Constantly exhausted but unable to sleep, the complaint is common among fibromyalgia patients. Until now doctors have had a difficult time treating sleep disruption from the chronic condition. Researchers have discovered restless leg syndrome is often the culprit, and medication for the sleep disorder may greatly improve patients’ quality of life.
A study published in the October issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reports restless leg syndrome is about 10 times more prevalent in people with fibromyalgia compared to normal, healthy populations.
About 2 percent of people in the United States have fibromyalgia, a condition that causes you to feel fatigued with pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons and tenderness all over your body. The condition occurs mostly in women and the cause is unknown.
Medications and therapy can minimize the symptoms, but can’t cure fibromyalgia. Authors of the study report the antidepressants often prescribed for patients may be causing restless leg syndrome cases. This may explain the higher than normal rate of restless leg syndrome.
Treatment for restless leg syndrome may help fibromyalgia patients' fatigue. Restless leg syndrome is fully treatable with medications such as pramipexole or ropinirole. See your doctor for treatment if you think you may have restless leg syndrome.