Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

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Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

Postby RaeM » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:52 pm

I just returned from an 8 day trip to Colorado and Wyoming. We flew into Denver, rented a car, and drove around to various places. I was dreading the trip, expecting to have many episodes in the car and to my amazement, I had zero episodes the entire time. Is it possible that higher altitudes have a good effect on RLS? (I live in Pennsylvania.)

Polar Bear
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Re: Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

Postby Polar Bear » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:31 pm

I do believe that altitude has an effect on RLS Symptoms, however contrary to your experience my understanding is that the higher altitudes are more problematic.
One of our members in particular has mentioned the difficulty of living at a higher altitude and may be along in due course and able to comment.

You could also do a search for 'altitude' or 'high altitude' using the search box at the top right of the page, on the blue banner.
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

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Re: Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

Postby badnights » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:26 am

No one knows for certain, but since one theory is that WED/RLS symptoms are brought on by insufficient oxygen to the muscles, the thinner air at higher altitudes might make it worse. However, there's very little evidence one way or another for that idea.

You might want to think of other possible causes of decreased symptoms. Did you change your diet - stop eating something you usually eat? Or eat more iron-rich foods? Did you stop taking a supplement or medication that might be a WED/RLS trigger? Were you under less stress, either physical or mental? Were you sleeping outside (away from irritants, pollutants)?

That last one is something I made up :) but I think it can help. Anything that reduces physiological stress (stress on body systems) has to reduce RLS/WED symptoms too. I'm allergic to dust mites and I think (but I might be kidding myself) that my symptoms are better when I sleep outside (eg. in a tent).
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
Discussion Board Moderator's posts don't reflect the RLS Foundation's opinion & are not medical advice

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Re: Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

Postby debbluebird » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:17 am

I live at 8,200 in Colorado. Glad you enjoyed your self. I don't really know if altitude makes any difference. When I go to sea level I sometimes do better, mainly because of my sleep apnea is better at sea level.
Maybe you were well rested, no stress ?

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Re: Does altitude have anything to do with RLS?

Postby leggo_my_legs » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:08 pm

I don't know, but I do know that ATTITUDE does! :lol:

(Sorry, I couldn't resist super-campy attempt at gallows humor!)

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