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You can do that against restless legs

Anita Erni can remember well: she was lying in bed, was exhausted, wanted to sleep. Nevertheless, she had to get up. Her legs forced them to do so. They tingled and wanted to be moved. "It felt as if I had ants in the legs," she says. So Anita Erni went to the kitchen and drank a glass of water. Then, she lay back. An hour later, the process repeated itself: Anita Erni stood up, went in the corridor. "Most of the time I had to get up at night three times in the hour rhythm," says the 55-Year-old from St. Margarethen TG, who works at the hospital Frauenfeld as Secretary.

Anita Erni suffers from Restless Legs syndrome (RLS): restless legs. The disease can be Affected hardly sleep. Thanks to medicines Anita Erni has today only about every two months complaints.

patients describe the symptoms very differently. Käthie Scherrer, 80, felt simply "an incredible urge to get up and walk around". You came this need, was the feeling immediately, put it back, returned it within the shortest possible time.

Like coke in the veins

According to Christian Baumann, conductive neurologist at the University hospital of Zurich, suffering approximately five percent of the population in the RLS. Women are affected more often than men. The doctor knows the various definitions of suffering. "The patients have to bother to take the complaints into words," he says. The discussions of bloated legs, others say it feels like you have Cola in the veins. The descriptions of the Affected together, the feeling is incredibly uncomfortable and the urge to move the legs, huge.

The symptoms usually occur only in the evening and in the night. Why this is so, no one knows. "This is one of the many secrets of the Restless Legs syndrome," said Christian Baumann. Largely unknown, the causes of RLS.

iron deficiency as a trigger

The doctors distinguish between idiopathic and secondary RLS. Both of these forms are hereditary. So far, it was not possible to identify a single Gene as the cause. Researchers assume that it is a complex genetic inheritance pattern that causes a disturbance in the nervous system.

In idiopathic RLS, the symptoms appear suddenly and often before the age of 45. Age year on. In the case of the secondary Form, the patients have the same genetic predisposition, the symptoms, but only in connection with other diseases, or changes in metabolism. Most often RLS is caused by iron deficiency, but also renal diseases, Diabetes or pregnancy can cause the syndrome.

In Käthie Scherrer, the father was already suffering the syndrome, in the case of Anita Erni, the mother was affected by a doctor it was diagnosed with any of the two. "I remember how my father went out at night in the corridor to and from and we when driving sometimes, "the legs vertrampen" had to," says Käthie Scherrer. Her mother explains that the father could not lie long or sit still.

"the Restless Legs syndrome, then it remains in the rule."Christian Baumann, a neurologist

Then, in the 1940s and 50s, was the Restless Legs syndrome is still little known. Though the English doctor Thomas Willis, described as early as 1685, the symptoms, but only in 1945, it was introduced by the Swedish neurologist Karl-Axel Ekbom as a separate disease with the name Restless Legs syndrome in the literature. In Käthie Scherrer, the disease occurred when she was 37 years old. A name she had not for a long time. "I just said, I have the leg itch," she says. The doctor got Valium to calm prescribed. Only towards the end of the 80s, it became clear what Käthie Scherrer suffered.

the suspected RLS, is first checked for the iron content in the blood. "We see that there is a defect or the iron value in a deep-but-still-normal range is, we fill the iron stores," said Christian Baumann. As a result, the RLS can be alleviated complaints.

there Is no iron deficiency and other diseases for the complaints responsible to administer the Doctors often dopamine agonists. These are substances which mimic the action of dopamine. Long do the symptoms of RLS with L-Dopa were treated. This is the precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays a major role in the control of physical movement. In the brain L-Dopa to dopamine. Since a few years, to be administered in addition often anti-epileptic drugs.

the restlessness in the legs for a short time subside: A cold shower. Illustration: Leandro Alzate

to Cure the disease is not, until today. "The Restless Legs syndrome, then it remains in the rule," says the neurologist Christian Baumann. That someone could stop taking the medication after five years, are unlikely to be the waiver of that nonsense.

"I Forget to take the medication, the discomfort immediately," says Käthie Scherrer. She takes the first pill at 17, the second before she goes to bed. "I would like to visit in the evening a concert, I need to take a tablet," says the 80-Year-old from Weinfelden, TG. Otherwise it is not. In the case of air travel, it always makes sure to sit on the aisle, and takes a tablet. "It's not worth it, Yes to torture."

patients swap tips

to take on Time the medication RLS help patients most, says Christian Baumann. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise, be sure also not bad.

in addition to the medicines, Affected to put on the various methods to relieve your symptoms a bit. Some patients feel an improvement, if you abstain from alcohol, nicotine, coffee, and chocolate. Others swear by massage, Stretching, and climbing the stairs before bed. Käthie Scherrer exchange their tips in an RLS support group in Winterthur. Anita Erni, directs such in St. Gallen. She is the President of the Swiss Association of Restless Legs, to belong to the twelve regional self-help groups.

Occur in the case of Anita Erni, the complaints, despite the drugs, once again, distracts you with PC-Games. Or are you looking for a Rosamunde-Pilcher-movie. "I can fall asleep at best," she says. Käthie Scherrer not helped it in previous years, as the Restless Legs syndrome was so pronounced, to shower the legs cold. "Sometimes I did this two or three times per night," she says. Today, your help just the drugs. The choice and dosage of medications needed in tact. Drugs can even lead to a worsening of symptoms. This phenomenon is called Augmentation. It turns on, start the complaints already during the day or through access to other parts of the body. Anita Erni has experienced: "Suddenly, I felt the tingling in the arms and hands," she says. The was unbearable. "I even imagined, to me, the hands cut off."

antidepressants exacerbate RLS

"can you Increase the drug dose, and the complaints, we must respond," said Christian Baumann from the University hospital Zurich. Then you should change the medication in order to get the RLS symptoms. The most common L-Dopa preparations can trigger an Augmentation. "Therefore it is administered today, increasingly, dopamine agonists and anti-epileptic drugs," said Christian Baumann. In the case of these drugs the risk of Augmentation is low.

antidepressants may increase the symptoms of Restless Legs syndrome also have or even cause. This was the case of Anita Erni. At the age of 36 she was in a difficult phase of life and had to take antidepressants. "Because the symptoms of RLS occurred," she recalls. Initially, she attributed this to the mental Overload – until you told a work colleague from the RLS. Since it was clear that she suffered from this disease. The antidepressants could settle Anita Erni, after some time, the Restless Legs syndrome remained.

"The research in the area of RLS is a little frustrating."Christian Baumann, a neurologist

Käthie Scherrer and Anita Erni have the complaints, thanks to the drugs now under control. Both say they can sleep well tonight. But very rarely there are nights where the symptoms are forcing you to get Up.

the Restless Legs syndrome no more – reaching consequences, such as paralysis or death, could be one of the reasons that the RLS is still poorly understood. "In diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease, the research community is much larger," says the neurologist Christian Baumann. Therefore, you'll be in these areas forward. "The research in the area of RLS is a little frustrating." In recent years, no major breakthrough had been achieved.

help for self-help: info on ailments, therapies and research of the Swiss Restless Legs self-help group.

(the Swiss family)

Created: 14.03.2019, 20:43 PM

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