Is Restless Leg Syndrome Associated with Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins and restless leg syndrome.

So what do varicose veins and Restless Leg Syndrome have in common? Well, varicose veins are what’s considered a secondary cause of RLS, meaning that if you treat the underlying problem (the varicose veins), you may lessen the effects of Restless Leg Syndrome.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

If you have ever been lying in bed at night and felt an irresistible compulsion to move your legs, you may be suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome. The sensations you felt might have ranged from being slightly uncomfortable to itchy to a feeling of “pins and needles” or lack of circulation. Some people even describe their sensations as being “creepy crawly.”  

According to the National Sleep Foundation, as many as one in 10 adults have restless legs, which can be overwhelming and unpleasant. The feelings you experience — typically in the evenings — can definitely contribute to a lack of sleep and increased anxiety.

Causes of RLS

Medical professionals can’t definitively give an answer to what causes RLS, but it may passed on genetically: more than half the people with RLS also have a family member who suffers from it. Other issues that can cause RLS include:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Neuropathy
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Venous disease.
  • Certain medications
  • Pregnancy

So while varicose veins don’t cause RLS, they can be associated with the syndrome. Secondary causes can be treated and by treating them, lessen the symptoms of the original problem. Iron deficiency is another example of a secondary cause. Taking iron supplements can sometimes help reduce RLS symptoms.

How Can Varicose Vein Treatments Help?

Undergoing vein treatment for your varicose veins can help some people see a reduction in their symptoms. It may be that the high pressure or congestion in the varicose veins contributes to RLS, and relieving that pressure can help.

If you have symptoms of restless leg syndrome and you suspect you may  have varicose veins, give us a call. We can evaluate your varicose veins and tell you if your symptoms may be related to venous insufficiency or congestion. Contact us to learn more about getting evaluated and reducing those uncomfortable sensations in your legs.