Restless leg syndrome is an issue many women experience during pregnancy. Imagine going to bed at night, hoping to get a peaceful sleep, but you are met with the urge to move your legs constantly, a condition known as restless leg syndrome. It’s more than an urge — with RLS, feelings of itchiness, burning pulling, and creepy crawling on the leg are also pretty common. So, what’s the deal with restless leg syndrome and pregnancy? Continue reading to find out.
Restless Legs in Pregnancy Causes
The exact reason why restless legs syndrome occurs is unknown, but many scientists believe it could be due to an imbalance of brain chemical dopamine. Generally, dopamine helps with smooth and even muscle movements. This is because low levels of Vitamin D can interfere with dopamine activity, affecting the movement of the legs.
It is possible that the amount of folic acid or iron decreased during pregnancy, which gives way to restless legs syndrome. The data suggest that women with RLS during pregnancy had low folate, iron, and ferritin levels, but the results have not been consistent.
Moreover, the increased levels of estrogen during pregnancy can also lead to RLS. Other than this, a family history of restless leg syndrome, smoking, caffeine, and RLS in previous pregnancies can cause inadequate blood supply.
When you spend all night trying to calm the restless leg syndrome, it may make you sleepy and irritable during the day. That’s not all; restless legs before labor could result in extended labor and increase the chances of a C-section.
How to Help Restless Leg Syndrome During Pregnancy
RLS symptoms can disturb your sleep during the night, which means you should seek treatment from a medical professional. This could be challenging since the drugs usually used to treat restless leg syndromes are not extensively researched for pregnancy. Hence, there is insufficient data to determine if the treatment will pose any potential risk for the developing fetus. Still, treating restless leg syndrome during pregnancy is essential since it can result in complications such as prolonged labor, preeclampsia, and further challenges during labor.
Your doctor will determine how to treat restless leg syndrome based on your condition and pregnancy, which may help reduce the stress levels you may have. You can also do the following to help restless leg syndrome during pregnancy:
- Refrain from smoking.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Consult your doctor regarding medications that may lower dopamine action in the body.
- Massage and stretch your legs.
- Ask your doctor if you can wear compression socks.
- Try participating in moderate exercise regularly.
- Take warm baths.
- Opt for supplements if there is a deficiency.
- Doctors might recommend RLS medications if the above-mentioned factors do not show improvements.
Restless leg syndrome affects many women during pregnancy, which could be because of low iron levels, decreased folic acid, triggers, hormonal changes, and more. Your doctor can help determine the right treatment, helping your RLS.
At Sleep and Headache Solutions, we offer the best solutions to your problems. Call us now for your sleep issues or your head pain at 832-688-8886. You can also head to our clinic at 13114 FM 1960 West, Ste 105B, Houston, TX 77065.