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Celiac Disease is associated with Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Posted By Alison On Sep 7, 2009 @ In Celiac Disease,News & Research,Symptoms | 5 Comments

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about a small study that connected Restless Legs Syndrome with Celiac Disease. A new larger study, that will be published in the medical journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, confirms that screening for celiac disease and implementing a gluten-free diet can help many people suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome.

Here is the study in brief:

PURPOSE: Celiac disease may be associated with restless legs syndrome (RLS) because of an association with iron deficiency. Often, RLS negatively affects quality of life but may remain undiagnosed. This study evaluated the association between celiac disease and RLS.

RESULTS: The incidence of RLS among 85 patients with celiac disease was 35%, with a prevalence of 25% compared with 10% of spouses (P < 0.02). In 79% of patients with RLS and celiac disease, neuromuscular symptoms began during or after onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. Iron deficiency was present in 40% of celiac patients with active RLS compared with 6% of patients without RLS (P < 0.001). After 6 months of a gluten-free diet, RLS symptoms improved in 50% of 28 patients.

CONCLUSION: Screening for celiac disease in patients with RLS is important since this commonly overlooked silent disease may be a correctable factor for some patients with idiopathic RLS.


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