Tag Archives: triggers

Restless Leg Syndrome (Part 1) Symptoms and Triggers

About a tenth of the American adult population (and 2% of children) are afflicted with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). According to the National Sleep Foundation, RLS, also known as Willis-Ekborn disease is “a sleep-related movement disorder is known best for its overwhelming and often unpleasant urges to move the legs while at rest.” It is often referred to as a neurological disorder as well.

Symptoms of RLS

RLS is a complex, case-dependent condition and symptoms range widely from person to person, some of which may be difficult to articulate. Commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Tingling of the legs (and sometimes other areas of the body)
  • An overpowering urge to move the legs in an attempt to relieve discomfort
  • Involuntary twitches and movements of the legs
  • A feeling of pulling or tugging at the legs during the night
  • Itching or irritation of the legs
  • Aching of the legs or frequent muscle spasms or cramps
  • ‘Crawling’ sensation or the feeling of something foreign coursing the veins of the legs
  • Jerking of the legs keeps you or your partner awake often during the night
  • Symptoms most often happen while you are resting or during the night
  • Tiredness during the day due to impaired sleep
  • Symptoms are often greatly relieved by repetitive movements or stretching

What Worsens RLS?

1. Stress is one of the biggest RLS triggers, if you can learn to manage your stress and anxiety it can greatly decrease symptoms.

2. While moderate exercise is beneficial to RLS, vigorous exercise may actually have an adverse impact on the condition because of the extreme stimulation and exhaustion of the muscles.

3. Certain medications such as heart or blood pressure medications, allergy medications or anti-depressants can trigger symptoms.

4. Herbal or dietary supplements can also adversely affect RLS, so it is important to cross check all your medications and supplements with your doctor or pharmacist.

5. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine have also been associated with exacerbating RLS (caffeine and nicotine because of their stimulant effect on the body).

6. Extreme temperatures have also been linked to worsened RLS symptoms.

7. Lastly, diet has an impact on the condition. Certain sugar-loaded and highly processed foods have been associated with flare-ups.

How is RLS Diagnosed?

There is no one test that can confirm RLS, it is largely based on the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may also run a series of tests to rule out potential underlying conditions that can cause similar neurological symptoms such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A B12 or other vitamin deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia

Thus concludes our look at the causes, prevalence and symptoms of RLS – stay tuned for medical, homeopathic and lifestyle treatment options for RLS in our next post! Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you suspect you may have RLS or have any questions about management, sign up today for a video conference with one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians!


Telemedicine for Asthma And Allergy Care

Spring brings plenty of seasonal irritants along with it, so we thought it was an opportune time to examine the benefits of telemedicine as an option for continued allergy and asthma healthcare. Telemedicine can be a beneficial means of care for many other chronic illnesses such as arthritis, skin conditions, diabetes or stroke aftercare, so why not asthma and allergies? Studies already show that telemedicine is making major strides in asthma day-to-day care and maintenance.

Technology Aided Monitoring

Our modern world brandishes advanced technology including sharper images, HD screens and crisp audio. These attributes make it easy to diagnose and monitor chronic conditions such as allergies via telemedicine. If a person suffers from worsening hives, they can send photos of the different stages, as well as show a telemedicine doctor via teleconference the condition of their skin. A telemedicine doctor can also clearly see swelling, rashes and bloodshot or irritated eyes. When it comes to asthmatics, the doctor will be able to hear any wheezing or breathing changes that may be present, making it easy to assess the state of a patient’s condition. He or she will also be able to see potential physical characteristics such as blue/purple lips or nails, or pale skin and under-eye bags which may be indicative of inadequate sleep due to an asthma flare-up.

Get Prescriptions Filled Or Changed

Based on the doctor’s assessment of the progression of the patient’s allergies or asthma, the doctor can alter antihistamine levels or brands, change up puffers, or prescribe corticosteroids if need be. Doctors can send the prescriptions straight to the patient’s pharmacy and arrange for them to be home delivered.

Continued Medical Advice

Sometimes, especially with asthma, patients simply need general advice, or reassurance on the status of their condition. If a patient is having trouble sleeping or feels like they may be breathing extra shallow, a telemedicine consult can help determine whether the patient should be concerned and seek primary or emergency treatment soon, or if they are okay and should just up their puffers and try to relax. This is a helpful resource as the person likely doesn’t want to waste hours in an emergency room or try to get a doctor’s appointment just to be told they simply need to temporarily up their puffers, especially since clinic environments are dangerous for an asthmatic’s weakened immune system. In this way, telemedicine doctors can act as convenience triage for asthmatics.

Convenience During Pollen Season

This method of healthcare can be extremely convenient during hay fever months if the person has a bad allergy to pollen, or if their asthma flares up because of it. Those who are hypersensitive to pollen will want to spend as much time inside as possible so as not to worsen their condition. Being able to check in with a doctor without having to head out into a threatening cloud of pollen and wait in a germy clinic when their resistance is already down would be a big plus for hay fever sufferers or asthmatics during this time of year.

Feel free to call, email or visit DocChat‘s website to set up a video consultation with one of our highly skilled physicians about your allergies or asthma today. Thanks for visiting, hope to see you soon!