Twitching Legs


What Causes Twitching Legs

With all the talk about prescription drugs for twitching legs, it makes you wonder what causes this condition.  This was not a condition that was talked about often until a few years back, and ever since everyone thinks they have it.  So, with so much concern about this condition there are some things about twitching legs that you should know.

Fibromyalgia is one condition that makes doctors suspicious of twitching legs.  Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose in patients, because it covers such a broad spectrum of symptoms, so some doctors are quick to slap a label on it.  While fibromyalgia is not specific to twitching legs, it does cause muscle weakness and twitching.  Many patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia complain of twitching legs, so it only makes sense that this could prompt a doctor to look into this further. 

Twitching legs is also labeled as Twitching Leg Syndrome.  This syndrome is known widely as a sleep disorder because many patients experience this at night when trying to fall asleep, and the jerky leg movements that people experience can certainly keep them awake, and bring about sleep deprivation.   Not only is this condition known for bringing about restless legs, but it’s known for causing pain or discomfort in the legs.  Doctors who were looking for a way to calm this down offered the medicine that has been widely used to treat Parkinson’s disease.  Research shows that the results of this were good as a calming of the restlessness subsided and allowed the patient to get better rest throughout the night.

With the Restless Leg Syndrome, patients not only experience an uncomfortable sensation in the legs, but they feel like they have creepy crawly sensations, and burning in the legs.  Patients can experience these symptoms whether they are lying down, or they are on a long car ride, so it can happen at any time.  The symptoms can range from very mild to very intense so every patient’s case is different.  While many of the patients tend to be older adults, doctors say that the twitching legs can occur at any stage in life.  Those who have been diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome may have worsening symptoms if they have a related condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, or even fibromyalgia.

The real question patients want answered, is “What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome”?  Researchers suggest that those with low iron levels may have twitching legs.  When patients become anemic, their body tends to break down.  An increase in iron supplementation may reduce these symptoms for most patients. 

Chronic diseases that are already being treated may also contribute to the twitching legs or Restless Leg Syndrome.  These diseases may include MS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Neuropathy, and many more.  In addition, some other reasons that this may have developed are: pregnancy, obesity, smoking, hypothyroidism, diabetes and so many more. 

In each one of these conditions, it is possible that the patient may have developed some nerve damage.  With Multiple Sclerosis the possibilities are endless on how this may affect you, but many doctors are uncertain if the medicines they are using for MS can control the symptoms long term.  Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect the nerves over time, and many patients have a desire to use pain medicine for their arthritis than anything else.  Many RA patients experience swelling in their hands when it is cold, but some patients claim to have had the twitching legs and leg pain as well.

Hypothyroidism is a huge contributing factor, but doctors are finding this is true of patients that are hyperthyroid as well.  Doctors associate the twitching legs with the affects that come from hyperthyroidism, such as an extremely high heart rate and nervousness.  The higher the heart rate the higher the level of tremors a patient will experience not to mention the tremors in the hands.  The twitching legs in this situation are calmed down by giving the patient a beta blocker to slow down the heart rate and shut off the adrenaline.  The key with twitching legs may be linked to treating the cause behind it, not just the symptom.