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Exploring the Connection Between Restless Leg Syndrome and Varicose Veins

Posted on July 14, 2023

Involuntary leg movements during sleep or prolonged sitting are likely the result of restless leg syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom Disease. RLS symptoms include fatigue, inability to sleep, jerking and twitching in the legs, and consistent discomfort. This neurological disorder, which affects 7-10% of the population, causes an insatiable urge to move the legs. The ailment usually occurs in middle-aged people, primarily women, and the effects become more frequent with age. However, RLS can occur at any stage of life.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

The cause for RLS remains mostly undetermined. However, the issue is often linked to other ailments like kidney disease and iron deficiency. Medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics, as well as nausea-related medicines, have been linked to RLS. Other associated illnesses include Parkinson’s Disease, Amyloidosis, and diabetes. Scientific studies have also linked restless leg syndrome to varicose veins, noting that treating varicose veins battles RLS symptoms.

The Connection Between Varicose Veins and RLS

Varicose veins are a well-known venous insufficiency, the most common venous disease affecting 25% of women and 15% of men. Because of the poor circulation of blood caused by venous insufficiency, blood pools in the superficial veins of the leg. This leads to swollen blood vessels that are raised, purple, and usually uncomfortable.

Studies taking place since 1995 have connected RLS and varicose veins. One such study indicated that of 137 patients, 78% of those with venous insufficiency suffered from restless legs when sleeping or sitting.

We already know that RLS has been linked to iron deficiency, but low iron is also a common theme with venous insufficiency. Many of those afflicted with low iron levels have also dealt with varicose veins and symptoms that overlap with restless leg syndrome.

Poor circulation, while tied to the occurrence of varicose or spider veins, also contributes to overall discomfort in the legs. RLS results from this lack of circulation because of a fluid buildup.

Varicose Vein Treatments that Benefit RLS

Treatments for both RLS and varicose veins coincide with one another. Generally, getting more exercise, losing weight, and avoiding long bouts of standing or sitting can treat the aggravating symptoms of RLS. These are also beneficial efforts when it comes to varicose veins. In addition, compression stockings are recommended by doctors to help in both circumstances.

Vein specialists, like those at Varicosity Vein Center, might also suggest sclerotherapy, which involves injecting the damaged vein with a sealant to block the blood flow and divert it to other veins. This causes the large, protruding veins to shrink and disappear, which in turn correlates to a calming of RLS symptoms. Another well-known treatment option is laser treatment. During laser treatment, the vein is heated and closed, ultimately shrinking the problematic veins.

Your Treatment

If you’re concerned that you might be experiencing RLS or varicose veins, it’s best to seek treatment. At Varicosity Vein Center, our skilled experts can help you find comfort again. Set up a consultation with us to discuss the best course of action for your leg and vein wellness.

Consult With Alabama’s Premier Vein Specialists

When you come to the best, you can expect the best. Begin your journey to optimal results by scheduling your consultation with one of our renowned vein specialists today. We look forward to providing you with the most enjoyable and effective vein treatments in Alabama.

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