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Erika’s Struggle With Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless Leg Syndrome is a chronic condition.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), now known as Willis-Ekbom Disease (WED), is generally a long-term disorder that causes a strong urge to move one’s legs. Since this condition is a spectrum, RLS can be experienced with varying levels of severity.

For example, those who are experienced Restless Leg Syndrome may compulsively rub their feet together when they are crossed, often occurring in bed when trying to sleep.

Who suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Risk factors for RLS include low iron levels, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy and celiac disease. A number of medications may also trigger the disorder including antidepressants, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and calcium channel blockers. There are two main types. One is early onset RLS which starts before age 45, runs in families and worsens over time. The other is late onset RLS which begins after age 45, starts suddenly, and does not worsen. Diagnosis is generally based on a person’s symptoms after ruling out other potential causes.

Erika’s Story

In this case, I learned about RLS through an acquaintance. I was completely unaware of the illness when I met a spokesperson that had learned to manage their symptoms. I learned that RLS is very common and that only 50% of those that have it are aware they have it. For those that are aware, they are better able to manage pain and sleep conditions. As I understand it, RLS patients move a lot during sleep and experience increased pain in hot weather. We at LLIF believe that with our personal environment history and symptom logging, we will be able to provide insights that will improve the quality of life of RLS sufferers and more importantly compare the life signatures of undiagnosed sufferers with the signatures of diagnosed sufferers to suggest a visit to the doctor accompanied by a fairly high certainty that they have RLS.

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