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My son, a 30 year veteran of the US Marine Corps, has been

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experiencing severe restless legs....
my son, a 30 year veteran of the US Marine Corps, has been experiencing severe restless legs. They start at 10 am. The VA has given me meds but they make him so drowsy he finds it hard to stay awake. His is 51 year old. Should he go to Mayo for further diagnosis.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Neurology
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Answered in 31 minutes by:
7/17/2015
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago
Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5,560
Experience: Neurology & Int Medicine (US Trained): 20 yrs experience
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Hi there. Is your son experiencing any pain in his legs?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
constant need to move
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

Does this start as soon as he gets up, or does it start a bit later?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
a bit later, about 2 hours, he runs at 5am or 6am then about 9:30 or 10 am it starts
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

Does the pain start while running or only after? And how long do the symptoms last once they start?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
start after running and will last until he takes his meds
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
the meds make him extremely drowsy
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

Do you know the name of his medication?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
gavapentin, 900 milagrams 3x day: ropinirole 2mg before dinner and 2mg before bed
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

Both of these medications can cause daytime sleepiness. Has he ever tried one without the other?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No, he is afraid he will be kicking his wife all night!!
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

I see. Has he tried any other medications?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
this is the last regimen the VA has given him. Isn't there diet and something else that will lessen the extreme drowsiness so that he can concentrate on his Masters and new career.
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

Going to Mayo is a good idea when one has reached the limits of what one's own doctors can do. They are on the cutting edge of treatment for many hard to control conditions like RLS. They are likely to provide a comprehensive program for your son including medications and lifestyle changes.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you so much, I believe that is where he needs to go now. Thank you
Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

For example, they recommend the following:

  • Try baths and massages. Soaking in a warm bath and massaging your legs can relax your muscles.
  • Apply warm or cool packs. Use of heat or cold, or alternating use of the two, may lessen your limb sensations.
  • Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.Stress can aggravate RLS/WED. Learn to relax, especially before bedtime.
  • Establish good sleep hygiene. Fatigue tends to worsen symptoms of RLS/WED, so it's important that you practice good sleep hygiene. Ideally, have a cool, quiet, comfortable sleeping environment; go to bed and rise at the same time daily; and get adequate sleep. Some people with RLS/WED find that going to bed later and rising later in the day helps in getting enough sleep.
  • Exercise. Getting moderate, regular exercise may relieve symptoms of RLS/WED, but overdoing it or working out too late in the day may intensify symptoms.
  • Avoid caffeine. Sometimes cutting back on caffeine may help restless legs. Try to avoid caffeine-containing products, including chocolate and caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and soft drinks, for a few weeks to see if this helps.
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Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

He probably has tried most of these already. But clearly they are helpful when combined with the appropriate medications at the appropriate doses. It sounds like his medications need to be adjusted or changed as this level of sedation is unacceptable.

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Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago

You're welcome.

Hope all works out for the best for your son.

God bless.

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Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago
Let me know if you have any follow up questions.
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Neurologist: Dr. Bob, Neurologist (MD) replied 2 years ago
Hello. How is your son doing? Did he get care at Mayo?
Hope he is doing better.
If you have no more questions, please remember to provide a rating so we know how we did. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
Regards,
Doctor-Bob
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