ZocdocAnswersWhat is restless leg syndrome?

Question

What is restless leg syndrome?

My wife has this syndrome. I still don't quite understand what exactly it is?

Answer

If you're concerned about Restless leg syndrome (RLS), I recommend that you discuss the issue with your doctor. RLS is a neurologic disorder in which an individual feels the need / urge to move one's legs in order to prevent or stop uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations. Relief is gained by repositioning the legs, but this is only temporary, and the individual will need to repeat this action frequently. The sensation in the legs, which can be described as anything from a pain to an itch to a vague unpleasantness, tends to be most noticed during times of relaxation (such as while reading or lying in bed). The disorder tends to affect middle-aged and older adults the most. The exact cause of RLS cannot be determined for most patients. In some cases, RLS may be associated with the use of certain medications (such as anti-nausea and anti-depressant drugs) or damage to the peripheral nervous system (neuropathy) due to a variety of different diseases (such as diabetes). Some studies have suggested that iron deficiency may account for up to 20 percent of all cases of RLS, and thus the measurement of blood iron stores is generally recommended for all patients being evaluated for this condition. If you have any further questions about RLS, you and your wife should discuss them with her primary care physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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