Restless Leg Syndrome, more commonly known as RLS, can be treated in a number of ways. Often caused by venous insufficiency condition such as varicose veins, RLS can be treated with sclerotherapy, prescribed medications, iron supplements and stress-reducing lifestyle changes designed to help you manage symptoms.
The most commonly used medications for treating RLS are:
- Dopaminergic agents – These medications boost the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter needed to produce smooth, purposeful muscle movements unlike the involuntary movements that mark RLS. These medications can help reduce symptoms of moderate to severe RLS when taken at bedtime. However, they’re meant for initial, short-term treatment. Long-term use can cause symptoms to worsen.
- Benzodiazepines – These drugs are prescribed primarily for those who have mild or intermittent RLS symptoms. They’re also effective in treating treat anxiety, muscle spasms, and insomnia – all conditions thought to be related to or contribute to RLS.
- Anticonvulsants – An anticonvulsant may help decrease the sensory disturbances – those telltale creeping sensations and nerve pain.
- Opioids – RLS victims with severe symptoms may be prescribed an opioid like oxycodone or codeine to help alleviate pain, promote relaxation and improve sleep.
Because iron deficiency anemia can be an underlying cause of RLS, boosting your iron intake whether via diet choices or iron supplements, may help as well.
Additional Treatments for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) are:
Depending upon the frequency and severity of your RLS symptoms, your vein specialist may prescribe iron supplements, medications or a combination thereof. Dr. James St. George, founder of Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center also recommends healthy lifestyle choices including nixing your caffeine, tobacco or alcohol habit; exercising regularly; and adopting a diet of foods containing vitamins C, E, B6 and B12, or copper, fiber and bioflavonoids.
Only an experienced vein specialist can help you decide the best treatment approach for your RLS. If you suffer symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, contact the St. Johns Vein Center at 877-640-VEIN (8346) and schedule a consultation today.