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Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that affects approximately 5 to 10% of the US adult population. It causes an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations like itching, burning, or tingling.
The symptoms usually occur at night or during periods of rest, often leading to sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, daytime sleepiness, anxiety, and depression. Supporting someone with RLS can be challenging, but there are many ways to help. In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to support someone with RLS.
The first step in supporting someone with RLS is to educate yourself about the condition. RLS is a complex disorder, and understanding the various causes, symptoms, triggers, and treatment options available is key to providing reliable support to your loved one. You conduct research online, talk to a professional, or join online support groups or forums to connect with other caregivers and individuals with RLS.
Living with RLS can be frustrating and exhausting, and it is critical to be empathetic and understanding toward your loved one. Try to listen actively and acknowledge their feelings. Avoid making assumptions or minimizing their symptoms, as this can be invalidating.
RLS symptoms are often worse at night, making it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep. Helping your loved one establish a relaxing bedtime routine can be beneficial. Encourage them to unwind before bed by engaging in calming activities like reading, listening to music, or taking a warm bath. Investing in a comfy mattress and removing any distractions from the bedroom (i.e., TVs, electronic devices, etc.) can also help create a more restful environment.
Regular exercise can help reduce RLS symptoms and improve overall sleep quality. Encourage your loved one to engage in moderate exercises like walking, biking, or swimming daily. Exercise can help reduce stress and fatigue, promote muscle relaxation and healthy blood circulation, and improve sleep – all of which are vital in managing RLS.
A healthy diet can also help alleviate RLS symptoms in the long run. Encourage your loved one to consume a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, magnesium, and vitamin D. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, and whole grains are excellent sources of these essential nutrients. Additionally, avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, as these can worsen RLS symptoms.
Alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture, and yoga can also help reduce RLS symptoms. Encourage your loved one to explore these options and find what works best for them. Massage can help improve blood circulation and reduce muscle tension, while acupuncture can help balance energy flow in the body. Yoga can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
RLS is a chronic condition that can worsen over time and lead to decreased quality of life. Encourage your loved one to seek medical treatment if their symptoms are affecting their quality of life. A doctor specializing in RLS treatment can prescribe medication and recommend other interventions to help alleviate symptoms and improve sleep quality.
Supporting someone with RLS can be challenging, but it is important to be patient, empathetic, and understanding. Encourage your loved one to prioritize self-care, practice healthy coping techniques, and be ready to seek professional help if necessary. Reach out to avIVa Infusions today to learn about the RLS treatment and support options we offer!