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Restless Leg Syndrome Specialist

Texas Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine Specialist located in Austin, TX

Approximately 10 percent of Americans suffer from restless leg syndrome. Dr. Gowda and the team at Texas Sleep Medicine treat patients from in and around Austin, Texas who suffer from this uncomfortable condition.

Restless Leg Syndrome Q & A

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that is relieved by moving or stimulating the legs. Through movement, the individual is provided with temporary relief and reduction of any pain associated with the disorder. Sensations often occur at night and during sleep, but can happen throughout the day while the body is at rest, such as while riding in the car, watching TV, reading, or lying down. Having a mild case may not cause disturbance to your sleep, however, it can lessen your quality of sleep making you feel more tired during the day.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?

The primary symptom is the uncomfortable sensations felt in an individual’s leg during inactivity. These sensations are paired with an urge to move their legs until the feeling subsides. It may be hard for some to describe the sensations they feel, if they have this disorder they may feel:

  • Itching
  • Crawling
  • Burning
  • Creeping
  • Throbbing
  • Pulling
  • Tingling
  • Flowing

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

In some cases, the cause may be unknown to physicians. It is most commonly known to affect those over the age of 45, however, it can appear in patients at any age. As an individual gets older, the likelihood of having the disorder increases. It also appears more frequently in women than it does in men. Genetics play an important role, having a family member with this disorder means you are more likely to develop it before the age of 45. Other health-related concerns that can be a likely cause are listed below:

  • Low iron levels
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Side effect of medication

What Are the Associated Health Risks?

Most individuals affected with this disorder do not view it as a serious health risk and therefore do not receive treatment. If left untreated, symptoms can become more severe, causing more suffering to the individual and a possibility of acquiring other associated health risks. Those who are severely affected may receive less than 5 hours of sleep at night due to the common interruptions that can occur. Over time the loss of sleep can reduce an individual’s quality of life.

How Can Restless Leg Syndrome Be Diagnosed?

In order to receive a diagnosis, you will want to schedule an appointment with a certified sleep doctor where you will receive a physical examination and have a discussion of your medical history. If there is evidence you may be suffering from this disorder a sleep study will be performed at our center. Following the study, your doctor will interpret the data in order to give you an accurate diagnosis.

How Is Restless Leg Syndrome Treated?

  • Physical Activity: Having this disorder is often your body’s way of telling you that it needs more movement or less stress throughout the day. Exercise and stress reduction can be leading factors in finding relief. Try developing a simple workout routine to stimulate your body and exert some of that energy. If exercise is not the problem, stress can be a leading factor as well. Try taking a warm bath or get a massage to relax your muscles.
  • Minimize Stimulants/Chemicals: Avoiding stimulants and alcohol can greatly increase the effectiveness of your sleep cycle. Try minimizing the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume throughout the day.
  • Medication: For a list of acceptable medications for treating restless leg syndrome, please contact Texas Sleep Medicine.

Accepted Insurance Providers

We accept plans from the following providers, please contact our office to determine whether your specific plan is accepted. This list may be subject to change.

Averde Health
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Galaxy Healthcare PPO
Interplan Health Group PPO