RLS: Why Is Misdiagnosis Is So Common?
Sometimes it’s difficult for doctors to diagnose restless leg syndrome.
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Many cases of restless leg syndrome go undiagnosed because:
- Many people do not seek a doctor’s help when they have symptoms.
- Most people visit a doctor during the day, when symptoms are not present or are only mild.
- Some doctors do not recognize the condition and may believe that the symptoms are caused by other conditions, such as insomnia, stress, muscle cramps, or arthritis.
- Restless legs syndrome does occur in children but it is hard to diagnose for the same reasons.
The Special Problem With Children & RLS
Children often are not able to describe their symptoms. A parent’s observations of the child’s behavior and sleep may be helpful. Knowing that a parent or other close relative has restless legs syndrome can also help the doctor make a diagnosis of restless legs syndrome in the child.