Restless legs syndrome
There's no single test fordiagnosing restless legs syndrome.
A diagnosis will be based on your symptoms, your medical and family history, a physical examination, and your test results.
Your GP should be able to diagnose restless legs syndrome, but they may refer you to a neurologist if there's any uncertainty.
There are four main criteria your GP or specialist will look for to confirm a diagnosis. These are:
Your GP or specialist will ask you about the pattern of your symptoms to help assess their severity. For example, they may ask you:
Keeping a sleep diary may help your doctor assess your symptoms. You can use the diary to record your daily sleeping habits, such as the time you go to bed, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake during thenight, and episodes of tiredness during the day.
Mild symptoms of restless legs syndrome can usually be treated by making lifestyle changes for example, establishing a regular sleeping pattern and avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol or tobacco, in the evening.
If your symptoms are more severe, you may need medication to bring them under control.
Low iron levels can be treated withiron tablets.
If you haverestless legs syndrome and your sleep is being severely disrupted, sleep testssuch as asuggested immobilisation test may be recommended. The test involveslyingon a bed for a set period of time without moving your legs while anyinvoluntary leg movements are monitored.
Occasionally, polysomnography may be recommended. This is a test that measures your breathing rate, brain waves and heartbeat throughout the course of a night. The results will confirm whether you have periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS) .
Find out what restless legs syndrome (RLS) is, what causes it, and how it can be treated.
Read more about the typical symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS), which include an overwhelming urge to move your legs and an uncomfortable sensation in your legs.
Read about the possible causes of restless legs syndrome (RLS), including genes, problems with dopamine, and other underlying health conditions, such as iron deficiency anaemia.
There is no test available for diagnosing restless legs syndrome (RLS). A diagnosis is based on your symptoms and medical history.
Find out more about the treatments for restless legs syndrome (RLS), including making lifestyle changes, such as establishing a regular sleeping pattern, and medication.