Restless Legs need to run.

Apr 17

On a recent 3-hour flight back to New York, I experienced sensations from a dreaded condition that I haven’t felt in YEARS:  Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). After a 4-day hiatus from difficult workouts and eating mom’s homemade treats, sitting for hours on end didn’t help.  I was reminded of my past life at the office: sitting for 40 hours every week led to sleepless nights of ferocious kicking.  I learned that if I consumed too much caffeine, sugar or missed my workouts, I was a frustrated mess at night.  It was awful:  the feeling made me want to crawl outside of my body.  I joined a gym and my symptoms started to subside after exhausting workouts.  Fast forward to today, leading an active lifestyle is an essential component to restful sleep and becoming symptom-free.  Instead of sitting on my butt, I’m on my feet all day long!

After brief research, I found that RLS is a neurological disorder, the severity of these symptoms (tingling, burning, creeping sensations) can range from mildly uncomfortable to painful. RLS is usually a lifelong condition affecting at least 12 million Americans.  There may be a genetic factor involved: about half of all cases involve a family history of the condition.  My sister no longer suffers after she cut down on sugar, increased her intake of iron & calcium, gets moderate exercise and takes Rhus Tox when she travels.

Even though there’s no cure, the following factors may increase symptoms of RLS:

  • Higher body mass index, lack of exercise and cigarette smoking
  • People with diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyles (like my days in the office)
  • Too much alcohol and caffeine
  • Low levels of iron, folate and/or magnesium
  • Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester

Go get your active and healthy lifestyle and avoid this insanity-provoking syndrome.  It’s SO not fun.

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