Restless Leg Syndrome

Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center -  - Vascular Surgeon

Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center

Vascular Surgeons & Vein Specialists located in Port Jefferson Station, NY & Hauppauge, NY

Are your nights plagued by uncontrollable urges to move your legs? Restless legs syndrome (RLS) affects up to 7-8% of the population in the United States, with 2-3% reporting a major disruption in their quality of life. The team of vascular specialists at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center helps their patients in Hauppauge, Port Jefferson Station, and Riverhead, New York, get to the bottom of RLS, allowing them to get the rest they need. If you suffer from restless legs syndrome, call or use the online scheduling tool.

Restless Leg Syndrome Q & A

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that’s characterized by five symptoms:

  1. A strong and irresistible urge to move your legs and an unpleasant feeling in your legs
  2. The urges are stronger when you’re at rest
  3. Your symptoms improve with movement
  4. Your symptoms occur mostly at night
  5. Your symptoms aren’t attributable to another problem, such as leg cramps or swelling

There’s no definitive test to confirm RLS, which is why these five criteria were set forth to differentiate RLS from other problems.

What causes restless legs syndrome?

Medical researchers are still unclear as to the exact cause of RLS, but the condition has been linked to:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Kidney disease (especially end-stage kidney failure)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco use
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Researchers also believe that genetics play a role, especially in those that develop the condition before the age of 40.

How is restless legs syndrome diagnosed and treated?

When you see your doctor at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center, they first review your symptoms to see whether you meet the five criteria mentioned above. This is important because RLS can also be a symptom of vascular disorders, such as venous insufficiency. Through extensive testing, including ultrasound, your doctor can determine whether a vascular issue is at the heart of the problem or whether you have primary RLS.

Whether your RLS is primary or as a result of another underlying condition, your doctor at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center screens for any co-occurring vascular problems. Studies show that sufferers of RLS, especially women, may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Through their diagnostic tools and testing, your doctor can determine what role, if any, your vascular health plays in your RLS.

Once your doctor identifies the cause behind your RLS, they put you on an appropriate treatment plan that may include medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes. If your RLS stems from another problem, such as peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes, your doctor may recommend you seek the counsel of a specialist in this area.

To learn more about restless legs syndrome, call one of the three Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center locations or request an appointment using the online booking tool.