Iron-deficiency anemia is one of the more common conditions that can cause restless legs symptoms. If your blood counts are low, your blood doesn’t circulate oxygen as well throughout your body. This can lead to RLS discomfort.
This condition is also a top leading cause of RLS symptoms. In peripheral neuropathy, the nerves that send messages to your brain are weakened and damaged. Peripheral neuropathy is common in seniors and often results from diabetes and B12 deficiencies.
People who have kidney dysfunction or disease are predisposed to getting RLS symptoms because waste products quickly build up in your body. Kidney disease makes it harder for your body to clean your blood, maintain healthy blood pressure, and keep extra fluid out of your blood. It can also affect blood cell production and vitamin metabolism.
Imbalance of dopamine in the brain:
Increasing evidence shows that dopamine levels fall at the end of the day, just when it’s time to rest. Dopamine is the messenger between your nervous system and your brain and helps to coordinate movement in your body.
Many factors in liver disease make RLS a common occurrence. Liver disease patients often have lower iron levels, low B12 levels, and low folate. Electrolyte levels may also be altered. Also, a vitamin D deficiency and other conditions common with liver disease tend to induce more RLS symptoms.
Diabetics as a whole suffer from slower circulation in the body and damaged blood vessels. If you have diabetes, you’re more predisposed to getting RLS because of these effects.
Thyroid disease impacts how the hormones and bodily systems in your body work together. This is particularly true with hyperthyroidism, where your body works harder than it should due to increased thyroid hormones. This ofter results in iron deficiency and reduced dopamine.
Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins:
Up to 22% of people with RLS also suffer from chronic venous insufficiency to some extent. Some studies show that treating varicose veins and venous disease can improve RLS symptoms.
People with Parkinson’s are three times more likely to have leg restlessness when trying to sleep than those without Parkinson’s. However, it’s not clear why nor is it clear if it’s actual restless legs.
Low vitamin levels, such as B12, D, and folic acid:
Many people who have RLS find that when their vitamin levels are improved, their RLS symptoms go away or are improved.
Family history of RLS:
Genetics can also play a part in developing restless legs syndrome. If you have a close relative with the disease, you may be more likely to have the condition yourself.