Restless Legs Syndrome
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Dopamine Level Evaluation


I am 63 and for a few years I have painful tingling on my foot ( sleep bothering at night ), I have not figure out the cause yet ( done all types of blood test + MRI if ankle & disks )

noting found yet.

I was wondering if there is a reliable test to determine Dopamine level in blood.

Some doctors don't know even what that is.


19 Replies

That's a really interesting question!!!I have googled it and there is a blood and urine test available ,I went to the doctors today for a review of my anti d and yearly thyroid check. I had to see a locum and explained how the anti d have made my rls a million times worse. For the first time ever I was offered a battery of blood tests..ferritin,iron,mag, as I have to have my thyroid check anyway. My question to add to Rahim,s is has anyone ever had their dopamine levels checked and did it prove anything. I think ill ask for it done as well..also I read that increasing serotonin (taking ssri) reduces this why ssri make rls worse!!!!


SSRI's and tricyclic antidepressants are o the big "no-no" list for RLSer's. Bringing up your seratonin will exacerbate your RLS. tells all about this. Those are the two worst meds you can take, all of the meds in both classes I mentioned. Please read some reputable sites, and where did you hear that it was a good idea to take SSRI's. Are you depressed? I mean clinically depressed. IF you are not, then there is no reason to subject your brain and your body to those meds. Please read the treatment page on the web site above. I know we have talked about this before. ;)


Yes I have read the website and I do know all about ssri making things worse..I am cli.ically depressed and can find no alternative drug to take. Believe me ...if I could ...I would.!! I know we have talked about this before. Sorry if I sound cross. But if I hadnt started the ssri when I did I probably wouldn't still be here!


I have not read your other posts and realize that it has been 2 yrs since this post. But have you tried dietary interventions such as cutting out grains, dairy, sugars, processed foods, food colorings, flavorings, and additives - these have been know to have severe effects on the brain and can play a major role in mood and movement disorders. Also natural supplements such as 5-htp, GABA, magnesium, iron, and zinc may play a role in mood, RLS, and a myriad of other conditions. If you have tried dietary changes and supplements in the past, be aware that they often take 6-12 weeks to effect the change you are looking for. Consider talking to a naturopathic doctor about other natural solutions. (Note: make sure the Naturopath completed a degree at a 4yr medical school since every state has different rules for naturopathic doctors.) One last thought - you should consider completing a genetic test at for $99. The FDA only allows them to give you raw data now, but this can easily be run through to get a print out of mutations in methylation pathways that are related to mood/neurological disorders and can easily be corrected with proper vitamin supplementation . For a more thorough report you can have the the data run thru for $5.

FYI, I'm a doctor and just happened to be passing by this forum. I will not be visiting this site again so please don't respond to me as I will not see your question.

Hope this helps and good luck to everyone suffering. Health is a fickle thing. Be kind to your bodies and find ways bring relaxation and laughter into your life everyday.


As far as i know and i am sure we would know by now, there isnt a test for dopamine... Serotonin isnt a ssri, not that i know of anyway.


The only test that is available is a ferritin level test, which shows how your body stores iron. that is one of the many possible underlying causes of swecondary RLS. It is not a regular iron serum test, it is a test you ahve to ask for, because some doctor do not think to run it. Ferritin is in your liver and skeletal system.


That is right. Below I posted the web site that everyone should read and memorize when it comes to treating RLS. :) NO SSRI's, yes it depletes dopamine.


Dopamine is nerotransmitter, so it cannot be measured in a regular blood test. The only way that "they" can even guess at a dopmine level is if you have elevated epinephrine levels. dopamine is linked to epinephrine levels, but an abnormal test can mean one of thousand things. They can guess that your dopmaine level is off by the "epi" in your blood, but there is no blood test directly for dopmaine levels, and that is something they really have to WORK on. Not yet, though, and being a neurotranmitter, it is very hard to catch "electricity" and measure it when it comes in flashes. :) That is kind of how dopamie acts in some people. Again, educated guesses. Some of the experts who have been studying the dopamine connection all these years are now syaing we ned to look at other things, and get off the dopamine "kick" because it is not the be all and end all for possible causes. I personally feel in my case, dopmine does not ahv e ting to do with it, unless it is "excitability in the spinal canal fluid" which they can measure in a sleep study. But, there is no dopmine`level test, only conjecture, trial and error, and all that jazz. ;)


Thankyou...that explains loads. Sorry about my earlier post but I am extremely tired . Hopefully I may get some answers from the bloods I have just had done. Seeing a locum gp was amazing. I have asked for ferritin levels done for years and been told there was no point. She was quite shocked they had never been offered!

Reply Go to the treatment page and read the lists of meds that can be used, and Drugs and Foods to Avoid. It is the most importnat RLs info and accuarte on the internet, and REALLY easy to navigate. :)


Honestly I have studied this site to death. I am aware of what makes things worse and have tried everything. I know there is no real answer and no cure and it just gets worse. I am desperately avoiding the dopamine drugs for as long as possible and just trying to find another way. I cannot cope with the augmentation and changing drugs and side effect such as compulsive behavior really terrifies me. Been there , done that. Hopefully I will be able to stop the ssri soon. But thankyou for all your help.



I read your helpful comments carefully , dear Dragon I feel the same way in avoiding dopamine drugs, my ferritin was in normal range . I am suspicious to the side effects of drugs I used to take for depression and other mood drugs, any way I figured what should I do for sure to help me on rls are :

1- having my normal weight, so I put down about 30lb in few months

2-quitting smoking, so I did .

3-Avoiding alcohol, I have minimized it to one or two glasses of wine a week.

4-exercising daily ( walking, running, swimming for an hour or 2 )

5- healthy eating ( basically fruits and vegetables ).

6- staying cool with positive attitudes.

7- Drinking alkaline ionized water daily

I am not cured yet and may not be in future but I feel better both on feet and mind.

Again I would like to be in touch and learn.

Especial thank to Nightdancer :)

1 like

Thankyou Rahim for your comments. It really is such a difficult disease. I know there are no real answers and no cure but we keep trying to get some relief. I will try the dopamine drugs eventually but I would like to try every alternative first. The last few weeks it has been a constant companion! I get my blood results at the end of the week and the doctor I saw said she wants to do some research before she sees me again as she doesn't know enough about would be lovely if it was a simple answer like just take some supplements...but that's unlikely!!!. I think my next move will be to try hypnotherapy to get some control over the symptoms so it doesn't take over my whole being as it does now. Best wishes


I have chronic Restless Legs Syndrome and a rare place to have symptoms I read by a Professor is in the feet but it can occur there. I have it there but it is throbbing, stabbing, and the sensory part is like bubbling of carbonated water. You could have RLS. You should just check electrolytes and zinc and magnesium levels and ferratin levels which will probably be normal. I would ask your doctor to refer you to a neurologist. You have nothing to lose.


I dont agree with you about the feet, my feet bother me a lot, as it does to loads of us RLS sufferers, so i would say its quite common, not rare.


same here Keeley my feet go nuts at times to the point my big toes go up and over which can be painful thankfully the joints go the wrong way lol have hear few folk who's feet play up specially when over hot ....


you too...see i knew it wasnt rare realy :) but oo good greif that sounds painfull, it must hurt a lot gypsy


yeah can do.... but as said thankfully joints on wrong way round to start with lol but still hurts when they go over defo RLS i asked the Neurosureon if it was linked saem goes for the hands going into spasm when the arms go so .... no you was right Keeley not as rare as some would think


Sorry there is no test to ascertain dopamine levels.


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