Restless Legs Syndrome
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Help and information needed please

Hi, I am wondering if I have RLS. I remember having jurking feelings at night since a child but the last few months it has got really bad. When I go to sleep (Well try) my leg jumps up and I hear this bang in my head.

In the past it used to just be a very irritable urge to move my legs. and i would keep tossing and turning until I fell asleep. On many occasions I would get up and go and lay on the sofa and watch tv until I fell asleep.

Whats concerning me the most is, I have read that opiates can help relive the symptoms but I am on a very strong opiate medicine and it dosnt seem to help.

Should I go to my doctor and explain this to them? Are UK doctors up to date with this syndrome? Im just concerned that they will make nothing of it and just tell me to deal with it. as I got addicted to sleeping pills in the past. So I really feel they will think this is the reason I am trying to get them to diagnose it .

This was the reason I got addicted to the sleeping pills in the first place, But at the time I didnt know about RLS and just told the doctor I was having problems sleeping.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

6 Replies

The 4 official criteria for helping to confirm

a restless legs syndrome diagnosis

These criteria were established by the National Institutes of Health in a workshop with members of the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group.

The four criteria are:

You have a strong and often overwhelming urge to move your legs. This urge is usually accompanied by the various unpleasant restless leg syndrome symptoms or sensations I mentioned above.

The urge to move or the symptoms of restless leg syndrome are triggered or worsen when you're inactive and resting...either lying down, sleeping, or just sitting.

Your restless leg syndrome sensations are relieved, either partly or totally, with movements. Activities such as stretching, walking, riding an exercise bike, or shaking the legs. This relief continues as long as the movement continues.

Your restless leg syndrome symptoms and urge to move are worse at night. Also, they are either gone in the morning or are very slight.

So there you have it. I've just given you almost everything you need to know about recognizing restless leg syndrome symptoms. I hope it helps you realize that what you're feeling is not "all in your head

These are the criteria to diagnose RLS, you can take this info along to your doctor, most doctors in the UK have heard of RLS, some are not sure how to treat it...what opiate are you taking...? There are others medications which are used for RLS, many of the blogs and questions on here have what people are trying or have tried. You can look at the NHS Choices website for medications which are used in the UK for RLS.

My brother first started on sleeping pills for his RLS, before he found out there were medications which are used. He is still taking them as one, he is now dependant on them and two, they help him sleep along with his RLS med...

1 like

The criteria are not my words, i took them from a website, but they are what you need to know if you have RLS....


Thanks, Elisse. :) we must have been typing at the same time. :)


Since you have had a problem with meds in that past, and that is too bad you did, but understandable with severe RLS. You say you are taking an opiate. I do, too. My question back to you, since I take antidepressants and other meds, are you on any other meds that could be making RLS worse? has a great treatment page and scroll down to see the list of "Drugs and Foods to Avoid". There are several over the counter sleep meds, cold and allergy meds, too, that have ingredients which can set you legs off big time. I am in the US, and I know things are way different in the UK when it comes to the health care systems. BUT, you cannot be afraid or be embarrassed about having RLS. Just take a deep breath, go see you doctor and tell him the truth.

the RLS UK Foundation web site has the diagnostic criteria for RLS, as well as the US Between those 3 web sites you will get some excellent information. There are many other meds that a doctor will try for RLS BEFORE opiates. so, that treatment page on is golden, as to how to treat RLS, or what to try in what order. Opiates will be last, and you need to see if any other meds you are taking (especially antidepressants, most of them) And, opiates are not handed out frequently in the UK, as I understand from spending time on here with my English friends.


You may also want to speak to someone personally about your RLS and the RLS-UK charity has someone available - our helpline is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9:00am-11:00am. To contact us please call 01634 260483. Helpful information can also be found on our website


That is GREAT that you guys have a HELP line. I know the US Foundation does not have this option, and they SHOULD. :) Who answers the line when someone calls?


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