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10 Questions About Restless Legs Syndrome

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What Else Can I Do to Cope With Restless Legs Syndrome?

Depression and anxiety commonly result from restless legs syndrome. If you have moderate to severe RLS, it's important to find ways to cope with the stress it can cause. Here are a few ways to take control:

  • Work with your doctor. A different drug or combinations of drugs are often necessary to control symptoms.
  • Join a support group. www.rls.org can get you started.
  • If you feel overwhelmed by RLS, talk with someone who treats mental health, like a psychologist or psychiatrist.

 

What Is the Connection Between Iron and Restless Legs Syndrome?

Not enough iron in the diet is one cause of restless legs syndrome. Taking iron pills may improve RLS in these people.

Even in people who are not anemic and have normal iron levels, iron levels may be involved. Studies show a "brain iron deficiency" in many people with restless legs syndrome. A doctor may prescribe iron supplements even if a person's iron levels are within normal range. However, too much iron can lead to liver damage and other health problems.

What Is the Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder?

More than 80% of people with restless legs syndrome also have periodic limb movement disorder, or PLMD. In PLMD, the arms or legs twitch or jerk during the night. The movements disturb sleep and can cause chronic sleepiness.

Many people have periodic limb movement disorder by itself and will never develop restless legs syndrome. If you think you have PLMD, see your doctor.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 21, 2014
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