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Cure for Restless Legs

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) affects millions of people of all over the world. Many wonder if there is an RLS cure. We explore whether or not there is currently a cure for RLS.
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Estimates put the prevalence of restless leg syndrome at 5.5% of the population, with some estimates putting that number closer to 10%. Millions of people suffer from restless leg syndrome, and the number of people increases with age.

Restless leg syndrome, or RLS, is an intriguing disorder, because its cause is not entirely clear.

Yet it's the type of disorder that can have a drastic impact on a person's quality of life, which is why a cure for restless leg syndrome is often sought after by those suffering from the disorder.

Is There a Cure for RLS?

As of this writing, there is currently no "true" cure for RLS.

There is currently no available treatment or therapy that can stop RLS forever without regular maintenance. There are several treatment options that are effective at relieving RLS symptoms, but none of these cure the disorder. If at any point you stop using these treatments, restless leg syndrome will come back.

Why is There No Cure for Restless Legs?

One of the issues standing in the way of treatment is that RLS appears to have a mix of causes, and it's still unclear which causes lead directly to development of RLS symptoms.

RLS is partially believed to be a hereditary disease. If there is a genetic component it may be difficult or impossible to control it.

In other cases, it's caused by vitamin deficiencies, age, lifestyle, or has no cause at all. Generally for a cure to be developed, there must be some way to prevent its cause, but with no clear cause an RLS cure becomes harder to develop.

In addition, RLS appears to be related to dopamine levels in the brain – levels that rise and fall during the day. For any cure to be permanently effective at stopping RLS, the treatment would have to permanently control dopamine levels on a daily basis – something that currently no treatment can do, as evidenced by issues treating Parkinson's disease and other dopamine related health problems.

Treating a Vitamin Deficiency – A Pseudo Cure

However, there are a few exceptions to this, and in a way there are a few treatments that can be seen as "RLS cures."

The most common example is when your restless legs appear to be caused by a vitamin deficiency – one that's due to your own dietary intake. Some people simply do not get enough important vitamins in their diet. Vitamins such as:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A

Vitamin deficiencies are known to be one of the more common causes of RLS. By addressing this deficiency, one can "cure" restless leg syndrome, in the sense that their dietary changes or supplements will ensure they're no longer deficient.

In addition, there is an issue known a "Secondary RLS." Secondary restless leg syndrome occurs when another health problem – such as diabetes – is the cause of RLS. If you have any of the conditions that cause restless leg syndrome, and you either treat them or cure them, then the restless leg will usually disappear with it.

These are not necessarily cures in the literal sense, but reducing these problems would cure RLS overall.

Some RLS Goes Away On Its Own

In addition, there are some examples of RLS clearing itself on its own.

This tends to be fairly rare. It happens in the case of pregnancy. Some pregnant women get RLS, and the RLS almost always relieves itself after pregnancy.

Also, in some cases of RLS in younger adults, the RLS may also clear up over time. But generally RLS does appear to get worse with age.

It's unlikely that the RLS will clear up on its own, but it does happen in some rare cases.

Other Effective Treatments

RLS is not a life threatening disease, and those with RLS do not appear to suffer from any lifespan issues or long term health complications related to RLS, with the exception of any stress related issues that occur as a result of poor sleep quality.

Curing RLS is not important for long term health, but it is important for improving your quality of life.

There are many different ways to manage your RLS symptoms. These include:

RLS Management Tools

Medications – Several medications have been developed that help manage RLS. Most of these medicines are designed for other uses, such as benzodiazepines, opiates, and dopamine agonists, which were all developed for other diseases but are effective at managing restless leg.

Vitamin Supplements – Vitamins are one of the most common treatments. Many vitamins have been found to reduce the severity of RLS symptoms, so vitamins are a helpful way to manage the disorder.

Lifestyle Changes – There are many lifestyle changes that can also help with RLS. Dietary changes, such as cutting out alcohol and coffee, regular exercise and even warm baths before bed all appear to reduce the severity of RLS.

Sleep Aids – Several herbal and natural sleep aids can also help reduce the impact of RLS on your life. The sleep aids do not affect the RLS itself, but can reduce the biggest problem related to RLS: the sleep deprivation.

Restless leg is a unique type of neurological disorder, and where there is no cure for restless legs, there are several ways to manage symptoms. Your doctor can give you many other tips to manage RLS.

The Future of RLS Cures

It's difficult to say if there will ever be a true RLS cure, because the causes of RLS seem to vary so wildly. While it's possible that research will develop some type of permanent treatment for RLS, at the moment that cure seems far away.

Luckily, there are currently many effective and easy ways to manage your restless leg symptoms so that the disorder does not continue to have an impact on your life.




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