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Dopa responsive irritable bowel syndrome: restless bowel syndrome or a gastrointestinal variant of restless legs syndrome?
  1. Sanjay Prakash1 and
  2. Anurag Prakash2
  1. 1Neurolgy, Smt BK Shah Medical Institute and Research Centre, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
  2. 2Parul University Parul Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
  1. Correspondence to Sanjay Prakash; drprakashs{at}


In addition to the legs, restless legs syndrome (RLS) affects various other parts of the body, including the arms, abdomen, face, head-neck, oral cavity, genital area and bladder. RLS is also associated with several comorbid conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We are reporting two cases of RLS who also had IBS, fulfilling the Rome IV criteria. The administration of levodopa and dopamine agonists provided a complete improvement in both IBS and RLS. Review of the literature suggest that the clinical semiology and clinical pattern of IBS (urge to defaecate, abdominal pain, abdominal distension, bloating, disturbed sleep and circadian rhythm) simulate the semiology and pattern of RLS. Similarities are also noted in the associated comorbid conditions, effective drugs and proposed hypotheses for both clinical syndromes. We hypothesise that RLS may affect intestine, and IBS-like symptoms in a subset of patients with RLS may be the part of RLS symptoms complex.

  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • movement disorders (other than parkinsons)
  • pain (neurology)
  • sleep disorders (neurology)

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  • Contributors SP was involved in the conception and design. SP and AP were involved in the acquisition of data. SP was involved in the manuscript preparation. AP was involved in the revising draft for intellectual content. SP and AP were involved in the final approval of the completed manuscript. SP was the guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.