You are happily pregnant and waiting for the day to hold your baby! But are you getting restless and impatient with each trimester? Do you find yourself moving your legs involuntarily? Worry not! You are not the only one complaining! This condition, known as the Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), is quite common amongst pregnant women.
What could be the cause of RLS? And how can you get it treated? Wondering where you can find answers to all such questions? Well, right here in this post, you will come to know all about restless leg syndrome during pregnancy! So sit back, relax and read on!
There is so much your body is going through that it feels as if the journey is never ending. From heartburn to nausea to fatigue, it seems like all you want to do is lie down and rest. But your impatient and restless behavior hardly allows you a moment of peace. With Restless Leg Syndrome, you seem to lose your mind!
What Is The Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?
The Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition where you want to keep moving your legs all the time. It is a constant urge that is beyond control. According to a study, it was found that over 16% pregnant women suffer from the Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). This urge to move your legs could be due to the need to relieve the feeling of tingling, burning or crawling that is often felt during pregnancy. You feel this tingling sensation in your calf, upper leg or even inside your foot.
One of the most difficult things about dealing with Restless Leg Syndrome is that it affects you just before bed time, or when you are about to fall asleep. This means it considerably affects your sleep, making you feel tired and exhausted during the day.
The good news is that this is a temporary phase that shall pass.
[ Read : Leg Pain During Pregnancy ]
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy?
Restless Leg Syndrome is medically recognized as a neurological condition. There is still no definite cause associated with this condition, and research is still on to find out more. While you may never have felt it before, it is likely to suddenly experience RLS during pregnancy.
It is often found to be common in families, with more than one member of a family having experienced it at some point. It may also be an indicator of some other underlying health condition. Most people who have RLS are also diagnosed with a condition known as Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep.
Here are a few theories that try to explain the possible causes of Restless Leg Syndrome:
- Imbalance of the brain chemical known as dopamine. It helps to keep the muscle movements smooth and even, and an imbalance can cause restlessness.
- Lack of sufficient amount of folic acid or iron during pregnancy.
- An increase in the levels of estrogen may also be responsible for causing Restless Leg Syndrome.
Some Common Symptoms Of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS):
If you are suffering from RLS, you may experience one or more of the following:
- There is a strong urge to move your legs accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs.
- The urge to move your legs and the uncomfortable sensation worsens while resting, especially while you are lying down or sitting.
- Moving your legs or doing simple exercises like walking, or stretching gives temporary relief.
- The urge to move your legs and the uncomfortable sensations that accompany gets worse at night time.
[ Read : Walking During Pregnancy ]
Lifestyle Changes To Improve The Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS):
If you are experiencing RLS, there are few simple yet effective measures you can take to improve your condition. While you are pregnant, it is important to avoid any medication. Adapting these simple lifestyle changes can help a lot in minimizing the problems of RLS:
1. Reduce Caffeine Intake:
Too much caffeine is known to make the condition worse. Try and give up your caffeine intake altogether. If it is difficult to avoid completely, then reduce the quantity. Try and cut back on coffee, tea, caffeinated drinks or food and sodas.
2. Regularly Exercise But In Moderation:
Regular exercise can help reduce the effects of RLS. Go for short walks, or do simple aerobics and any other light exercise with your doctor’s consent. However, remember that excessive exercise can make the condition worse.
3. Maintain Body Weight:
Being overweight, especially during pregnancy, can often trigger or worsen RLS. In case your doctor feels you are overweight, try to shed those extra pounds.
4. Maintain A Sleep Routine:
Try and maintain a regular sleep routine each day. It will help you fall asleep even though it might initially be difficult with RLS. If you can’t fall asleep, try taking a warm bath or a warm glass of milk before bed. This would surely offer you relief for restless leg syndrome during pregnancy
While it is an extremely uncomfortable condition, trying a few healthy practices at home can help reduce the discomfort associated with RLS. In case nothing helps and you find yourself constantly affected by it, speak to your doctor about other possible treatments.
If any of you have experienced RLS during your pregnancy, do share your experiences and any valuable tips here.
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