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Sleep Med. 2009 Aug;10(7):763-5. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.07.014. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Celiac disease as a possible cause for low serum ferritin in patients with restless legs syndrome.

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  • 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Medicine, 506 S. Mathews Avenue, Suite 190, Urbana, IL 61801, USA. smanchan@illinois.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe celiac disease (CD) as a possible cause for low serum ferritin in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS).

BACKGROUND:

Low iron stores have been found to be a risk factor for RLS with serum ferritin levels less than 45-50 ng/mL associated with increased severity of RLS. It has become routine clinical practice to test serum ferritin in the initial assessment of RLS. CD is a common genetic disorder that can cause iron deficiency.

METHODS:

Consecutive case series of four patients with RLS and serum ferritin below 25 ng/mL, who had positive screening tests for celiac disease.

RESULTS:

We report four patients who had serum ferritin < 12 ng/mL and positive screening tests for CD. All had CD confirmed by duodenal biopsy and response to a gluten-free diet. RLS symptoms improved in all four, with two able to discontinue RLS medication and two responding without medication.

CONCLUSIONS:

In patients with RLS and low serum ferritin who do not have an obvious cause for iron deficiency, we suggest looking for CD by simple, inexpensive serologic testing. Diagnosis and treatment of CD is likely to improve the outcome for RLS, as well as identify individuals who are at risk for the significant long-term complications of CD.

PMID:
19138881
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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