Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

127 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

What causes restless leg syndrome?

Answered by
Dr. Dariush Saghafi


Practicing since :1988

Answered : 1673 Questions

Posted on Fri, 8 Aug 2014 in Brain and Spine
Question: Can u tell me whether Veins have anything to do with RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME. Saw a commercial from a Vein Clinic with several things veins cause RLS was one?
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 26 hours later
Brief Answer:
Venous insufficiency not a cause to RLS

Detailed Answer:
Good evening Ms. XXXXXXX My name is Dr. Saghafi and I am a neurologist.

At this time we do not know what the underlying cause or mechanism of RLS is other than to say that the best medications used in treating the majority of patients are also used to treat Parkinson's disease. Therefore, the theoretical explanation is that the disorder involves some type of dopamine deficiency but WHERE is the bigger question?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the central nervous system not in the muscles themselves. There was a time we believed RLS to be some form of peripheral neuropathy (nerves that are not working properly outside the brain and spinal cord) but that notion seems to have given way to the thought that the basic underlying defect is in the brain itself. Again, this is supported by the fact that medications which restore function or at least seem to stimulate brain based receptors improve the symptoms. Serum testing for iron is very popular to support the notion of the peripheral neuropathy but in fact, it proves to be a useful treatment in only a small percentage of patients. Many experts in RLS no longer routinely test for iron levels since treatment with iron has so many other uncomfortable side effects.

Personally, I've stopped routine testing for iron and I simply treat the condition empirically if my clinical index of suspicion is high enough. If that doesn't solve the problem then, I may opt to test more elaborate blood or urine panels and that is where I may order not just iron but all of its storage and transport parameters as well. I also include thyroids, vitamin D, D2, and D3 as well as a screen for Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

If what you heard or what was said by this clinic directly implicated venous congestion as an underlying cause to RLS then, it is a grossly misleading ad and should be ignored. The notion that there is a vascular component to RLS and that somehow peripheral vein restructuring, stripping, or ablations will help or cure the problem is simply not a credible idea at this time.

Feel free to send more questions on this topic. However, if you feel that I've provided timely and useful information for your purposes I would appreciate your feedback of our discussion. At the same time, would you do me the favor of CLOSING THE QUERY so as to properly register the case as having satisfactorily been addressed.

This case required 39 min. of dedicated physician time in reviewing, researching, and organizing data into final draft form.

Cheers! Dr D.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,   ,  
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Rheumatoid arthritis

doctor1 MD

Hi, I have had mycosis fungicides for nearly 25 years. I have used nitrogen mustard, total body, accutane and interferon injections but now only use methotrexate which keeps skin lessons away. The past 10 years I have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, sjogrens, fibromalasia along with many infections mostly in the lungs. I feel horrible most of the time and the very worst upon waking in the morning so much so I dread going to sleep. I need help but don t know where to turn

doctor1 MD

My 14 yr. old is having extreme burping, we have been to the ER and got no results. She was previously diagnosed with a Lyles Heart murmur or musical murmur. She is 5 9 , 138 pounds, active with basketball and dance. She complains of lightheadedness, chest pain in upper left quadrant, left arm pain and she says she feels like her heart is racing at random times. She can t inhale or exhale deeply without burps, and they are constant and persistant. She has had a normal sonogram of the liver, kidneys, gall bladder. Do you have any suggestions? We are frustrated. In the ER she had low potassium and low BUN, she has also been diagnosed with chillblains on the fingers and toes, negative antigen test for Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis.

doctor1 MD

Hello, I just started taking methotrexate for arthritis pain and also just found out that it causes hair loss. What percentage of people taking this drug do lose their hair. I am taking only 2.5 mg to start. Is that enough to cause hair loss? Brenda

doctor1 MD

I read your Can mold cause rheumatoid arthritis and I have also read toxic mold systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis - Google Search and a blog about a 14-year-old girl with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, was found to have Stachybotrys growing in her bedroom walls... the reason I reiterate all this is because my son got so infected by Stachybotrys and other toxic molds in our apt that he developed systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and it affects his heart, lung and joints - so does this type of mold cause it or not?

doctor1 MD

My Mother is 67 years old. For past few months, she has been suffering from black patches and itching in her lower right leg. She consulted an ayurvedic specialist and took up prescribed medicines. The diagnosis was impurities in blood and the...

doctor1 MD

If I have rheumatoid arthritis , what is safest medication that also helps osteoporosis? How can I reduce swelling in feet and hands? I'm taking high-dose fish oil for RA symptoms. It seems to have reduced pain but not swelling. Thank you. YYYY@YYYY

doctor1 MD

The joints in my hands have become very painful. Only my left thumb swells (I'm right handed) and does not have full movement. this has been going on for abt 3 weeks. Now the joints in my toes and feet are starting to get the same type of pain.