Ever feel uncomfortable sensations in your leg, and an urge to move them to relieve the feeling? You may be amongst the 10% experiencing Restless Legs Syndrome
But as if that tingly, creepy-crawly feeling in your legs wasn’t bad enough, new research has now linked the condition with a higher risk of erectile dysfunction
in older men.
RLS Raises Impotence Risk
The new study published by Harvard researchers in journal Sleep
followed more than 11,000 men, over the course of six years. It was found that men who experienced Restless Leg Syndrome monthly were 16-78% more likely to develop erectile dysfunction
, depending on the frequency of the RLS.
This was even after ruling out other factors relating to impotence,
like age, obesity, certain anti-depressants, smoking and snoring.
The study’s authors conclude that these results give strong evidence that Restless Legs Syndrome and erectile dysfunction share a common mechanism, suggesting Dopaminergic Hypofunction (basically, low dopamine) in the central nervous system
And in English? Well in a nutshell, both ED and RSL may be affected by low levels of Dopamine, an important neurotransmitter in your brain.
Another possibility is that the impotence link could be to do with the sleep disturbance that often accompanies Restless Legs Syndrome. Research has shown that poor sleep can lower testosterone levels
, a hormone vital to good erectile function
What do you think? Is the link between Restless Legs Syndrome and erectile dysfunction really to do with brain chemistry playing up? Or is it simpler (not to mention easier to treat) to assume low testosterone is the common culprit