Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

The causes of Restless Legs Syndrome are still poorly understood; however, there are some conditions that significantly increase the presentation of symptoms. Identifying the causative factors may help you to find effective treatment that allows you to get more and better quality sleep.

RLS Causes & Risk Factors

Restless Legs Syndrome may be caused by impaired nerve communication and/or circulation in the legs. Conditions that affect nerve signals and circulation include:

  • Low iron
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy (In most cases of pregnancy-induced RLS, the condition will resolve completely within a month of childbirth.)
  • Medications (including antihistamines, antidepressants and OTC sleep aids)

Inflammation in the spine can also put pressure on nerves travelling to the legs, causing mild irritation similar to that experienced in RLS.

Challenging Diagnosis

Restless Legs Syndrome is a syndrome because it is a collection of symptoms, not a disease in itself, making diagnosis a challenge. There are no tests to determine if you have RLS, only tests that determine if you do or do not have another condition with similar symptoms as it is a clinical condition. However, recording leg movements regularly in a sleep study, periodic leg/limb movements of sleep (PLMS) strong supports the diagnosis.

Find out If You Have RLS

You can find out if you have Restless Legs Syndrome and get the right treatment at Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At our practice, board-certified sleep specialist Dr. Senthil Ramasamy is highly involved in your care. He meets with you during your initial consultation, personally evaluates your sleep study and meets with you again to discuss your results and treatment options.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Get help for your Restless Legs Syndrome and get a better night’s rest. Call Neurology & Sleep Medicine to schedule an initial consultation today.

Sleep: The Foundation of Your Health—We Can Strengthen It.