JUL 06, 2017 01:03 PM PDT
Why are my legs so restless?
1 5 521

Restless leg syndrome, known as RLS in the medical world, is a real condition, and it's more than just feeling jittery in your legs. RLS is a neurological condition that makes you feeling a throbbing or pulling sensation in your legs which gives you an unignorable urge to move your legs. For people who suffer from RLS, sitting and lying down for any prolonged amount of time can be very difficult, which is why many people have troubles falling asleep and or staying asleep.

Although no genes have been linked to the syndrome, the condition may be a genetic disorder because it seems to run in families. But it has been shown to be linked to low-iron levels in blood, which relates to problems with dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia of the brain because the body needs iron to produce dopamine. If you have normal amounts of dopamine, your brain is able to send messages to other parts of the brain to produce smooth, controlled movements. But if there is a lack of dopamine, you can develop symptoms of throbbing or shaking muscles, as are seen in RLS and Parkinson's Disease. For that reason, some doctors recommend people with RLS iron tablets or medications called dopamine agonists, or even sleeping with a vibrating pad under your legs to distract from the restlessness!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She currently lives in Colombia.
You May Also Like
MAY 17, 2018
Videos
MAY 17, 2018
How Musical Instruments Boost Brain Function
Music and the brain are often part of the same scientific research projects. How music is processed in the brain and how we learn to recognize and replicat
MAY 28, 2018
Videos
MAY 28, 2018
When Cells Decide Their Fate
We start out as a clump of generic cells, but at some point, cells have to start taking on special features and functions. As cells choose their fate, they
MAY 31, 2018
Videos
MAY 31, 2018
Some Reindeer Have Eyes That Change Color
Learn more from this SciShow video about Norwegian reindeer with eyes that can change color with the seasons. Researchers found that this unique skill has
JUN 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUN 06, 2018
The Mechanism Behind Air Vortex Cannons
You probably have seen smoke rings blown by cigarette smokers or bubble rings from playful dolphins. But do you know that they are closely related to each
JUN 13, 2018
Videos
JUN 13, 2018
Not All Sands Are Created Equally
It may seem like the Earth provides a limitless supply of sand; from the vast deserts of the Sahara to the many beaches at every shoreline. But not all san
JUN 17, 2018
Videos
JUN 17, 2018
These Are the World's Largest Life Forms
Life forms throughout Earth’s history come in all different shapes and sizes, but have you ever wondered which ones were the largest? Mountain ash tr
Loading Comments...