Periodic limb movement disease, or PLMD for short, affects approximately one million adults in the United States alone.
Although the causes of PLMD are not known, doctors have identified several common factors that can contribute to or exacerbate PLMD symptoms.
Similar to restless legs syndrome, PLMD is characterized by abnormal involuntary movement of the legs and can lead to disability if not diagnosed and treated early.
It is often associated with an abnormal amount of stress on the nervous system.
Also, periodic limb movement disorder occurs more among patients that are African-American and also occurs more in women than men.
It also occurs more at night, it can happen in a few seconds repeatedly within one hour.
Although both PLDM and RLS can be triggered by medical conditions, there are some differences in the way in which they respond to certain medications.
The Treatment of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
As with RLS, PLMD is most commonly associated with the use of certain medications, especially benzodiazepines, stimulants, and, like restless leg syndrome, Parkinson’s disease.
Medications that have been associated with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder include the following
- Antipsychotic medicines
- Antidepressant drugs
- Muscle relaxants, among others
Medications used to treat PLDM are typically prescribed in conjunction with other medications that are used to treat the underlying cause of the condition.
Common treatment methods include taking sedatives and antidepressants which are used to relieve the symptoms of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.
Anti-seizure and anti-depressant medicines can also reduce some of the physical symptoms of PLMD.
There are a number of other medications that may be helpful in reducing the effects of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder.
Examples of these medications are beta-blockers, which have been shown to slow down the production of dopamine in the brain, and are often used to treat hyperactivity disorders such as ADD and ADHD.
If your legs suffer from frequent episodes of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, you may wish to consider taking medications that help improve sleep patterns and reduce the frequency of leg movement during the night.
If you are unable to sleep or experience a loss of sleep, you may also be more susceptible to PLMD.
Because PLDM can be associated with a host of other conditions, it is important to discuss any issues you may be experiencing with your doctor before taking any medications for restless leg, including periodic limb movement disorder medication.
Your doctor will advise you of the possible side effects, and risks.
Anti-depressant medicines are other medications that have also proven to be helpful in the treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome.
If your doctor has recommended anti-depressant drugs to you, it is important to discuss these with your family.
While antidepressants have helped many people deal with their symptoms of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, they should only be used in conjunction with other treatments to treat the underlying cause of PLDM.
Adjusting your Diet and Lifestyle
Although there is currently no cure for Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, there are a variety of lifestyle changes in diet that can help you manage the condition.
Eating the right foods, exercising, and practicing relaxation techniques have all been shown to reduce the occurrence of PLMD, and these things will reduce the symptoms of PLMD to a certain extent.
Many physicians believe that dietary changes are the best way to treat the symptoms of PLMD, particularly if you are trying to prevent your condition from recurring.
You may want to consider taking supplements that contain zinc, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients to aid in the reduction of the symptoms of PLMD.
It is important to try to make as many healthy food choices as possible as it is difficult to avoid certain types of food due to health concerns, like chocolate.
One of the first steps to treating the symptoms of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder is to make sure you get plenty of sleep and eat a well-balanced diet, both of which are known to reduce the symptoms of PLDM.
If you are taking prescription medications for restless legs or a periodic limb movement disorder, it is essential that you discuss these treatments with your physician before taking them.
Also, it is important to keep your physician informed about any changes in symptoms and the effectiveness of any new medications you are taking.