Restless Legs Syndrome
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Suggestions for a kidney patient

My husband has RLS due to kidney failure and it's got progreesively worse. The only thing the doctor could suggest was tablets used for epilepsy and they were contra-indicated for kidney patients.

Can anyone suggest anything that might help? The condition is worse at night and it's often two or three hours before either of us can get any sleep and then we're awake again very early. My husband kicks me all the time time and if he turns over he kicks out violently until he falls out of bed.

10 Replies

I am sorry to hear of your husbands kidney failure. Apart from RLS, it sounds as if your hubby has PLMD, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, that is a condition that happens while asleep.

I havent any answers really on what he can take.

But looking on this website and the treatment page when i scrolled through talks about RLS and Kidney failure and a couple of maybe useful meds that might help.


Thank you. They can only suggest sedatives for kidney patients some of which are opiates and my husband doesn't want to take them. I don't blame him as dialysis can make him very tired and confused as it is. I was wondering if anyone has explored ways of using diet for control of RLS and PLMD. I'm convinced that there's a connection.


Yes, it seems that is what is suggested to take. As for diet, i have never heard of anyone trying to control PLMD with diet but some people do for RLS. Its an individual thing, on what food or drink can make RLS worse or better. Some benefit from stopping certain foods and drink, some it doesnt make any difference.


He could take a low dose of extended pain pill plus a muscle relaxer if the pain pill isn't enough. The tiredness usually lasts 3 days and then the body will adjust.


Diet may help - I use some things like cutting out sugary, salty snacks. My body dislikes both of those. Artificial sweeteners are not going in this body except an occasional diet soft drink. I don't even use the gums or mints that contain that stuff. It's not really dull and boring as you think it is when you hear about it..Small changes are very good but even in following the strictest of diets, there will be no immediate results from diet. The pain pills usually take care of RLS. and PLMD.

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One quite popular treatment is for a doctor to prescribe low doses of a type of drug usually taken to treat Parkinson's disease. There are several of this type of drug known as Dopamine agonists, e.g. Pramipexole.

I have taken this drug for over 6 years with success in the treatment of RLS. Some people complain of undesirable side effects. Also some people have found trouble with augmentation.

The main thing I should mention is that if you decide to stop taking whichever Dopamine agonist you're on you have to wean yourself off very slowly (take weeks or months) otherwise you run the (slight) risk of NMS (Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome). This is potentially lethal but is unlikely to be so.

Also stopping these drugs can result in very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Please do a search on HealthUnlocked website for DAWS (Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome). There are several posts, some very informattive.


My husband doesn't really want to take any more drugs than he's already taking as they make him feel unwell. Also the dialysis makes him really tired and confused after every session. He does eat too many sweets and it's hard trying to persuade him to cut down as he's on restricted fluids and the sweets help a lot. I think that maybe if I can get him to stick more rigidly to the diet recommended for kidney patients he might get some relief.


Diet does take some time. I went to the and found

some really helpful information on dieting - one is called the mayo

diet.. looks to be sensible. They have minimal cost for a personal plan.

I feel like you though.. just give me recipes and I will just cook them

and get on with our busy life..




Wow, thank you for that. My husband has a dietician but the Mayo Clinic site has lots of useful information for kidney patients.


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