Natural Remedies For Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy
How much is enough?The IRLSSG recommends taking 325 milligrams of ferrous sulfate daily with 250-500 mg of vitamin C on an empty stomach plus 1,000 micrograms of folate, found in many prenatal vitamins.Get your iron and folic acid levels checked as soon as you get pregnant and then every month for the next three months, Hensley says. Dont continue taking iron if you dont need it, because it could lead to iron toxicity, which could interfere with your babys development.”2. Go into pregnancy at an ideal weight.Women who are obese or have excess belly fat before pregnancy are at higher risk of developing restless legs syndrome, according to a 2009 Harvard study conducted on more than 80,000 people with RLS.Women used to think they needed to gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy, but 5 pounds is enough, says Brad Douglas, an OB-GYN with St. Marys Hospital in Richmond, Va.”If youre already overweight or obese, you shouldnt gain any weight, especially if you have RLS.
Finding ways to live with restless legs syndrome instead of fighting it can also reduce symptoms, says the RLS Foundation, which offers these tips:
For more expert advice and information, visit our .
Tip : Improve Your Sleep
The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can make it hard to get to sleep. When youre sleep deprived, you not only feel terrible, but youre more vulnerable to stress. Stress and fatigue can worsen RLS, making it a vicious cycle, so doing what it takes to get enough sleep is crucial.
Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. It may prevent nerves in your legs from compressing and result in fewer nighttime RLS symptoms.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your bodys natural sleep rhythms by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day .
Optimize your bedroom for sleep. Make sure the room is dark , quiet, and cool.
Wind down with a relaxing bedtime routine. Try curling up in bed with a book, listening to calming music, or taking a hot bath .
Power down electronics 1-2 hours before bed. The blue light from screens suppresses sleep-promoting hormones and stimulates your brain.
Keep a sleep diary of RLS symptoms
Logging changes in your diet, lifestyle, sleep habits, and routine might help you make helpful connections between your daily activities and the quality of your sleep at night..
When All Else Fails
If RLS symptoms are severe and majorly disrupt quality of life, some providers recommend dopamine antagonist drugs and opiates. But proceed with caution. Dopamine and opiate drugs are classified as Pregnancy Category C, and according to the FDA:
Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well controlled studies in humans.
If youve exhausted the other options and your day-to-day is severely affected, it may be worth talking with your doctor about other options.
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Genetics And Lifestyle Factors
- Genetics: About half of those with RLS also have a family member with RLS, so genetics are a likely factor.
- Lower socio-economic status: Those with a lower socio-economic status are more prone to RLS. Researchers arent sure why, though it likely has to do with access to nutrient-rich foods that can help prevent restless leg syndrome.
- Obesity and weight gain. Excess weight gain in pregnancy increases the chance of developing restless leg syndrome.
What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a disorder that affects the nervous system and causes an urge to move the legs, usually because of an uncomfortable feeling. The cause of restless legs syndrome is unknown, but it may be related to problems with the central nervous system or iron deficiency. Some medications and diseases can also cause restless legs syndrome.
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Articles On Restless Legs Syndrome
In some cases, personal habits can make a sleeping disorder like restless legs syndrome worse. Sometimes they play a big role in the problem.
Here are 10 steps you can take to lessen the symptoms of RLS and get you sleeping better:
- Avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for at least several hours before bedtime.
- Review all the medications you take with your doctor.
- Exercise every day.
What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy
Experts aren’t sure, although genetics are probably a factor. Other possible culprits include hormones, especially estradiol and progesterone, which surge during the third trimester and fall right after birth, following the same pattern as RLS.
Environmental and dietary factors like iron deficiency and/or sensitivity to certain types of foods may also be risks. That growing baby doing the samba in utero and pressing down on the nerves around your sacrum definitely doesnt help matters.
Neither does fatigue or low mood. Lack of sleep, anxiety, depression and stress common during pregnancy can all take a toll and may even trigger RLS. So take care of yourself and try to get plenty of rest.
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How To Prevent The Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, there are no ways to prevent the prevalence of the RLS syndrome according to the health care providers. However, what you could do instead to aid or at the most ease out the temporary cramps is follow the steps above to prevent it from getting worse and get the condition reviewed.
Also, the occurrence of the restless legs syndrome RLS tends to go away within four weeks post-delivery. However, there are studies that have also found that in a few pregnant women, that is about on the 97 percentile, the restless legs syndrome during pregnancy RLS fades away in just a few days after giving birth.
