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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.
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...
A study in the October 15, 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that there was a greater risk and higher prevalence of restless legs syndrome in adults with fibromyalgia than in healthy controls. Study Methods and Results Researchers studied 172 people with fibromyalgia and 63 healthy controls. The results showed that the participants with fibromyalgia were 11 times more likely than controls to have restless legs syndrome (RLS) – 33% of those with FM had RLS as opposed to only 3.1% of the controls. Study authors concluded that because there is a higher prevalence and odds of RLS in those with FM compared to controls, clinicians should routinely query FM patients regarding RLS symptoms because treatment of RLS can potentially improve sleep and quality of life in these patients. My Comments... Since doctors often don't question FM patients to see if they have RLS, I think it's important to briefly review the symptoms and available treatments. RLS Sympt...
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