Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome in Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD Treatment Restless Lef Syndrome (RLS) is a circadian sensory-movement disorder neurological disease, which mainly causes unspeakable discomfort in the deep muscles of the legs and promotes leg movement. About 2/3 of the patients have leg tiredness. In common patients, the incidence rate of RLS is 3%-7%. And patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially those who are not on dialysis, have a significantly increased risk of RLS, about 5 times higher than the general population. RLS is not only related to the depression of CKD patients, but also aggravates the incidence rate and death rate of cardiovascular diseases. It should draw your attention.

What is the treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome in CKD?

Non-drug treatment

Lifestyle intervention

In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine proposed that patients with mild RLS could be improved by regular daily exercise, such as hot bath, leg massage, use of heating pad, and avoid drinking at night. In addition, regular rest, cycling and other aerobic exercise can alleviate symptoms.

Dialysis-related treatment

Short daily hemodialysis (SDHD) for 2-3h 6 times a week can improve RLS symptoms. Besides, high flux dialyzer and high macromolecular clearance mode can also improve the symptoms of RLS.

Iron Treatment

About 30% patients have different levels of iron deficiency, especially for CKD patients. And the decrease of serum ferritin level is also related to the severity of RLS. The requirements for the use of iron agent in the latest AAN practice guide are as follows: In patients with RLS and serum ferritin < 75 mg/L, clinicians should consider prescribing ferrous sulfate and vitamin C to improve RLS symptoms.

Drug treatment

Many studies prove that drugs are effective for RLS. However, the excretion or metabolism of certain drugs (such as protein-binding drugs) in patients with chronic kidney disease may be affected, resulting in decreased drug efficacy and increased risk of adverse reactions. Therefore, clinicians should fully consider the safety of CKD patients when selecting drug therapy for RLS patients.

Gabapentin analogue

It is recommended for patients with creatinine clearance rate less than 15ml/min. Because dialysis can completely remove gabapentin from the body, there is no restriction on dialysis patients and it is often used after dialysis treatment.

CKD can cause many complications and restless leg syndrome is just one of them. Except for conventional therapy, we have new treatments called systematic Chinese medicine treatments including Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy, Medicated Bath, Medicated Foot Bath, Medicinal Soup, Mai Kang Mixture, Steaming Therapy and Enema Therapy, etc. They can treat kidney disease from root so complications can also disappear radically.


***Please seek professional medical advise for the diagnosis or treatment of any ailment, disease or medical condition. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a licensed medical professional.***

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