Thursday, 29 October 2009

Restless Leg Syndrome

Thursday, 29 October 2009
When I was pregnant with Lia I suffered from twitching legs from about 4 months onwards and it got worse and worse towards the end of the pregnancy, even causing an issue in one of my arms too right at the end.

This pregnancy I've had the symptoms from almost straight away and they've been a lot worse already. I'm fine standing up and sitting down but pretty much as soon as I lie down I get an ache in my right leg and arm and I need to move them or they start twitching. The ache can be anything from vaguely annoying to downright agonising and I've been spending my nights moving from our bed to the spare bed to the sofa and back again in an attempt to get relief.

So I did some research and it appears almost 100% certain that I've got Restless Leg Syndrome. Yes that really does exist. And apparently pregnancy is a common trigger for it to start although most women don't get symptoms till the third trimester.

So at least I now know there is a name for what is keeping me awake at nights!

Apparently 5 - 10% of the population suffer from this at some point in their lives (I'm actually amazed at the number of people who have told me they or someone they know suffer from it) and there isn't really a cure as such. It can be treated with medication in the worst cases but obviously they're unlikely to start giving me anything whilst I'm pregnant.

Other treatments suggested are cutting out caffeine and alcohol, having a regular sleeping pattern, massage, accupuncture, exercise, avoiding eating just before bedtime and a hot bath before bed time. Well I don't drink alcohol even when not pregnant but I do drink diet pepsi so I have had two days caffeine free and I thought it had helped as the first night the symptoms were a lot milder but last night it was quite bad again and I definitely hadn't had any caffeine for 48 hrs.

I think though that the caffeine does make it worse though - we went out for dinner at the beginning of the week and I had two glasses of coke in the evening and that night I was in agony - so I will continue to keep my caffeine intake as low as possible - probably just one glass a day at lunchtimes.

I did eat later last night which could be the cause of last nights discomfort but my problem is that I am diabetic and I am on a seriously strict regime whilst pregnant, part of which is that I need to have a snack before bed or my blood sugar dips too low during the night and I have a hypo.

DH has been attempting to give my leg a massage in the evenings but because it involves him sitting with my leg on his lap and I have involuntary twitches he's a bit worried I might accidentally kick something I shouldn't LOL.

And as for a regular sleeping pattern, that's kind of impossible when you're being kept awake for several hours a night!

At the moment I'm coping just about but if I really can't continue like this I might consider accupuncture if it's possible (all those tiny needles, eek!) Oh and yes, I have mentioned it to my midwife and consultant but I haven't pressed the point as yet.

However, other than that issue I am fine and baby is fine. I'm currently 16 weeks and so reach the half way point at the end of November. In the grand scheme of things this really isn't as horrid as some of the things I could be suffering from during pregnancy but it would be fantastic to be able to sleep comfortably for a whole night in my own bed...

3 comments:

Sheila said...

Do hope your leg twitching doesn´t last until the baby is born. Have you tried the Caffeine Free Diet Cokes?
Great To-Do List on your previous post. I wouldn´t put it past you to prove doubters wrong and actually get most of them done before the baby is born :) Good Luck :)

Lindsay said...

Did you know that the meds they can give you for it has a very strange side affect of turnign you into a gambler?!
My Mum suffers quite badly at times and that's what the doc told her when she offered to put her on the meds.

Oh and try Quiet Life, it's a herbal remedy you can get in most places and it does help

Erin said...

I had it when I was pregnant. Mine started around 16-18 weeks and got worse as it got closer to delivery. Once he was born, though, it mostly went away. I still have the occasional night or two with it (usually around TOTM, which makes sense). I hope it doesn't get any worse for you!

 

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