Restless Legs and Celiac Disease

celiac disease and Restless Legs (RLS) syndromeby Bradley Gillespie, PharmD

Marcello Moccia, MS, of the Department of Neurological Sciences at the University Federico II, and IDC Hermitage Capodimonte in Naples, Italy, along with colleagues set out to investigate the relationship between Restless Legs (RLS) and celiac disease (CD). The basis of their investigation was that iron-related anemia, due to malabsorption is common in CD, and such iron deficiencies are also often found in restless legs patients.

Restless Legs and Celiac Disease Study

In order to complete their investigation, they screened a population of 100 adults stricken with celiac disease for features such as iron metabolism  and neurological and clinical conditions. In addition, to provide proper balance, they also included 100 age and sex-matched general population, control subjects in the study.

The presence of RLS was determined in all subjects by characterizing four essential diagnostic criteria recognized by the international restless legs study group. Based on these parameters, a restless legs study group rating scale was used to measure the severity of RLS.

31% with RLS and Celiac Disease

The investigators found that RLS was present in 31% of celiac disease patients, while only 4% of the control population was afflicted. The average severity of RLS in the celiac disease population was moderate. There was no significant relationship found between the presence of RLS and either a gluten-free diet or iron metabolism, despite the fact that hemoglobin levels were significantly lower in celiac disease patients with RLS.

The investigators concluded that patients with celiac disease have a higher incidence of RLS than does the general population (Movement Disorders. Volume 25, Issue 7, pages 877–881, 15 May 2010).

This research suggests that patients with celiac disease are much more likely to be afflicted with RLS than other patients. As a result, patients with celiac disease should be evaluated carefully for the syndrome.

For patients found to be suffering from RLS, Calm Legs restless legs remedy should be considered as a part of their overall treatment regimen. Calm Legs is gluten-free.


Restless Legs sufferer Bradley Gillespie, PharmD, trained as a clinical pharmacist and has practiced in an industrial setting for the past 20-plus years. Currently, he supports efforts at the National Institutes of Health to develop therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. He remains a registered pharmacist and operates a medical writing business.

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“I get a creepy-crawly feeling in my legs that makes me want to get up and move constantly. After 3 weeks of using Calm Legs I can finally relax, and my life is so much better”

Ron, GA