Your doctor will make a diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome based on the symptoms you have as well as physical examination, your medical history, and your family history. Your doctor will also do a neurological examination to look for nerve damage and might order routine blood tests to check for vitamin or iron deficiency, kidney problems, or diabetes. If the body’s stores of iron are low, iron supplements may relieve the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome.
During sleep, several people with Restless Legs Syndrome also have involuntary jerking leg movements. The movements happen 1-10 times per minute. A sleep study could regulate how much this is happening and how it affects your sleep. In various cases, an overnight sleep study at a sleep clinic may be needed.
Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your symptoms are mild, taking a hot bath, simply exercising, massaging, or stretching your legs may bring relief. Lifestyle changes may also help, especially following a balanced diet and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and cigarette smoking. Iron treatment might be helpful even in the absence of iron deficiency. Lots of experts also recommend mentally challenging activities, such as video games or crossword puzzles, to lessen symptoms.
Many medications, taken alone or in combination, may be effective for the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome. These medication treatments may include:
Several people with Restless Legs Syndrome also have periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). It is a common movement disorder that causes jerking leg movements during sleep. The movements happen 1 to 10 times every minute. The degree of periodic limb movement and how it affects sleep is best assessed with a sleep study.