Restless Leg Syndrome (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- Restless leg syndrome facts
- What is restless leg syndrome (RLS)?
- What causes restless leg syndrome?
- What are the symptoms of restless leg syndrome?
- How is restless leg syndrome diagnosed?
- Can other conditions mimic restless leg syndrome?
- What is the treatment for restless leg syndrome?
- What medications are used to treat restless leg syndrome?
- Are there any remedies or complimentary/alternative treatments for restless leg syndrome?
- Restless Legs Syndrome Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Quiz!
- Weird Body Quirks Slideshow
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) FAQs
Can other conditions mimic restless leg syndrome?
There are many conditions which can mimic restless leg syndrome including:
- Parkinson's disease,
- muscle diseases,
- joint conditions,
- nerve problems such as peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), and
- circulation difficulties.
In children, restless leg syndrome is often misdiagnosed as "growing pains."
What is the treatment for restless leg syndrome?
Treatment of restless leg syndrome is first directed toward any underlying illness, if known. For example:
- Blood testing to reveal underlying iron deficiency anemia may reveal the underlying cause.
- If varicose veins are thought to be the cause, then surgery to repair the circulation may be considered.
- Reduction or elimination of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from a person's diet can be very helpful.
- Stopping smoking can significantly diminish or prevent symptoms.
- Getting better sleep and exercise can help some persons affected by restless legs.
- Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night and other people with sleep disorders may develop RLS.
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