Restless Leg Syndrome
Kay Wright has what she calls the invisible disorder.
"To me, it means, there are ants crawling between the muscle fibers in my legs, between my ankles and my knees," Wright said.
She was diagnosed several years ago with restless legs syndrome, or RLS. It causes involuntary muscle spasms in the legs to the point where sufferers lose sleep and the ability to concentrate during the day. Up until her diagnosis, Wright was miserable.
"I suffered from chronic depression for 25 years, and now I think that the RLS played a large part in that."
Wright says most RLS sufferers don't know they have it. But she says with treatment, life becomes more livable and doctors agree.
"Restless legs is not such a benign condition, it reduces sleep, it can lead to hypertension, can have some very serious effects on people's inner-relationships," Dr. John Mruzik explains.
Wright now uses a special foot rest to improve her posture and also stands at a table to read the newspaper. Wright says she now gets sleep, concentrates during the day, and maintains a steady relationship with her partner. With the help of medication and simple lifestyle adjustments at home, Wright says patients can overcome RLS.
"If you're not getting treatment for it, if I sat down to watch TV, within about 10 minutes, my legs would involuntarily start moving," Wright said.