Simple changes in diet and exercise can help relieve some of the frustrating symptoms of restless leg syndrome, says a movement disorders specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“Sometimes the irresistible movements of this condition can be caused by something as simple as a nutritional deficiency,” says Dr. Shilpa Chitnis, assistant professor of neurology at UT Southwestern.
Restless leg syndrome is characterized by overpowering, “antsy” urges to move the legs, particularly when sitting or lying down. The thrashing around can disrupt sleep and relationships. The arms or torso can also be involved.
There is no definitive test for RLS, but doctors can use a history of symptoms to diagnose the disorder, which affects up to 10 percent of the population, with about 3 percent experiencing severe symptoms.
If the condition is diagnosed, a physician can:
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