Willis-Ekbom disease, better known as restless legs syndrome, can cause unpleasant feelings in your legs and create an urge to move them. According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, you will most likely notice these symptoms in late afternoon or evening. But the most severe cases happen late at night when you are lying or sitting in your bed. If you or your loved one have experienced these symptoms, you probably suffer from restless legs syndrome.
RLS is medically classified as a sleeping disorder, and it affects 7% to 10% of America’s population. This disorder can occur at any age, but it is most pronounced in the elderly. For this age group, it can create serious issues with their sleep and cause them an enormous amount of pain. What is even worse is that most older adults fail to recognize RLS, and they never treat the symptoms but continue living in constant discomfort. Sleep is one of the most critical parts of our lives, and unfortunately most of us will experience sleep problems during our lifespans. Because of this, it is essential to tell the difference between one night of inadequate sleep and severe forms of sleep disorders. The good news is that restless legs disorder can be treated relatively easily with changes in diet and lifestyle overall. With small changes, you can go back to regular nights of sleep.
Foods That Cause Restless Legs Syndrome
Many aspects of our health are influenced by diet, and RLS is one of them. Foods and drinks that cause restless legs syndrome are those that contain high levels of caffeine, because substances rich in caffeine can stimulate our brain. If you start feeling the symptoms of RLS, you should avoid tea, chocolate, coffee, fried and processed foods, and foods rich in sugar. People who are overweight are more likely to experience this syndrome than those who aren’t.
Foods That Help with Restless Legs Syndrome
In addition to reducing the intake of foods and drinks that can cause RLS, it is also essential that you start consuming those that will have the opposite effect. One of the main reasons for this syndrome is an iron deficiency. Iron is in charge of moving the oxygen through our bodies, and it affects our sound sleep. Because of this, older adults that have issues with this syndrome should consume foods rich in iron. By doing this, they will also avoid having anemia which is one of the most common problems in seniors. The foods that contain high levels of iron include red meat, fish, poultry, green leafy vegetables, and all sorts of beans. Unrefined grains are also recommended as they contain reasonable levels of magnesium which is an ideal addition to your diet.
Other Ways to Manage Restless Legs Syndrome
Dietary changes are ideal for getting rid of restless legs syndrome, but there are also other ways to handle it. RLS can also be managed by regular workouts. Elderly adults should also try to use tools such as a foam roller. The combination of healthy diet and exercising is one of the most effective ways in which you can battle this syndrome. By using foam rollers, you can massage and relax the areas of your legs that have been hit with RLS. Another tool that you can find useful is a weighted blanket. A blanket that has additional weight can help the elderly fight conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression, all of which can be caused by this syndrome. It is also worth noting that if your loved one is a smoker, they should stop this unhealthy habit straight away, as it also can have an adverse effect on sleep.
Featured Image Source: www.pixabay.com