Restless Legs Syndrome: What Conditions Can Cause It?Skip to the navigation
Restless legs syndrome can be a secondary problem caused by another condition. Researchers continue their efforts to understand and define the relationship between this syndrome and:
- Iron deficiency or related anemia . The way the body metabolizes iron and certain proteins in the brain may be related to restless legs syndrome.
- Pregnancy. Approximately 20 out of 100 pregnant women develop restless legs syndrome. Women who have it before they become pregnant may have more noticeable and frequent symptoms during pregnancy.
- Kidney disease.
- Diabetes .
- Neurological diseases, including peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson's disease , and possibly radiculopathy (a pinched nerve), which is a disorder of the spinal nerve roots .
When you are diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, you may also be tested for one of these conditions if your symptoms suggest a specific cause. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests:
- Blood tests, such as a complete blood count , iron (ferritin) levels , or chemistry screen. The results from these tests may help you and your doctor find out whether symptoms are related to anemia, low blood iron levels, kidney problems, or diabetes.
- Electromyogram and a nerve conduction study , if symptoms suggest that nerves are damaged.
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015