Restless Legs Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Restless Legs Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog

Sleep issues are, unfortunately, a common occurrence with fibromyalgia. One of these distressing disorders is restless legs syndrome (RLS). One may wonder what on earth this is. Let’s look at the symptoms and some steps to take to improve them.

Symptoms may include the sensation of creeping, burning, crawling, or tugging in the legs. At times, these sensations are fairly minor. Other times, they can be really painful. They can cause an overwhelming urge to move the legs to find some relief. These sensations usually start when a person is relaxed, which means they can keep someone from falling asleep or wake them up during the night. That causes the person to be truly exhausted and function below an optimum level the next day. RLS is a neurological condition, but it’s not yet clear what causes it.

A nutritional deficiency, such as magnesium, can cause harsher symptoms. One thing a lot of us with fibromyalgia already do is to take a warm or hot bath using Epsom salts that contain magnesium. Taking a bath this way before bed helps to relax the muscles, and adding lavender essential oil to the mix will help you relax and possibly sleep better, as well as alleviate symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

For those like me who are unable to get in and out of a bathtub, we can make a tea with Natural Vitality Natural Calm magnesium.It’s organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. It’s what I drink before bed. A bonus is this product also helps me feel calm if I’m under stress.

Treatment for restless legs syndrome can result in a better night’s sleep and, as a result, potentially ease fibromyalgia symptoms. According to one study, people with fibromyalgia were 10 times more likely to have RLS than a control group, which is mind-blowing to me.

If you think you have RLS, you could always ask your doctor to do a ferritin test to determine your iron levels, as this is another cause of the syndrome. If you’ve had a ferritin test done and your iron levels were under 60, you could ask your doctor if an iron supplement is best for you. When taking iron supplements, talk to your doctor about vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron. As always, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Other things that may help you include:

• Eating protein before bed to avoid a drop in blood sugar (examples are cheese, a handful of almonds, or a hard-boiled egg).
• Avoiding caffeine in the evening, preferably after mid-afternoon.

If you’re like me and take Neurontin for your fibromyalgia symptoms, it can also be helpful for your RLS symptoms.

It’s never easy trying to figure out if the symptoms we are experiencing are related to our fibromyalgia or not. Apparently, RLS is one of those comorbidities that are related to our fibro. My hope is that this information will help you in discussions with your primary care provider.


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


    • Nancy L Ruckman says:

      All day, every day! Seeing a neurologist right now for the body-wide jerking issues. I have a hard time controlling my legs (like when slipping on a shoe) and my arms, like when reaching for the car door. Scrambling eggs is a messy ordeal when the fork jerks and eggs go flying. MAY be a Neuronton side effect, but I’m not willing to give up the Neuronton to find out!

  1. Heather Reeves says:

    Ropinirole, a drug for Parkinsons, is the only treatment that works with RLS for me. I got the RLS within a few years of getting TMJ. With the ropiinrole I can sleep, though I still kick and move according to my husband.

  2. jean spain says:

    I am in the UK and take Pramipexol at about 7pm (also prescribed for Parkinson’s disease) as have all over body RLS which starts as soon as I sit in the early evening to have my evening meal. Watch out for the unusual side effects though of gambling addiction and unusual sexual activity which are well documented to affect those on this and similar drugs.I am my husband’s carer and having Fibro (20 years) as well can be a nightmare at times but have to carry on. I ran a support group for many years which was invaluable for the 150+ members, try one if there is one near you!

  3. AJ says:

    I use the vaporized CBD and the BioCBDplus topical oil. They made a difference in my sleeping and reduction in my RLS symptoms. I have only been using for a short period, so far so good. – AJ

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