There is no specific diagnostic test for RLS. If you suspect you may have the disorder, talk to your doctor as soon as you can. If possible, bring a diary of your sleep as well as a record of the occurrence and severity of your symptoms with you. Your doctor will conduct tests to rule out factors that may be causing the symptoms such as pregnancy, iron deficiency and end-stage renal failure. You can expect that he or she will ask what time your symptoms occur, when they are most severe, what you were doing before the onset of symptoms, and how much time elapses before you are able to get to sleep due to your RLS. Your doctor will also need a record of your sleep quality and quantity during the time when symptoms appear and whether or not you experienced any pain along with the RLS symptoms. Until recently, there were no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of RLS. In May 2005, a drug called Requip® (ropinirole hydrochloride) that is commonly used to treat Parkinson disease was giv...
Symptoms include an urge to move the legs often associated with uncomfortable feeling in the legs (e.g. tingling, creepy, itching, pulling or aching) during periods of inactivity, including both sleep and wakefulness. Symptoms may also include involuntary jerking of the limbs that intensifies in the evening or at night and is relieved by movement. People with RLS tend to have difficulty falling or staying asleep and suffer from chronic sleep loss, leaving them with the cognitive and tired feelings that occur with sleep loss. Reviewed by Richard P. Allen, Ph.D.and Merrill M. Mitler, Ph.D. , May 2005.
The following are some tips for coping with RLS: Don't hide your symptoms -- talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about RLS so they know what to expect Practice yoga, Pilates, or other stretching techniques regularly, preferably late in the day Arrange your schedule to be able to sleep when your symptoms are least pronounced Choose an aisle seat at the movies or on airplanes so that you are able to move around if necessary Plan travel hours when symptoms are least severe and allow times for breaks There are also a number of RLS support groups around the country and they can help you learn new information about how others cope with RLS. For a list of such groups, go to www.rls.org or www.rlshelp.org . Reviewed by Richard P. Allen, Ph.D.and Merrill M. Mitler, Ph.D. , May 2005.
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