Ruling Out Potential Causes
Your first step in addressing RLS should be to figure out if something is causing it. While RLS can be related to things that are largely out of your control, such as genetics or pregnancy, other possible factors can be addressed.
These factors could be daily habits, medications youre taking, health conditions you have, or other triggers.
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Foods To Avoid With Restless Leg Syndrome
These foods arent great for any pregnant mama, but they can also worsen RLS symptoms.
- Caffeine: This stimulant can worsen restless leg syndrome symptoms.
- Refined sugar: Sugar depletes minerals in the body, especially magnesium. Without adequate nutrients, muscles and nerves cant function properly which can contribute to RLS.
If symptoms are severe, strategically consuming calcium can also help. Too much calcium can block iron absorption , so its best to avoid eating calcium and iron rich foods together.
Surgery For Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels, often in the legs, that overfill with blood. This increased amount of blood can lead to superficial venous insufficiency , which means your body cant properly circulate blood. As a result, the blood pools in your legs.
In a 2008 study, 35 people with SVI and RLS had a procedure called endovenous laser ablation to treat their varicose veins. Of the 35 people, 84 percent of them had their RLS symptoms significantly improved or completely eliminated by the surgery .
Again, more research is needed on this surgery as a treatment for RLS.
If youre interested in any of these less-researched treatments, ask your doctor about them. Of course, you can try hot and cold treatments on your own, but your doctor can tell you more about the other treatments and whether they might be able to help you.
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What Is The Treatment For Restless Legs Syndrome During Pregnancy
Medication isnt generally recommended during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding. But there are other things you can try. You may not be able to stop the symptoms completely, but you may be able to reduce them.
As well as reducing your caffeine intake and not drinking alcohol, you can try:
- stopping smoking
- doing moderate, regular exercise
- walking and stretching your legs
- relaxation exercises
- using heat pads on the legs, or having a hot bath
- using distraction techniques, such as reading
- massaging the legs.
Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy
According to estimates, 10 to 25% of expecting moms experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy a condition that makes it hard to fall asleep. You will feel a tingling sensation in your legs and there is an urge to keep moving.
In the rest of this post, we will provide you with insights about some of the best ways to avoid this problem, making sure that you will sleep quicker and deeper.
While there is no guarantee that these suggestions will work, at least, they are worth trying! After all, restless leg syndrome is not the only thing that negatively alters your sleeping patterns during pregnancy.
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How Is Rls Triggered Before Pregnancy
In some cases, RLS has been shown to interrupt daily things you do, such as riding care, visiting places, exercises, etc. Remember that this disorder is not something you should underestimate because it can be more problematic as time passes.
The following activities/habits can affect the symptoms of RLS, even worsen them:
- You are sitting on the chair for an extended period
- Smoking is found to affect restless legs in the worst manner. So, it can be a good thing for you to stop smoking.
- Alcohol is one of the main reasons behind the occurrence of RLS.
- Medication. Physicians repeatedly tell their patients not to use any non-prescribed medication or medication that is not necessary. Also, you should consult your doctor about any drug you may use or have been using . Your physician should prescribe any drugs that you are using for RLS.
- Materials containing caffeine. Unfortunately, drinking coffee has become one of the main options for a diet. However, drinking too much coffee can cause restless legs triggers.
How Do You Get Rid Of Restless Legs In Early Pregnancy
Restless legs syndrome is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. It can be very uncomfortable and make it hard to get to sleep. Pregnant women are especially at risk for restless legs syndrome because of the changes their bodies are going through.
Here are a few ways to get relief from restless legs syndrome in early pregnancy:
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Treating Restless Legs Syndrome
Mild cases of restless legs syndrome that are not linked to an underlying health condition may not require any treatment, other than making a few lifestyle changes.
- adopting good sleep habits
- exercising regularly during the daytime
If your symptoms are more severe, you may need medication to regulate the levels of dopamine and iron in your body.
If restless legs syndrome is caused by iron deficiency anaemia, iron supplements may be all that’s needed to treat the symptoms.
Can I Prevent Rls
Unfortunately, theres no scientifically proven way to prevent RLS, Grundland says. The good news is that it usually resolves when you deliver your baby. Although, she adds, if you experienced RLS during your pregnancy, theres a slight chance it may resurface later in life.
The only thing you can do if you discover you have RLS is to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Treat yourself. Get the foot rubs, buy the pregnancy pillow, find the worlds most comfortable pyjamasdo what you can to make it more bearable, Patterson recommends. And know that its not forever.
