Friday, October 26, 2012

Restless leg syndrome in pregnancy.

I have suffered from restless leg syndrome (RLS) myself in pregnancy and quite a few ladies have asked me about .  This article explains the research done on RLS and some practical advice if you have the symptoms.  Always speak to your midwife or your G.P. if you have any concerns.

     “Most of the time, when a woman experiences RLS in pregnancy, it disappears after the baby is born,” said Dr. Mauro Marconi, the study’s author and a researcher at Vita-Salute University in Milan, Italy. However, our results show that having the condition during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for a future chronic form or the short-term form in other pregnancies down the road.”

There is a lot you can do to take care of restless legs syndrome yourself. Mild restless legs syndrome (RLS) can often be treated with lifestyle changes alone. The following daytime habits can help reduce the frequency and severity of your restless legs symptoms.

Sleep better by sticking to a regular sleep schedule.  Fatigue can worsen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), so doing what it takes to get enough sleep is crucial. Try hitting the sack at the same time every night, allowing plenty of time for winding down (try warm baths or reading in bed).  

Exercise in moderation. Daily activity, including moderate aerobic exercise and lower-body resistance training, can significantly reduce the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Swim, go for a walk, take the stairs, or spend a few minutes doing jumping jacks. Keep in mind that excessive exercise—like training for a marathon—can actually make restless legs syndrome worse.

Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine often makes the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS) worse. Try reducing or eliminating your consumption of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and caffeine-containing foods such as chocolate.

Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Many people with restless legs syndrome find that their symptoms improve when they stop drinking and smoking.

Consider dietary supplements. Check with a doctor or nutritionist to find out if you’re low on iron, vitamin B, folic acid, or magnesium. Deficiencies can bring on restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Lose weight. If you’re overweight, dropping the extra pounds can often relieve or lessen the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS).

Try practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Stress can make RLS symptoms worse. Daily stretching and meditation can promote relaxation and alleviate restless legs syndrome (RLS).

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