Restless Legs In Pregnancy – An Overview
Recent studies have shown that nearly one-third of all pregnant women within the United States, suffers from some type of restless legs syndrome or (RLS). People who have experienced these similar symptoms like restless legs syndrome describe the ongoing condition as a reoccurring feeling as a pinching, poking, jerking, and burning sensation that produces inside their limbs an overwhelming urge to move their legs to get rid of it. In a nighttime setting moving the legs around in a swift manner often helps them overcome the condition, but it also results in a loss of sleep for those affected or their sleeping partner.
Causes of RLS in Pregnancy
There are no proven scientific causes of the disease at hand but there have been many factors which when coming together can trigger the symptoms. The most common factor that scientist believe in, is an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, that is a possible trigger to set the disease in motion. That chemical is supposed to help keep muscle movements regular.
During pregnancy, women go through several bodily changes owing to changes in the level of hormones. RLS in pregnant women may be attributed to a lack of enough folic acid or iron. Some evidence also suggests that increase in estrogen levels during pregnancy may cause RLS. So maybe by looking into that matter a little bit more we could find out what causes restless legs in bed.
Spending the night in calming your legs can make people feel sleepy, groggy and irritable during the day.The RLS can result in women having a longer labor and needing a C-section. Here is something that my wife tried and that is getting acupuncture for restless leg syndrome as it can help channel the electrical signals that are essentially flowing through your legs and making them twitchy.
Treating RLS in a Pregnant Woman
Pregnancy itself can complicate matters. Women often experience pain and other irregularities in their routine that always hampers any type normal sleep routines. If the symptoms are severe enough, interrupting sleep night after night, consulting a doctor to get treated should be the preferred course of action.
The doctor will, however, have to understand if the restless legs are the result of imbalances or other causes such as genetic. A simple blood test is usually prescribed. to get a full spectrum of the overall health of the individual.
Drugs typically used to treat restless legs syndromes, such as Requip (ropinirole) and Mirapex (pramipexole), have not been studied extensively in pregnant women for obvious reasons. Hence, it is not known if there is a potential risk to a developing fetus if the woman proceeds with the treatment.
Usually before prescribing any medicine for restless legs syndrome, the doctor should check the patient’s iron levels. If they are found to be low, he will suggest an iron supplement. In many cases where iron deficiency is found in the body, a supplement is enough to correct RLS.
A woman with RLS may have trouble sleeping which may affect her health adversely if it is recurring. Hence if the RLS symptoms persist even after iron deficiency has been treated, doctors will prescribe an opioid (narcotic) medication. But there are risks of withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Hence opioids are typically given for a short period.
Also, the FDA has approved a device for treating RLS. A vibrating pad by the name of Relaxis is placed under the legs while you’re in bed. It is available only by prescription. Other treatments include a change in lifestyle such as avoiding drinking coffee, soda or other caffeinated drinks, exercising every day and getting into bed on a regular time. You can also get up and walk or massage the legs.
Now if you’ve like what you have heard but you want a catered program specifically for those who are going to give birth Watch this video here!