Diagnosis and treatment of restless legs syndrome


A medical consultation is often enough to diagnose restless leg syndrome. Sometimes additional exams are needed. The treatment is based on simple actions and a healthy lifestyle. Medications can help in treatment the symptoms and their cause.

HOW IS THE MEDICAL CONSULTATION DONE?

If you consult for a Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), the doctor asks you first about your symptoms (intensity, circumstances of occurrence, frequency, evolution, etc.). He also asks you if these signs affect your sleep, your daytime vigilance and your mood.

Then, the practitioner asks you about:

  • possible cases of RLS in your family;
  • your personal medical history (diabetes , chronic, kidney failure )
  • The treatments you are taking (certain self-medication medications that can trigger or aggravate symptoms).

Finally, the doctor examines you.

In general, this first consultation is sufficient to confirm the diagnosis. However, your practitioner may also prescribe:

  • a blood test to check your blood iron levels
  • sleep recording, to better understand the effects of RLS on your nights;
  • A consultation with a neurologist (specialist in diseases of the nervous system) or a specialist in sleep disorders. These can indeed provide a medical care better adapted to your case, if necessary.

Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor informs you about the disease and its possible evolution, its fluctuating nature with periods of lull and possible aggravations that may require therapeutic adaptations.

WHAT TREATMENTS CAN BE PRESCRIBED FOR RLS?

In order to choose the best care for you, the doctor measures the intensity of your RLS. It uses for this a precise scale of evaluation (so-called forms “light”, “moderate”, “severe” and “very severe”), being based on:

  • the nature of your symptoms;
  • Their impact on your mood and on your social, family and professional life.

A healthy lifestyle and in some cases a drug treatment, help to reduce the signs of the syndrome.

TREATMENT OF THE CAUSE OR FACTORS OF RLS

If your RLS is linked to another disease ( iron deficiency, anemia , diabetes , etc.), it will be treated to eliminate the cause of the symptoms.

In addition, any potentially triggering or aggravating drug will, if possible, be removed and replaced by the attending physician.

 

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