a disease, says neurologist Einar Kinge at Sandvika Nevrosenter.
How do you know if you have RLS?
The disease has four key diagnostic criteria:
1. An unpleasant and irresistible urge to move the legs.
2. Symptoms worsen at rest and when you are physically inactive.
3. Symptoms worsen at night or night.
4. The symptoms are completely or partially terminated when moving the legs (or other parts of the body that are affected).
Source: Restless. org
Because you do not get out of the thought pattern.
He states that this is still an underdiagnosed condition, and that there are still many GPs who lack knowledge in the field.
– But fortunately, the level of knowledge is increasing. Ten years ago it was almost absent, he says.
Today, 23. September, it is the International RLS Day. This is the date when the neurologist Karl-Axel Ekbom was born in 1907. He is the man who, through his doctorate in 1946, put the disease Restless Legs Syndrome on the medical map, Helene Olsen. The day is marked in many countries, and the purpose is to spread information about this troublesome disease.
Confused with other diseases
In his practice, Kinge meets many patients with restless legs, and most have first been through the doctor.
– The plagues may have been confused with fibromyalgia, or the doctor has chosen to focus on other ailments the patient tells about. Most patients with restless legs also have problems with sleep, and with this in mind, the doctor often thinks that it is mental illness, he says..
Some will be perceived as depressed, which nevertheless is not necessarily so far from the truth. Taking care of yourself without clarifying what is the cause is a big strain.
The pains patients describe for Kinge are different, but common to all is an irresistible urge to move the legs.
– Most people talk about a disturbing discomfort, but some also have pain in the legs, legs or thighs. The plagues usually come in the afternoon and evening and make them unable to relax, he says.
It may help someone rub the thigh a bit, but most people have to get up and go to notice improvement.
Wake up at night
– The symptoms also make it difficult to sleep, and when they sleep, some can get what is called periodic bone movements. They stretch and bend their legs through the night, something that is first and foremost noticeable to the side man, “he says..
Sleep problems at night?
However, when the morning comes, the person with restless leg mark that night has been disturbed.
– Such movements lead to microwakes throughout the night so they do not get the deep sleep that makes them feel rested almost tomorrow, he says.
Getting through the day can then become heavy and there is also a report of increased occurrence of anxiety and depression among those who have the condition.
The reason someone gets restless bones has not yet been fully clarified, but researchers think it’s because dopamine is not working properly. Dopamine contributes to communication between the nerves of the body, says Kinge.
Generally, there are a number of impulses from bone to brain, but for people with restless legs, these impulses are not thought to be sufficiently braked in the brain stem.
– Furthermore, the condition is related to iron change. People with ferritin under 75, who have symptoms of restless legs, will therefore generally be recommended supplement of iron, “he says..
For people without restless legs, ferritin levels are estimated to be between 10 and 200 as normal.
Specialist in neurology at Volvat Medisinske Senter AS, Dalius Bansevicius, confirms this.
– Restless bones are usually caused by interference in brain cell communication. Such signals are sent using chemical substances such as dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin, he says.
Dopamine production or brain cell transport may, according to Bansevicius, lead to several diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and restless bones or Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).
May be hereditary
In some cases the disease is hereditary.
Ten Advice for Highly Sensitive
– It is called primary RLS and begins often in childhood. So-called secondary RLS is due to other causes, mostly iron deficiency, kidney failure, diabetes or the use of special drugs, says Bansevicius.
He adds that every fourth to fifth woman also gets symptoms of RLS during pregnancy.
– This is a chronic condition, but you may get better or worse in periods. The plagues may also vary from day to day, and you may suddenly get better or better for several weeks or months before symptoms return.. Those who have congenital or hereditary status are often more easily bothered than those who have another medical cause, “he says..
Bansevicius states that the condition was first described in 1672, and since then, those who are plagued by RLS have been trying to find methods to calm down their legs before they fall asleep.
– After drugs for Parkinson’s disease were synthesized in the 1920s, it was discovered that the same drugs have a good effect against restless legs. Enthusiastic doctors then began prescribing these medications for all patients, including those with the easiest forms of the condition, he says.
The problem is that after a few years of treatment with Parkinson’s medication, the medicine loses power in some and the plagues may even get bigger than before treatment.
Referred to sleep specialist
– Today, the doctor should always try to treat the underlying cause and reserve the medication for those who are most affected. It is also important to map sleep, sleep and sleep quality, “says Bansevicius.
In recent years, it has become more common for sleep specialists to investigate and treat restless legs as a sleep disorder.
– We also see that exercise, physical therapy and techniques like yoga and mindfulness help reduce the plagues to many. Instead of adding dopamine, it has become common to stimulate dopamine production in the brain or improve transport between brain cells, “he says..
The condition is then treated with so-called dopamine agonists, and in the most extreme cases, opiates are used as narcotic drugs.
Selects other actions
Bansevicius states that drug companies that produce dopamine agonists have accounted for a significant amount of research in recent years.
– Some doctors have even accused drug companies to raise awareness about the condition of selling more medicines. They say that using diagnostic criteria, up to 10-15 percent of the population is used for patients, but it’s not easy. Most do not need medication, but other measures to improve sleep and quality of life, he says.
Not for everyone
Kinge confirms that far from everyone with RLS is medicated against the plagues.
– When a patient comes to me with symptoms of restless legs, it is first important to chart how serious the plagues are. Only those who have serious ailments are offered treatment with medicines, he says.
If the ailments are mild, medication is not applicable, and if the plagues are considered moderate, it will be assessed in each case.
– If the patient needs medication, we will discuss more options. Until recently, dopamine medications, of the same variant as Parkinson’s patients, have been the first choice. The disadvantage of this is that although they have a good effect in the early days, there is a risk that in the long term they could cause aggravated symptoms, says Kinge.
Preferably choose epileptic drugs
Another option is epilepsy medications, and in recent years, according to Kinge, this has been considered a better first choice than dopamine medications for many patients.
– Here we see no worsening of the symptoms, and it’s not a good choice for those who struggle with sleep problems.. This applies to about 80 percent of all who have restless legs, he says.
According to Kinge, the treatment will always be tailored for each patient, and the neurologist will evaluate severity, age and side effects.
– For example, we know that some medications can cause the patient to put on, so this is not a natural choice for those who overweight. Other medications can cause the patient to become unstable, and usually we will avoid giving older ones, “he says.
Kinge says that most people who get medications notice a significant improvement, but not everyone is able to tolerate the drugs as well. Some people become nauseous, tired, or they may experience increased anxiety.
They were forced to sleep two hours less per night, you do not want to believe what happened!
– For those with less severe ailments, who do not get medications, the other measures must be taken. First, iron is given to those with less than 75 in ferritin, and the doctor will see which medicines they are using. Some sleeping medications and antidepressants can reinforce the symptoms, “he says.
It is also recommended to be physically active during the day, avoid exercise in the evening, do not drink coffee and coke after four o’clock in the afternoon and provide good sleep hygiene.
Thinking about something completely different when the plagues come are also a good tip.
– Remember to not leave yourself until you’re really tired. It can also help someone with cold or hot baths, “he says.
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