Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome

Causes of Restless Legs (RLS)
Primary Cause of Restless Legs (RLS) 

Doctors and researchers are still trying to understand what causes RLS and they suspect that the genetics plays a role. Nearly half of people with RLS also have a family member with the condition. RLS usually starts before the age of 45, and some individuals have had symptoms since childhood. Symptoms will gradually worsen and occur more often over time.

Secondary causes off Restless Legs (RLS)

Secondary means it is caused by another disease process or condition. However, emerging research now suggests we may be able to influence other Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) causes, including issues related to circulation, inflammation, neurotransmitter production, muscle function and nutrient depletion. Individuals with secondary RLS sypmtoms usually begin after the age of 45 and does not tend to be hereditary. If you have this type you will experience a more abrupt onset and symptoms do not usually get worse as time goes by. However, some medications used to treat may themselves worse your symptoms due to augmentation, tolerance or withdrawl.

RLS may be triggered by other conditions and diseases

The following diseases and symptoms have been known to trigger Restless Legs (RLS) include:

  • Diabetes
  • Iron deficiency
  • Kidney failure
  • Parkinson disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
Medication Causes

Some medications can also trigger Restless Legs (RLS). Sypmtoms come on abruptly and starts later in life and may be more severe.

In the last 20 years, there has been a substantial amount of research into understanding the cause of RLS.  From that research there appears to be three factors which are pertinent to the disease:  brain concentrations of iron, brain dopamine concentrations and genes. – Center for Restless Legs (RLS), John Hopkins