A case study Restless legs cyndrome. Every night, an indescribable creepy-crawly sensation in Selena legs occurred within minutes of getting under the covers. She had to move her legs constantly. Temporary relief came with massage or by getting out of bed and walking. She had learned years ago that caffeine or late-night exercise would make it bad.
Selena was irritated by her chronic sleep loss and daytime weakness. Selena had shared her irritation with her primary care physician. The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome was confirmed based on her history. Selena’s physician reviewed medical therapy options. While she understood that effective therapy was available, Selena was reluctant to start taking medicine that she would have to take for the rest of her life.
While searching the Internet, Selena found a report describing improvement in restless legs syndrome with the use of leg pumps similar to those used on hospitalized patients to prevent blood clots. After obtaining a prescription from her physician, Selena found a medical supply house that stocked athrombic leg pumps. The pumps dramatically decreased her symptoms, but didn’t appear to be a satisfactory long-term solution.
At the age of 25, Selena decided she’d had enough. She felt that there had to be some form of therapy other than leg pumps or long-term medication. At a friend’s suggestion, she visited a sleep center. Selena’s sleep buy valtrex online canada physician confirmed the diagnosis of restless legs syndrome and reviewed medical treatment options once again. She also suggested obtaining a blood test to check for the possibility of iron deficiency. Her sleep physician discussed how iron deficiency was common particularly in menstruating women but often ignored.
A simple blood test confirmed that Selena had severe iron deficiency, undoubtedly related to her heavy monthly menstrual flow. Looking back, Selena realized that her symptoms of restless legs syndrome began soon after she started getting her period as a young teen. Selena read everything she could find on the subject of iron deficiency. She was surprised to learn that in both men and in women, it can be a sign of chronic blood loss from the intestines and is sometimes related to malignancy. Selena learned that iron is the element that carries oxygen in red blood cells to all cells in the body. She also learned that in addition to restless legs syndrome, iron deficiency can cause severe anemia.
Within weeks of taking a daily iron pill, Selena’s restless legs syndrome resolved completely. She was thrilled that her medical condition could be treated with a natural form of therapy. Her sleep physician asked Selena to have her serum ferret level checked periodically by her primary care physician. This specific test was the best way to assess her iron levels. Selena was told that her primary care physician should aim for a ferret level above 50. Her ferret level at the beginning of therapy was markedly reduced at a level of five. Selena was thrilled with her response to treatment, but wondered why none of her health care providers had ever previously thought to administer a simple blood test.