Have you ever had to move your legs constantly because of the itchy, painful feeling at night?
Many of us can’t sleep well no matter how hard we try. For some people, insomnia is accompanied by a physical manifestation known as “restless leg”.
Experts recommend that “restless legs” could be a sign of heart disease.
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Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a painful, uncomfortable feeling in the leg that causes the patient to move the leg incessantly.
“Anyone who’s experienced RLS knows it’s a strange condition. As soon as you lie down, the feeling of wanting to move your legs begins. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t stop walking. this movement,” said cardiologist Leslie Cho.
* RLS syndrome is a common condition.
Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that up to 10% of adults in the US have the syndrome. They feel discomfort all over their legs when they fall asleep, forcing them to constantly rub their feet to relieve the pain.
Symptoms emanating from the inside of the leg rather than the surface include restlessness, convulsions, burning, and tightness.
In most cases, the condition is mild, occurs infrequently, and the cause is unknown. In some cases, iron deficiency, kidney failure, pregnancy, spinal disease and neurological disorders are the reasons.
* The relationship between RLS syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
An article in the American Academy of Neurology found that women with RLS had a higher rate of death from cardiovascular disease. People with RLS are twice as likely to have a stroke or heart disease than people without the condition.
This is likely because many people with RLS syndrome also have a movement disorder known as cyclic limb movement during sleep (PLMS).
Most patients don’t know they have PLMS because they move their legs while they’re asleep. Research has shown that during this active phase, a patient’s blood pressure rises dramatically, which over time contributes to cardiovascular disease.
So if you or a loved one has restless legs while sleeping, see your doctor to see if you’re at risk for heart disease.