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Restless leg syndrome causes an extreme urge for those affected to move their legs, especially at night. This often leads to difficulty in sleeping and daytime drowsiness. However, lack of sleep may not be the worst of the effects caused by this condition. Research is showing that those who suffer from restless leg syndrome have an increased risk of developing heart disease, as well as an increased risk of early death.
A study by Mayo Clinic found that those with more severe cases of restless leg syndrome, meaning that the legs twitch more than 35 times per hour, were more likely to have thicker hearts. This thickening of the heart can lead to a greater risk of individuals developing cardiovascular disease or other heart problems over time. Restless leg syndrome might simply be a symptom of heart trouble in these people.
A Harvard study showed that men who suffer from restless leg syndrome are 39 percent more likely to die earlier than those without the condition. Although this association was discovered, it was merely through observation, and no link was determined. More research will be needed to determine how much restless leg syndrome actually affects the risk of dying.
Another study by Harvard showed a link between women with restless leg syndrome and high blood pressure. Women who suffered from this condition were 41 percent more likely to have higher blood pressure than those who did not display symptoms. The worse the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, the higher the blood pressure. However, researchers suggested that following a healthy lifestyle could reduce this risk.
See your doctor for recommendations on minimizing symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Home remedies include the use of over-the-counter pain remedies, establishing good sleep patterns, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and engaging in mild to moderate exercise. Taking time out to manage anxiety and stress is important as well. It is also helpful to massage legs before going to bed. Emu Therapy's Foot & Leg Comfort Cream with Emu Oil can help relax muscles, increase circulation, and provide cooling relief to help decrease symptoms associated with restless leg syndrome.