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How do you diagnose weak leg syndrome?

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Physicians diagnose weak leg syndrome, also known as restless leg syndrome, based on a physical exam, an evaluation of signs and symptoms, and blood tests, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Ruling out other ailments or diseases is also part of the process.

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Additional tests to diagnose weak, or restless, leg syndrome include nerve conduction studies to determine any nerve problems, such as neuropathy, explains WebMD. Doctors may also conduct needle electromyography to evaluate the function of the nerves. In some cases, physicians may perform sleep testing to determine whether sleep disturbances affect limb movements and weakness. Blood tests check basic organ functions, thyroid hormone levels, hemoglobin and blood cell counts that can cause weakness in the legs.

During routine physical exams, physicians often ask patients questions about medical problems, family medical history, medications, travel and lifestyle habits that could be contributing to weak or restless legs, according to WebMD. Physicians may also ask patients with sleep problems to keep a journal to determine a pattern of pain or restlessness that inhibits daily functions.

Common symptoms of weak and restless leg syndromes include urges to move the legs, unpleasant feelings in the limbs and symptoms that worsen during the evening, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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