Pattersons daughter is now 17 weeks, and happily its the baby, not her restless legs, whos keeping her up at night.
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Epidemiologic Studies Of Rls During Pregnancy
Pregnancy and Prevalence of RLS
The prevalence of RLS during pregnancy includes pre-existing primary RLS prior to pregnancy and new onset of RLS during pregnancy. In the era before diagnostic criteria were developed, the reported prevalence of RLS during pregnancy ranged from 11.3â 19% . After the IRLSSG created the first diagnostic criteria, studies reported prevalence ranged from 20â27% . After the revised criteria were published, reported prevalence varied from 2.9â32% likely indicating an uneven implementation . The prevalence of RLS during pregnancy appears to be approximately 2 to 3 times higher than in non-pregnant women.
Treatments For Underlying Health Conditions
Many health conditions may cause RLS. Treating these conditions may help to reduce the severity and frequency of RLS symptoms.
A person who experiences RLS should see a doctor to determine whether there is an underlying cause and to receive any necessary treatments.
RLS is a nervous system disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs. These sensations lead to an overwhelming urge to move the legs.
Some sensations that a person may feel in their legs include:
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How To Deal With Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy
Restless leg syndrome is a common pregnancy complaint. Heres what you should know about stopping that uncontrollable urge to move your legs.
It began early on in her pregnancywhenever Amy Patterson plopped down on the couch to unwind after a long day at work, her legs still wanted to move. Amy was so tired, and all she wanted to do was rest, but her legs wouldnt let her.
It was like theyd had a lot of coffee and the rest of my body hadnt, she says. Id stretch them, rub them, run around to get some energy out, but nothing stopped it. Sometimes it was so bad, Id just go to bed early because it felt better when I was lying down with my pregnancy pillow.
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs while sleeping or when youre at restsay when youre sitting down to enjoy some Netflix. It can happen to anyone, but its especially common during pregnancy, says Batya Grundland, the maternity care lead for the Family Health Team at Womens College Hospital in Toronto. It affects up to 30 percent of pregnant women and we dont really know why, she says. It could have something to do with thyroid function or it could be hormone-related. But dont worry: having RLS during pregnancy is generally not a cause for concern. RLS might also be hereditaryPatterson knew right away what it was because her mother also suffers from the condition.
Signs And Symptoms Of Rls
The symptoms of RLS largely show up as uncomfortable sensation in the legs, but they may also be experienced in other parts of the body. However, the most common signs of RLS include:
- Crawling or burning sensation in the legs.
- Itching sensation in the legs.
- Fidgety feeling in the legs.
- Jerking of the limbs while sleeping.
- Sleep disruption due to ache or pain.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Restless Leg Syndrome
There are many different causes of restless legs syndrome. Like any condition, it helps to treat the root cause to bring about more than just symptom relief. Supporting the nervous system, eating the right foods, and taking certain supplements to correct deficiencies will all help address the root cause of RLS.
Prescription medications used to treat RLS do so by altering the brains chemistry and response to the nerve signals. The side effects of these drugs can be very dangerous. Common symptoms can range from everything from brain damage, to hallucinations, to twitching .
Even if these medications do help at first, the medical community suggests that the effectiveness diminishes over time.
Causes Of Restless Legs Syndrome
In many cases, the exact cause of restless legs syndrome is unknown.
When no cause can be found, itÃ¢s known as Ã¢idiopathicÃ¢ or primary restless legs syndrome.
Research has identified specific genes related to restless legs syndrome, and it can run in families. In these cases, symptoms usually occur before the age of 40.
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Tip : Get Daily Exercise
Daily activity, including aerobic exercise and lower-body resistance training, can significantly reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome in most people. Choose activities you enjoy, especially those that emphasize using the legs. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days, although not too close to bed time.
The exercise doesnt need to be intense. Simple daily activities such as walking can often deliver all the benefits youre looking for. In fact, highly vigorous exerciselike training for a marathoncan sometimes backfire and make RLS symptoms worse.
When Does Restless Legs Syndrome Start During Pregnancy
Although you might notice RLS more at night, it can strike any time when you’re lying or sitting down. Most of the time you wont experience it until later in your pregnancy, during the third trimester.
Unfortunately, the usual treatments for leg cramps flexing and stretching may not work, and prescription medications that might relieve the restlessness may be off-limits during pregnancy.
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How Common Is Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS affects approximately 1 in 10 people , but is much more common in pregnant women.
Restless leg syndrome during pregnancy affects nearly one-third of women by their third trimester.
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