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Restless Legs Syndrome and Vein Symptoms

Restless Legs Syndrome and Vein Symptoms Can Vein Disease Cause Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Symptoms of RLS and Venous Insufficiency

The symptoms of venous insufficiency are almost identical to the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. RLS is common. Up to 3-10% of the population has symptoms of RLS[1]; whereas, venous insufficiency is also common occurs in 25% of the US population[2]. Both cause symptoms which include: abnormal sensations of crawling which is only relieved by moving the legs, irresistible urge to move legs, persistent leg movements during sleep, sleep difficulty, tingling, burning, aching, and numbness. The symptoms of both RLS and vein problems are relieved by movement of the legs. RLS and vein disease are usually noticed with change in position, such as lying down and standing. RLS symptoms tend to be more noticed when first lying down; where as, vein disease symptoms tend to be more noticed when standing.

Restless Leg Syndrome and Venous Insufficiency

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is considered a sleep disorder. Venous insufficiency is a circulatory disorder. The cause of RLS is unknown but it appears to have multiple causes. Some cases are associated with iron deficiency, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders. However, it is clear that some RLS is caused by venous insufficiency. Recent medical research shows that 22% of patients with RLS also have venous insufficiency[3]. In addition, the treatment of venous insufficiency can cure the symptoms of RLS. In fact in patient with RLS and venous insufficiency, 98% had relief of their symptoms of RLS by treating their venous insufficiency and 80% of patients the relief was long term[4] [> 2ys].

[1] : Where dopamine meets opiodis: a meta-analysis of the placebo effect in restless legs syndrome treatment studies.

Fulda S, Stalla Wetter TC.

J Neurol. 2007 Dec;254(12):1748-9. Epub 2007 Nov. 9. No abstract available.

PMID: 17990060 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[2] Langer RD, Ho E. Denenbery JO, Fronek A, Allison M, Criqui MH. Relationships Between Symptoms and Venous Disease: The San Diego population study, Arch Intern Med.2005.165:1420-1424.

[3]  The effect of sclerotherapy on restless legs syndrome.

Kanter AH.

Dermatol Surg. 1995 Apr;21(4):328-32.

PMID: 7728485 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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[4] The effect of endovenous laser ablation on restless legs syndrome.

Hayes CA, Kingsley JR, Hamby KR, Carlow J.

Phlebology. 2008;23(3):112-7.

PMID: 18467618 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]