What causes restless legs?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, symptoms of restless legs may be triggered by alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, iron deficiency, diabetes, kidney failure and pregnancy. While the exact cause of restless legs are difficult to pinpoint, it is believed that genetics are a factor, as most patients who suffer with restless also have a relative with the same ailment. Additionally, the condition may be related to how the brain processes iron in the body.

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What causes restless legs?
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Full Answer

Some medications, such as antidepressants, cold and allergy treatments, antipsychotics and anti-nausea drugs are also linked to restless legs. Parkinson's disease and peripheral neuropathy exhibit symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome. The condition is relatively common and can affect people at any age, although it is much more common among women and adults who are middle-aged and older. WebMD explains that restless leg syndrome is often misdiagnosed because symptoms may not appear frequently or may mimic those related to other conditions.

Generally, people who suffer from restless leg syndrome experience an aggravating sensation in their legs that makes them want to move their legs constantly for relief. Symptoms commonly present themselves at night when a person is trying to sleep. According to WebMD, conclusive medical testing is unavailable to diagnose restless leg syndrome as of 2014, but doctors are able to identify the condition by assessing a patient's symptoms and family history. Quitting the use of cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol, and adopting an active lifestyle usually help to improve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

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