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Restless legs cause loss of sleep

March 23, 2009 17:01 IST

One in ten people around the world are unable to sleep at night due to a medical condition, characterised by an uncontrollable urge to move their legs, which can negatively impact patients' quality of life, say medical experts.
 
The Restless Legs Syndrome, one of the most common cause of sleep disturbance is usually accompanied by uncomfortable and often painful sensations in the legs.
 
"Nobody knows how bad it is. You cannot explain this horrible feeling in your legs that makes you move constantly," says RLS patient Sue, featured on a new website. The site,
http://www.rlsunderthecovers.com, reports Asianet, brings together leading medical experts in the field of RLS dedicated to research and treatment of this neurological disorder and contributions of patients affected by the condition.
 
Like Sue, up to one-third of those affected experience symptoms at least twice every week causing moderate to severe
distress.
 
"Patients have a kind of creepy crawly feeling while sitting or lying down and a recurrent urge or need to keep moving their legs. The condition is worse during the evenings and night compared to day time," says Dr J C Suri, of the Sleep Disorder clinic at Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi [Images].
 
Such patients find that the RLS interferes with their sleep, says Suri adding that the condition is treatable.

Richard P. Allen, Secretary of the World Association of Sleep Medicine says, "I have conducted medical research in the field of RLS for over 30 years, but still encounter many misconceptions about the condition. The condition warrants appropriate medical attention just as would any other neurological condition."

Restless Legs Syndrome affects upto ten per cent of the population worldwide aged between 30 and 79 years and around one-third of sufferers experience symptoms more than twice weekly causing moderate to severe distress. The sleep disruption can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and compromise on work performance. RLS also has considerable impact on social activities that require immobility.

"People are still trying to find the exact cause of the syndrome. Many experts say it might be caused due to a lack of iron in the body and we have found that in India most women are prone to be anemeic so most RLS patients are found to be women , young females and those who are pregnant," explains Dr Suri.




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