There are currently no tests that can detect restless legs syndrome (RLS). However, there are a few methods your healthcare provider can use to make a diagnosis. For example, he or she may ask specific questions about your medical history and current medications. A physical exam may also be performed. Finally, blood tests can detect other conditions (such as iron deficiency) that can cause RLS.
There are currently no tests available that can diagnose restless legs syndrome (RLS). In fact, restless legs syndrome can be hard to diagnose and is easily confused with other conditions.
In order to make a restless legs syndrome diagnosis, your healthcare provider will:
- Take a complete medical history
- Do a complete physical examination
- Order tests.
RLS detection will depend on the information you provide to your healthcare provider. To help make a diagnosis, your healthcare provider may ask about:
- Current and past medical problems
- Family history
- Current medications.
Your healthcare provider may ask questions about possible RLS symptoms, such as:
- Can you describe your symptoms?
- When did your symptoms first begin?
- When during the day or night do the symptoms usually occur?
- When are your symptoms worse?
- Do symptoms interfere with your sleep?
You will also ask about your sleep habits, such as:
- The time you go to bed and get up
- Your routine before going to bed
- Noise, light, and interruptions in the room where you sleep
- Whether you snore
- How you feel during the day
- If you are tired and sleepy when you wake up and during the day
- If you have trouble concentrating
- If you doze off or have difficulty staying awake doing routine tasks, especially driving.
Your healthcare provider will ask questions to find out if your symptoms are a result of a possible underlying condition. Questions may include:
- Do members of your family have similar symptoms?
- What medicines (over-the-counter and prescription) do you take?
- Do you snore loudly and frequently?
- Do you gasp for air during sleep?
- Do you use caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol?