Restless Legs Syndrome

Written by: Dr. Diego García-Borreguero Díaz-Varela
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Restless Legs Syndrome is a disorder that affects between 5-10% of the population and usually appears after the age of forty. Its main symptom is the appearance of discomfort in the legs during inactivity, which only calms with movement.

It usually causes sleep disorders because the symptoms get worse during the late afternoon and evening. Its evolution is chronic and slowly progressive. At first, it manifests sporadically, with discreet discomfort that does not significantly interfere with the life of the subjects who suffer from it.. However, with the course of time, the intensity of symptoms is increasing and more frequent, and it is not uncommon for these patients to refer important problems to initiate and maintain sleep.. This causes drowsiness during the day and also anxiety and depression that worsen the patient's quality of life.

restless legs
Restless Legs Syndrome can cause anxiety and depression in the patient 


Detection and treatment


If the syndrome is suspected, you should go to a specialized center to be evaluated.. The SPI must be identified by the doctor making a clinical diagnosis. Nerve conduction tests and also sleep tests will be done. Also blood tests, since it has been detected that patients suffer alterations in the levels of iron and ferritin. In addition, in approximately 20% of cases there are other medical situations that explain the appearance of symptoms and that should be detected.

The first step to treating RLS will be to correct its causes if they have been clearly identified, such as iron deficiency. To combat sleep disorder it is important to maintain a regular sleep schedule , exercise and reduce the consumption of coffee, tobacco and alcohol. In serious cases should be considered medication treatment. The most commonly used are dopamine agonists, which are used to treat Parkinson's disease , and antiepileptic drugs.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Diego García-Borreguero Díaz-Varela

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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