Restless leg syndrome common in adults with coeliac disease

A team of researchers from Department of Systematic pathology, the Department of Neurological Sciences at University Federico II and IDC Hermitage Capodimonte, Naples and the Sleep Disorders Center, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan recruited 100 adult patients for features of celiac disease, iron metabolism, clinical and neurological conditions, and enrolled another 100 people from the general population as control subjects. These subjects were matched for age and sex.

The team applied four essential diagnostic criteria for restless leg syndrome to the study group, in addition to conducting a neurological examination. They gauged restless leg syndrome severity using the International restless leg syndrome Study Group rating scale.

The results showed a 31% prevalence of restless leg syndrome among subjects with celiac disease, which was much higher than the 4% prevalence in the control population although the average restless leg syndrome severity among celiac disease patients was moderate.

However there appeared to be no significant correlation between restless leg syndrome and either gluten-free diet or iron metabolism; even though the celiac patients with restless leg syndrome showed significantly lower hemoglobin levels than those without the syndrome. Nor was there any connection in the group between restless leg syndrome and other possible causes such as peripheral neuropathy, pregnancy, end-stage renal disease, and pharmacological treatments.

The study increases the number of neurological disorders now associated with celiac disease.

Movement Disorders; 13 Apr 2010

Courtesy of


More research on the management of coeliac disease


Top of page

If you found this article interesting, you will find many more general articles and research reports on coeliac disease here, and lots of information on the management of coeliac disease here.
You can also find articles and research reports on gluten intolerance here and articles on a wide range of other digestive conditions here.

For hundreds of gluten free foods see our freefrom food section here, and for nearly 800 gluten-free recipes see here.

And if you would like to get our FREE fortnightly e-newsletter with new products, recipes, articles and all the latest news from the allergy and freefrom world, just sign up here.