Restless Leg Syndrome Specialist

The Vein Center

Thomas R. Wieters, MD

General and Vascular Surgeon located in Mount Pleasant, SC

According to the National Sleep Foundation, around one in ten American adults suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS). At The Vein Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, General and Vascular Surgeon Thomas R. Wieters, MD, knows that this restless feeling in your limbs might be related to various venous conditions, such as venous insufficiency. RLS can result in relentless fatigue, sleep deprivation, and even depression and irritability. Dr. Wieters offers valuable solutions to enhance the health of your vascular system and help you sleep more soundly. Schedule an appointment online or call The Vein Center today to get started.

Restless Leg Q & A

What is restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

RLS is a common sleep-related disorder that involves involuntary aching sensations in your limbs or other body parts, such as your neck, head, and arms.

RLS is considered a sleep disorder because the symptoms worsen at night, persistently interrupting your sleep pattern and sleep quality. More severe cases of RLS have been associated with a heightened risk for anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.

RLS can affect people of all ages, including children. RLS doesn’t always happen during sleep and sometimes occurs before sleep.


What causes RLS?

The cause of RLS isn’t exactly clear. Some genes have been linked to the condition, as well as inadequate levels of iron in the blood, or a dysfunction in the brain’s processing of dopamine — a substance that plays a role in smooth muscle activity.

RLS is commonly linked to venous insufficiency and problems with the circulatory system.

Certain triggers can lead to or worsen RLS, such as:

  • Inactivity
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Excess caffeine or alcohol consumption
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and peripheral neuropathy
  • Aging

Staying in the same position for a long time, such as seated at a desk, can also increase your risk of developing RLS.


How is RLS associated with venous insufficiency?

A restless feeling in your limbs might be linked to various venous conditions, such as venous insufficiency and varicose veins that usually develop in your legs due to weakened vein valves that aren’t functioning properly.

Healthy valves allow blood to flow from the legs to your heart against gravity, but if the valves are damaged or if the vein wall is too weak, the blood can pool in your legs and result in the formation of varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and restless legs syndrome.


What are the treatments for RLS?

If your RLS is related to venous insufficiency, Dr. Wieters can perform a radiofrequency closure of your problem veins or other vein removal methods to improve blood flow and diminish symptoms.

Get much-needed shut-eye and stop involuntary leg movements with Dr. Wieters’ help. Call his office or book a consultation online.