Diagnosing and Treating Restless Leg Syndrome Online
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that causes an overwhelming urge to move one’s legs. Oftentimes, restless leg syndrome presents itself while one is resting, including while watching a movie, traveling for a prolonged period of time, or at night while sleeping.
Although in most cases the cause of restless leg syndrome is unknown, the condition can sometimes be attributed to certain diseases or body-related changes, including anemia or pregnancy. Risk factors for developing restless leg syndrome include peripheral neuropathy, iron deficiency, and kidney failure. Substances including tobacco and caffeine may worsen symptoms.
Restless leg syndrome is characterized as a sleep disorder and can affect one’s mood, concentration, job duties, and personal relationships. It can also lead to anxiety and depression. People with restless leg syndrome can also develop another condition, called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which is characterized by legs jerking uncontrollably during sleep.
During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to restless leg syndrome. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for restless leg syndrome is different depending on the severity.
Options for treatment of restless leg syndrome may include:
- Medications that increase dopamine levels: Ropinirole (Requip), rotigotine (Neupro) and pramipexole (Mirapex)
- Medications that improve calcium levels: gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica)
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleep medications