What Is Periodic Limb Movement Disorder And What Are Its Causes And Treatment
It is a sleep disorder and requires a proper consultation from sleep disorder clinics for its cure instead of being ignored. It is a condition of repetitive cramping or jerking of legs while you are asleep that interrupts your sleep and cause you to wake up from deep sleep.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD)
Usually, it happens in the lower limbs and result in extension of the toe with flexion of the angle, the knee and the hip. However, it may happen in upper extremities as well in some patient as per claimed by the sleep clinics. It is often linked with restless leg syndrome but these two are different than each other as PLMD may only happen when you are asleep. It is very much possible to have PLMD if you have restless leg syndrome but it is not vice versa situation.
In PLMD, the basic reason could be some abnormalities that disrupt the regulation of nerves which are travelling from brain to the limbs and hence you end with this disorder. However, the actual reason for such abnormalities is still unknown and sleep disorder clinics are researching hard to find the actual answer.
Causes of PLMD
Since the actual cause for this disorder is still unknown so doctors have come with primary and secondary causes which may lead to PLMD disorder.
Primary Causes: They are the ones for which specialists are unable to find the answer yet and studies are going on to know the real cause.
Secondary Causes: It is some kind of underlying medical condition and your medication can even make it worse. Especially if you are taking antidepressants, antihistamines or some antipsychotics then it is very much possible not to have quality sleep due to PLMD as per sleep clinics. Some common causes for this could be iron deficiency, diabetes or instable blood pressure levels, spinal cord tumor or injury, sleep apnea syndrome, narcolepsy, anemia or uremia.
This shows that you can have PLMD if you are already suffering from sleep disorders like sleep apnea or narcolepsy or if you have instable hemoglobin levels. While in uremia when your kidney is not functioning properly may also lead to PLMD due to heavy medications taken for the treatment of this disease. So conclusively, it can be said that the reason for having PLMD is taking medicines for the treatment of some other medical issues.
Treatment of PLMD
As per the above conclusion, you obviously cannot stop taking medications for other medical problems to avoid PLMD but you may consult your sleep disorder clinics to prescribe some precautions so the side effects can be avoided. When talking about medical treatment, you may take some medicines which can help you stay asleep during the movements or helps in reducing those movements. While you can increase iron intake in your regular diet if it is occurring for iron deficiencies or you may even take iron supplements.
If you feel your situation is getting worse then you should consult your physician immediately to start your medication. There are different classes of medicines that you need to complete in order to control PLMD disorder. Some are very much similar to those which are used to treat Parkinson’s disease which you should really avoid if you are at initial stages of this disorder. While others are anticonvulsant medicines, benzodiazepines, dopaminergic agents, GABA agonists and narcotics which are considered to be milder for your health. Also, don’t forget to get your follow-up examination done as it is very important in this kind of disorder.
And of course, be noted that there is no medicine which cures PLMD completely and they are only meant to control this disorder to some extent. So, you will have to continue your medication if you want to stay away from PLMD to occur while your doze will be reduced significantly once the disorder is under control.
However, you may opt for some relaxing therapies which will not stop PLMD to occur but helps in relieving the symptoms. You can get help for this from any of your nearest and the best sleep clinic MD and get yourself checked thoroughly to know about the correct therapies that your body might need.