Does Gender Play a role in RLS?

I read a book on Restless Leg Syndrome by a Robert H. Yoakum who relates a German study involving over 4000 people. It found that RLS is more prevalent in women with 3 or more children by 3 times the risk as compared to men and women with no children. He also states that that is corroborated by another study in which significantly more women reported early-onset  RLS compared to men.

He’s conclusions were that it may be that iron and hormones pay a critical role, particularly since so many women not only experience RLS for the first time during pregnancy, but also find that their symptoms often disappear after delivery, especially if they haven’t had any previous signs of RLS.

I believe this to be true, because of my own experience not only with taking iron but the dramatic decrease in my RLS when I started taking Bio-Identical Hormones.

Just some more things to think about.


Wraps and Cooler Rooms Help RLS?

I visit different forums on restless legs quite often, because I think people that have RLS, and have found things that work for them are some of the best resources for help. I have included just a few of those comments today. Use whatever information you think might help your restless legs.

“Wrapping ace bandages around my legs just above & below my knees helps to alleviate their inner urge to move.”
“One woman said she massaged her legs with some kind of cream (wish I could remember what it was) then slipped stretchy leg/ankle? Wraps over them, & this gave her a fairly good nights sleep.”

“A tidbit of info I read that resonates with me is that our bedrooms should be cool. If my feet and legs are not too warm, I am less likely to have problems with rls in bed.” “I had some miserable nights last summer that I think were brought on by my legs and feet being too warm due to the heat and humidity. This year I wanted to do my best to keep my bedroom as comfortable as possible. We just had a 4 day bout of high heat and humidity and I kept my bedroom comfortable {lower temp on the A/C and brought more cool air to the bedroom vent}. The temperature of my legs and feet was good and I had no problems with rls.”

“I had the experience of wrapping myself up in ace bandages. Looked like a mummy one day. Thats when it hit me to wear compression stockings. It really works. Yes, sometimes in the ankle, sometimes, the calf, or thigh or even up into the groin. If my legs are driving me nuts when just watching TV on the couch, I know that sleeping will be bad. The support stockings, are like ace bandages all the way up your legs. Compression on the legs, satisfies the need to move. If you haven’t tried it yet, try the medical grade compression stocking thing. just my two cents.”


Gene Found That Could Contribute to RLS

In the New England Journal of Medicine it is reported that they have discovered a gene that could cause RLS or periodic limb movements in sleep. It goes on to say that in the search for sequence variants contributing to RLS they;

“… performed a genomewide association study and two replication studies. To minimize phenotypic heterogeneity, we focused on patients with RLS who had objectively documented periodic limb movements in sleep. We measured serum ferritin levels, since iron depletion has been associated with pathogenesis of RLS.”

It goes on to say that the conclusions they found were;

” We have discovered a variant associated with susceptibilty to periodic limb movements in sleep. The inverse correlation to the variant with iron stores is consistent with suspected involvement of iron depletion in the pathogenesis of the disease.”

They feel that with this discovery it may lead to new approaches for preventing or alleviating the symptoms asssociated with RLS.

I think this is a major breakthrough and wanted to share the good news. If you want to read the whole article look under the title of “A Genetic Risk Factor for Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep”