The Truth About Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

This RLS Blog contains a LOT of information about Restless Legs Syndrome, covering a wide spectrum of different areas and aspects.

Because of that, a casual passerby at 4am that’s just trying to find a solution for their wonky legs may be overwhelmed or frustrated as they have to dig through information on epigenetics, glutamate, histamine etc. in order to find out what this “CURE” is all about.

For that reason I have created this post which I will LOCK into the first position on the blog so that this overview of “An Absolute Cure for RLS” will always be visible to newcomers.

magellan2INTRODUCTION

Throughout our early history the majority of the world’s population considered the earth to be flat. That was a normal way to think.

If you were to shout out that the world was ROUND back then, you would have probably been pelted with rotten vegetables.

You would have been called a NUT … a person DESPERATE for attention.

And then things changed.

In the early 16th century, Ferdinand Magellan proved to the Western World, that without a doubt, the world was in fact ROUND.

A new awareness was created.

But there were MANY before him that had the same knowledge. Ferdinand Magellan was simply part of a lineage of belief.

Despite the fact that most of the 300 million inhabitants of the planet in the early 1600’s believed the world to be flat, and but a small handful of astronomer-types believed it to be round, the truth was never altered. Not for a second. It was ALWAYS waiting there to be discovered.

A belief never has nor ever will alter the truth. The number of people supporting the belief does not matter.

ImageSo, What’s My Point?

Please understand, I’m not saying that I’m ANYTHING like Ferdinand Magellan. He had more courage in his baby toe than I have in my entire body.

But, despite my foibles, I have also stumbled upon a truth. And despite what anyone says, regardless of their intelligence, their degrees, their stature or whatever following they may have, there is NOTHING on earth that is going to change this simple truth that I have stumbled upon.

The simple truth is this basic formula.

LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RESTLESS LEGS

Regardless of what your reaction may be to me, my views, or natural remedies in general … this truth that I am presenting to you is NEVER going to change.

ImageAN ABSOLUTE CURE FOR RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME (RLS)

PROLOGUE

There is NO case of RLS that is beyond repair.

But please note … it is a PROCESS of RECOVERY. There is no magic pill.

You are exchanging your inflammatory diet and lifestyle (removing whatever it is in your life that is causing the inflammation in your body) for an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.

As you can imagine, many sacrifices will need to be made. Some will be drastic. For starters you need to cut down on inflammatory items such as sugar, alcohol, refined flours, caffeine and dairy.

It may seem impossible, but if you move in this healthy direction, I can assure you that the sacrifices you make will pay off.

ImageI had horrible RLS for 23 years. I am now living a life I could have only dreamed of a few years ago. Words cannot express how grateful and relieved I am to have normal healthy legs and regular sleeping habits.

Something I learned from my own experience is that the MORE effort you put into your recovery, the FASTER you will heal.

If the only change you’re willing to make is to buy some magnesium or cut down on your sugar intake, then your recovery will be SLOW.

If you follow the advice given on this website, and go at your recovery with EVERYTHING you have … you will be rewarded for your efforts!

ImageSTEP ONE: STOP CONSUMING INFLAMMATORY FOODS AND BEVERAGES

If a fire breaks out in your kitchen, the first thing you need to do in order to save your house is to put out the fire!

It’s pretty basic logic. You can worry about the smoke damage, your melted toaster, the ruined curtains and whether or not your insurance covers the damage … after the fact.

But until you put that fire out, nothing else matters.

You must take the same approach when taking on your RLS. You must first PUT OUT the fire that is causing your restless legs.

Nothing else matters. You can switch medications all you want … but until you shift your WILL, and make a CONSCIOUS decision to stop eating and drinking the inflamatory substances that are ADDING TO YOUR INFLAMMATION … NOTHING is going to change!

ImageSTEP TWO: HEALING THE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION THAT IS CAUSING YOUR RLS

Look at each supplement below as a different firefighter with a firehose. The best way you can attack the inflammation is from ALL angles with as many firefighters as you can round up. This will speed up the healing process immeasurably.

Again, it’s crucial … absolutely essential that you begin to watch your diet. You need to at least pull back a bit from your regular intake of the most common RLS triggers (caffeine, gluten, aspartame, sugar, dairy, salt, MSG, red meat and alcohol).

Taking the supplements while you continue to consume a diet FULL of RLS triggers, is like spraying TWO hoses on the fire – one hose pouring WATER on the fire and the other hose pouring GASOLINE on the fire.

Little progress will be made, if any.

ImageYOUR DAILY INTAKE OF SUPPLEMENTS, VITAMINS, MINERALS and HERBS

Supplements are often expensive. With that in mind I have created a “BASIC GROUP” of supplements that should be affordable for most people.

For those with a wider budget, I have a list of additional supplements that you can pick and choose from.
www.rlcure.com/daily-intake-for-an-absolute-cure-for-restless-legs-syndrome.html

Keep in mind that the supplements listed below are addressing THREE main areas.

1. It is certain that you have chronic inflammation. This will be lessened.

2. It is very likely that you have higher than normal histamine levels, which contributes to a racing mind and sleepless nights. This will be lowered.

3. It is very likely that you have higher than normal glutamate levels, which also contributes to a racing mind and sleepless nights. This will be lowered.

Calcium + Magnesium “CalMag” (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine, lowers glutamate level)

Magnesium (Mg) is a co-factor in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the human body. Magnesium reduces histamine release. Magnesium plays a direct role in lowering common inflammatory markers.  

Carrot Juice (anti-inflammatory)

Carrots are perhaps best known for their rich supply of the antioxidant nutrient that was actually named for them: beta-carotene. However, these delicious root vegetables are the source not only of beta-carotene, but also of a wide variety of antioxidants and other health-supporting nutrients.

ImageCurcumin (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

A component of the popular Indian curry spice turmeric, Curcumin is considered a potent non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory. Curcumin has been shown to be as effective as cortisone and phenylbutazone in decreasing inflammation. It also works in several ways to decrease inflammation by reducing prostaglandin activity.

Grape Seed Extract (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine, lowers glutamate level)

Grape Seed Extract is one of the most potent antioxidants known; over 50 times more potent than Vitamin E or C. It acts as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. The main active component is its high content of proanthocyanidin (OPC or PCO). Proanthocyanidin is found in red, white, and purple grapes, blueberries, cherries and plums.

Iron (anti-inflammatory)

Iron is an essential mineral whose main function is to help carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and other organs. Iron deficiency is more common than many think. It is estimated that only 65-70% of all Americans meet their daily recommended intake.

ImageL-Theanine (lowers glutamate level)

L-Theanine is thought to be the key to tea’s subtle but calming effects despite the caffeine content in tea. L-Theanine is thought to counter the stimulating effects of caffeine by increasing the production of alpha brain waves. Alpha waves are associated with a state of deep relaxation while being mentally alert.

Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fats reduce inflammation, helping to prevent inflammatory diseases like heart disease and arthritis. The omega-3 fatty acids can also be natural antihistamines that are useful to combat allergies as they reduce the inflammatory reaction associated with allergies.

Valerian Tea (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine, lowers glutamate level)

Valerian works exceedingly well for anxiety, insomnia and stress. Many people don’t know about one of the oldest herbs in existence valerian. Valerian has many healing qualities … in fact the latin root word valere means to be healthy. Valerian is one of the best herbs for stress … helping with insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, and inducing relaxation. Valerian is a good anti-inflammatory agent helping with swelling, pain, and redness… plus it also calms nerves … and promotes peace of mind.

Vitamin C(anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)vitamincinskincare

In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant and immune booster, some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin c can help reduce sensitivity to allergens and reduce inflammation, mucus production and wheezing.

Water (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

Drinking plenty of water is one of the most effective natural remedies for inflammation. Water reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage health. To reduce internal inflammation, drink water to carry away waste products. Your body releases histamine in order to stop water loss. If you give your body adequate amounts of water, less histamine will be released.

For a list of references and citations please visit:
www.rlcure.com/daily-intake-for-an-absolute-cure-for-restless-legs-syndrome.html

tattooIN CLOSING

I urge you to read through the information on my main website www.rlcure.com

It’s all free information. Nothing is hidden from you.

This method has worked for me and many others. And it will work for ANYONE that is willing to change their lifestyle – to allow the inflammation in their body to cool down.

How you find the source of your inflammation, that’s your own personal journey. The RLcure website will guide you along, and show you where to look.

When you find out what is causing the inflammation in your body, that is the day you can start waving good-bye to your RLS forever!

I highly recommend that you take a moment to view the TESTIMONIALS from people that this “Absolute Cure” has helped.

These testimonials will hopefully help you to understand that recovery is possible, EVEN FOR YOU … no matter how HORRIBLE your RLS has become!

www.rlcure.com/tes.html

Comments (3)

RLS.org Outdoes Themselves … again

RLSORGheade1rIt’s been a few years since I’ve gone off on a rant of any kind. I started this blog with a bit of fire in the belly, but a cooler head prevailed and I realized that I would be more helpful if I passed on the facts to readers of this blog, and kept my comments and opinions to myself.

However, a week or so ago, I saw the new header at the RLS.org Facebook page. My jaw dropped.

I showed my wife Barb the header (just to make sure I wasn’t out of line with my thoughts that it was wildly insane) and she agreed that it was highly disturbing.

But, I wasn’t going to say anything about it, I mean, what’s the point. That’s their business, and if people like it, who am I to judge? That was until I saw on their blog that they’re actually selling this thing. Wow!! What the fuck!

wordlI apologize for the potty mouth, but this is crazy.

Let’s look at this brilliant idea in a different context.

My father passed away several years ago. He was riddled with cancer. It was horrendous, as many of you know … but as a family we did our best to support him and comfort him.

What kind of moron would have thought that it was a good idea to give my dad this “wordl canvas” as a gift.

“Here you go John, put this up on your wall. You can feed your mind and spirit with words like Hopeless and Excruciating, Depressing and Aching, Torturous and Unbearable. No need to thank me. Hope you get better soon!”

Anyway, you know, what can I say. I think it is possibly the most horrendous idea in the history of any healing organization!

I’ll just leave it at that.

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I’m looking for RLS Success Stories!

8-hr-sleep-binaural-beatI’m looking for stories from people that have become free of their RLS. A few paragraphs about how bad it was and how you overcame your condition.

I’m going to post these stories on my website http://www.rlcure.com in order to cheer on those that are currently suffering, but are willing to make the necessary changes.

No drug therapies, please. Only natural methods.

Please e-mail your story to dwimble@magma.ca along with a photo and a short bio and I’ll post your story.

Your story will be very helpful to those that are still suffering. There’s nothing like a success story – a journey from hellishness to freedom, to light the flame of hope in someone still suffering.to-inspire

ALL recovery programs are based on this simple principle.

Thanks in advance!

David

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RESTLESS LEGS SUCCESS STORY – Gina Diggle, Melbourne, Australia

successGina Diggle is originally from New Zealand and has been living in Melbourne, Australia since 2006. She works in fashion retail. Gina was kind enough to send in the details of how she escaped from her RLS nightmare to now live a symptom free life.

“Restless Legs syndrome was a worsening nightly occurrence for me in throughout my 20’s. I went to the doctor a couple of times and they would normally shrug or attempt to prescribe me with sleeping medication.

I couldn’t really articulate the sensations of what it felt like each night to go to bed. After typing a few key words into Google I found some information. I couldn’t believe this weird thing I was experiencing each night had a name and I wasn’t the only one suffering.  

There seemed to be very little information on the internet at the time so I didn’t gain any confidence in healing myself. I tried a couple of different approaches including iron supplements, magnesium tablets, yoga, massage. Nothing seemed to have an impact.
 
I felt really helpless; I was suffering from depression, anxiety, exhaustion, nausea and dizziness.

My sister recommended a couple of food documentaries about how food was linked to affecting everything going on inside our bodies.

I was so inspired I decided my diet needed a huge change so slowly started culling out all processed foods, sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat.

I discovered an organic wholefoods store nearby and also loads of amazing food blogs with inspiring recipes. organic-zone

Even though I’ve cut out all of these foods, the world of food has actually opened up for me as I love getting creative in the kitchen nowadays. Raw vegan tarts are my specialty.

I highly recommend an Australian company called Loving Earth. They do amazing organic raw chocolates and superfoods.

A year has gone by with a whole new diet and my restless legs have disappeared along with a few other health problems.

Sometimes I’ve noticed that when I eat out or order takeout food which exact ingredients I don’t know, I have a minor leg jump but that’s very rare these days.  

As we all know sticking to foods in their most pure form from mother earth is best! Nutrient deficiency starves the body of its ability to work optimally.  Knowing what I know now, my cured RLS doesn’t come as a surprise to me as I’ve learnt that diet plays a major role in every disease.

In conclusion you are what you eat/you get out what you put in.”

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PROBIOTICS AND RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: Part Five – The Best Probiotics to Heal Your RLS

aaProbiotics.jpgIf you believe that LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RESTLESS LEGS, you can accelerate the healing process by implementing some of the probiotic foods listed below into your diet.

Science has proven without a doubt that the bacteria in your bowels determine your health. Your gut flora can make you chronically inflamed, obese, cancerous or healthy, and your diet can determine your gut flora. We return to the basic wisdom that you are what you eat, but you can change your gut flora.
 
If you are knowledgeable, your grocery store CAN be your pharmacy. You simply know what to buy, and what to avoid like the plague.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FERMENTED FOODS

Historically, people used cultured or fermented foods to support their intestinal and overall health, way before the invention of the probiotic supplement.

Did you know the number of bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by about 10 to 1? These bacteria in turn are comprised of both beneficial ones and harmful ones. The ideal balance is about 85 percent good bacteria and 15 percent bad. Maintaining this ideal ratio is what it’s all about when we’re talking about the importance of probiotics. It’s important to understand though that probiotics are not a new concept. The only thing that’s new is that you can take them in pill form. But historically, mankind has consumed large amounts of probiotics in the form of fermented and cultured foods, which were invented long before the advent of refrigeration and other forms of food preservation.

Every traditional culture, when you look at their traditional diet, they ferment their foods. They fermented everything. You can ferment dairy, grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, meats, and fish. Everything can be fermented, and there were fermented beverages in every culture. When the cabbages were ripe in September, you made it a fermented cabbage. Perhaps for a month or two, you were eating fresh cabbage, but then for the rest of the year, 10 months of the year, you ate your cabbage in a fermented form. Quite a large percent of all the foods that people consume on a daily basis were fermented. And with every mouthful of these fermented foods you consume trillions of beneficial bacteria.

Fermented foods not only give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, they also give you far more of them, so it’s a much more cost effective alternative. Here’s a case in point: It’s unusual to find a probiotic supplement containing more than 10 billion colony-forming units. But when they were tested, fermented vegetables produced by probiotic starter cultures had 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria. Literally, one serving of vegetables was equal to an entire bottle of a high potency probiotic! So clearly, you’re far better off using fermented foods.

Mother Nature is extremely wise and extremely kind. It populated all organic fruit and vegetables, the dust on our soils, and all plant matter with Lactobacilli. The fresh cabbage leaves, if it’s organically grown (not the one from chemical farming), will be covered in Lactobacilli—lacto-fermenting bacteria. You don’t need to add anything. You just chop it up. Add some salt in the initial stages. (The salt is added in the initial stage in order to stop putrefactive bacteria from multiplying.) Then as the Lactobacillus stop working and start multiplying, they produce lactic acid. That’s why they’re called Lactobacillus. That’s just lactic acid.

If you look at the research in lactic acid, it is one of the most powerful antiseptics. It kills off lots and lots of bacteria…. So as the lactic acid starts producing, it will kill off all those putrefactive and pathogenic microbes and preserve the food. It’s a great preservative… A good batch of sauerkraut can keep for five to six years without spoiling or rotting, as long as it is covered by its own juice.”

This anaerobic process (fermentation) does more than just preserve the food, however. It also makes the nutrients inside picklesthe food more bioavailable. For example, the amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same helping of fresh cabbage!

This is because in the fresh cabbage, vitamin C is bound in the cellulose structure and various other molecules, and our digestive system is just not able to cleave it off and absorb it. Lots of it goes undigested and come out right out of you. So despite the fact that cabbage may be very rich in vitamin C, a lot of it you will not be able to absorb. But if you fermented that cabbage and made sauerkraut, all the vitamin C becomes bioavailable.

NATURAL PROBIOTIC FOODS

Yogurt

One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra forms of probitoics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurt is made equally. Many popular brands are filled with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and artifical flavors and are way too close to being a nutritional equivalent of sugary, fatty ice cream.

Some yogurts contain the aforementioned bacteria; however, because they are sensitive to oxygen, light, and dramatic temperature changes, make sure to look for yogurts with “live and active cultures.” Many commercial yogurts are heat-treated or pasteurized, resulting in the loss of these valuable cultures. Learn more about the smart way to shop for probiotics.

If you are seeking non-dairy yogurt options, there are several that contain live probiotic cultures. Yogurts made from rice, soy and coconut milk are available on the market and also contain added probiotics that can provide the same benefits. Other alternative sources of probiotics include eating fermented foods like Brewer’s yeast, miso, sauerkraut, or micro algae. Whatever the source, always look for “live and active cultures” on the label.

KefirKefir

Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is to obtain raw milk and convert it to kefir, which is really easy to make at home. All you need is one half packet of the kefir start granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature over night. By the time you wake up in the morning you will likely have kefir. If it hasn’t obtained the consistency of yogurt you might want to set it out a bit longer and then store it in the fridge.

A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotics supplement, and it is very economical as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about ten times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir.

Don’t even think of using pasteurized milk, however, as pasteurized milk has its own set of negative health ramifications and should be avoided at all cost.

Sauerkraut

Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.
Some packaged varieties are pasteurized, which could destroy the healthy bacteria.  Choose raw, unpasteurized and unheated sauerkraut to get the full benefits of its live enzymes. Look for fresh sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. You can also make your own sauerkraut, there are many recipes online.

Microalgae

This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract. They also offer the most amount of energetic return, per ounce, for the human system. Sometimes called “blue algae,” microalgae is a grassy, green plant that’s often used in juices. Check your local health food store or juice bar to try this unexpectedly delicious treat.
 
MisoPasteWhite-rgbMiso Paste

Japanese miso paste is a form of fermented soy that is absolutely delicious. To get the beneficial probiotics from miso, however, you cannot boil the miso (as is usually the case with miso soup), because the heat kill all the bacteria.

Fortunately, miso paste makes a wonderful emulsifier in salad dressing. You can add a tablespoon of miso paste and a splash of rice vinegar to olive oil, along with salt, pepper, fresh chives and some grated ginger to make a nutritious and delicious dressing.
Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense and believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system.

Pickles

Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Try making your own home-made pickles in the sun. Here’s a great set of instructions for making your own probiotic-rich dill pickles [1].

Tempeh

A soy product made with fermented soybeans, tempeh has a meatier taste and texture than tofu—and almost twice the protein. Sirota advises buying brands that use organic soybeans or have the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods may be linked to allergic reactions, inflammation and even an increased cancer risk. They’re also more likely to have been sprayed heavily with pesticides, Sirota says. Some brands that carry the seal include SoyBoy and Lightlife. Find them in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, and put up to 4 oz of tempeh in stir-fries, salads and tacos.

Kimchi

An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.

20100304-kombucha2Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your well being and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those that have had problems with candida.

Soft Cheese

Not all cheeses are good sources of probiotics, but certain soft fermented cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan and particularly Gouda contain bacteria that can survive the journey through your GI tract to benefit your health, according to Finnish research. “These cheeses start with a lactic acid bacteria that causes the milk to form curds and whey and ferment for days, weeks or even years, which helps create probiotics,” say Brown and Medina. Some cottage cheeses that list “live active cultures” on the label also contain probiotics. Work an ounce of soft cheese or a ½ cup of cottage cheese into snacks and meals for an added protein and calcium boost.

Sourdough Bread  

The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to what’s holding your cold cuts and cheese. San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread contains lactobacilli, a probiotic that may benefit digestion.
Soy milk

Soy naturally contains some probiotic benefits, but new soy milk products on the market have added extra live cultures. Look for labels that say “live and active cultures” to be sure.

Olives

Olives in brine have large amounts of probiotics because the brine allows the probiotic cultures to thrive. Snack on your favorite type of olive or add to a salad or pizza.

Apples

A recent study looked at rats eating a diet high in pectin, a component of the dietary fiber in apples. When compared to rats on a normal diet, the rats with the apple-rich diet had increased amounts of beneficial bacteria. Although researchers aren’t sure if apples will have the same effect in humans, investigators did conclude that by eating apples regularly, the friendly bacteria “help produce short chain fatty acids that provide ideal pH conditions for ensuring a beneficial balance of microorganisms.”

CEN-21339-1PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENTS

When people first started to learn how important probiotics are for proper digestion, elimination, and overall good health, many nutritional supplement manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and flooded the market with probiotic products that may very well be worthless. The problem is that most of the beneficial bacteria in these products probably don’t survive long enough to reach you—or, more specifically, your gut. For instance:

Many probiotics are dead on arrival in your intestines. Because your stomach acids are so powerful, they kill off most probiotics well before they can reach your small and large intestines. And they won’t do you an ounce of good once they’re dead.

Most probiotics can’t survive transportation and storage. Probiotics are extremely delicate — they can’t survive exposure to light, air, or even oxygen. And if you’re taking a brand that needs refrigeration, it has got to be refrigerated 100% of the time. The truth is, by the time most probiotic products leave the manufacturer, get shipped on trucks, and sit in warehouses or on store shelves, the power of the beneficial bacteria has been significantly and in some cases completely diminished.

Manufacturers overpromise the potency of probiotics. Many may promise you one billion live acidophilus organisms—but only on the date of manufacture!

Instead, you need to take a probiotic that delivers healthy bacteria to your gut each and every time you take it, and up until its expiration date.

Here they are …

Lactobacillus bulgaricus: can be found in many yogurts and soft cheeses. It was discovered by the Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov, hence the name bulgaricus. It helps to convert lactose and other sugars into lactic acid, which may be particularly helpful for those who are lactose intolerant.

Streptococcus thermophilus: has nothing to do with strep throat, which is caused by a completely different bug. These friendly bacteria are also used to make yogurts and cheeses, and they even assist Lactobacillus bulgaricus by making nutrients that assist with growth.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Casei: both convert lactose into lactic acid – also helping the lactose intolerant. Research has indicated that L. Acidophilus may also be helpful at reducing cholesterol levels.

Bifidobacteria: is a family of bacteria that has been studied for its ability to prevent and treat various gastrointestinal disorders, including infections, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. In addition to making lactic acid, it also makes some important short-chain fatty acids that are then absorbed and metabolized by the body. There is also some experimental evidence that certain bifidobacteria may actually protect the host from carcinogenic activity of other intestinal flora.

asparagusPRE-BIOTICS

If you want to supercharge your probiotic friends, you may want to feed them with prebiotics. That’s P-R-E-biotics. They nourish the good bacteria in your gut in order to keep them healthy against the bad bacteria. They should go hand-in-hand with probiotics. Prebiotics are found in many foods, including bananas, whole grains, honey, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, oatmeal, maple syrup, legumes and onions. Try to get two to four servings of these prebiotic-rich foods a day.

Snack alert: Popping 1.5 to 3 oz of pistachios per day increases levels of good gut bacteria, according to 2012 research in The FASEB Journal. Almonds didn’t perform as well as pistachios in the test, so it may be time to mix up your go-to snack. Opt for in-shell pistachios.

REFERENCES

“Pre- and Probiotics” from the Cooling Inflammation Blog, September 20, 2008 http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.ca/2008/09/pre-and-probiotics.html
“Gut Bacteria Offer New Hope for People with Celiac Disease” by drmercola.com May 27, 2010 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/27/gut-bacteria-offer-new-hope-for-people-with-celiac-disease.aspx
“Probiotics Found to Help Your Gut’s Immune System” by mercola.com July 05, 2008 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/05/probiotics-found-to-help-your-gut-s-immune-system.aspx
“Fact Sheet: Probiotics” doctoroz.com June 9, 2012 http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/fact-sheet-probiotics
“Best Types of Probiotic Supplements for Digestive Health” by Dr. David Williams drdavidwilliams.com 02/06/2014 http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/digestive-health-probiotic-supplement/#axzz3AWh54boe
“Probiotic Foods”  Dr Edward Group III DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM, June 19, 2014  http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/probiotic-foods
“The Truth About Probiotics and Your Gut” WebMD http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-10/slideshow-probiotics
“13 Probiotic-Filled Foods” by Readers Digest Editors, http://www.rd.com/slideshows/13-probiotic-filled-foods/#slideshow=slide4
“Fermented Foods Contain 100 TIMES More Probiotics than a Supplement” by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, May 12, 2012 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/05/12/dr-campbell-mcbride-on-gaps.aspx
“5 Simple Ways To Eat More Probiotics” by Darya Rose, Aug 4, 2014 http://summertomato.com/5-simple-ways-to-eat-more-probiotics

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PROBIOTICS AND RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: Part Four – Gut Flora and Inflammation

117GUT_rdax_424x600There’s a new (ancient) wrinkle to consider in the fight against chronic inflammation: the gut flora.

Understanding our own bodies is difficult enough, but now we’ve also got to make sense of how the droves of foreign (but symbiotic) microbes living in our guts interact with our health.  

Scientists have referred to the gut as the “second brain.” Why? Because it contains a vast network of neurons. In fact, it contains over 100 million neurons, which is more that what’s found in your spinal cord.

Just like the neurons in your brain, the neurons in your gut communicate with neurotransmitters. One particular nerve, called the vagus nerve, communicates directly to your brain. This is why your digestive system responds to stress and outside stimuli.

Researchers from the University of Michigan have published a study showing how probiotics reduce stress induced gut inflammation. Psychological stress from work, school, marriage, relationships, finances, any chronic stress, releases the stress hormone cortisol, which stops the digestive process causing inflammation and damage to the gut. Allowing large food particles and toxins to enter the bloodstream, where they are attacked by the immune system, creating inflammation in the body and brain.

Your gut can become inflamed and damaged from physical sources as well. Such as antibiotics, alcohol, diet, chlorinated drinking water, mercury, lead, GMO Food, preservatives, food additives and more.  

Most people, including many physicians, do not realize that 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, making a healthy gut a major focal point if you want to maintain optimal health. Remember, a robust immune system is your number one defense system against ALL disease.

Our relationship to gut flora is confusing and rather precarious. If the right conditions are met, we exist in harmony. If good gut_microbes_welcome1bacteria is stable, breaking down fiber (like pectin and inulin) into short chain fatty acids (like butyrate), and working harmoniously with the body, gut inflammation is suppressed, intestinal permeability is reduced, and multiple health biomarkers (lipids, insulin) improve. But we must remember – gut flora doesn’t exist for our benefit. Even if gut flora species were sentient, they’d only be acting out of self-interest. They wouldn’t “care” about us. They’re just trying to survive. It just so happens that keeping us happy by mediating immune responses and tight junction function, helping identify harmful intruders, and producing short chain fatty acids like butyrate puts the flora in good standing with our immune systems. They scratch our back, we provide room and board and don’t dispatch antibodies to destroy them.

Gut flora influences the human immune response (provides a blockade against damaging bacteria; gives a “safe word” to avoid the immune system wasting resources on attacking; influences size of the thymus). Mice without gut flora have a severely truncated immune response, for example.

Now what is the primary immune response to damaging stimuli? Inflammation. In correct doses, inflammation is a boon, necessary for healing and protection from foreign invaders. But in excess, inflammation is at the heart of many diseases. Gut inflammation especially is associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, for example, is associated with inflammation of the gut, and with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, occurs when the gut flora is compromised. Remember, normal gut flora acts as a physical barrier to foreign flora; they are stubborn tenants, old ornery relics of the neighborhood who refuse to leave and who dissuade pathogenic flora from settling in. If the good gut flora is gone or disrupted, pathogenic bacteria can populate the gut at will. The result is SIBO, and it leads to gut inflammation and intestinal hyper permeability.

1251983591561-fIt’s all a vicious cycle. Inflammation leads to disturbed gut flora (or maybe it’s the other way around – the classic chicken and the egg dilemma), SIBO, malfunctioning toll-like receptors, and leaky gut, allowing proteins to enter the body and provoke an inflammatory response by the immune system. More inflammation, more bacterial overgrowth, maybe a bout of antibiotics thrown in for good measure which wipes out the bacteria, leaving a clean slate and prompting another mad dash by microbes to fill the vacancies, and the result is – potentially – a permanently altered/disrupted distribution of gut flora both supporting and supported by chronic systemic inflammation. Where does it end? How do we fix it?

(Part Five of this series will list the top probiotics to help repair your gut and keep it healthy).

REFERENCES
“Probiotics Reduce Gut Inflammation” from Depression Anxiety Diet, June 14, 2013 http://www.depressionanxietydiet.com/probiotics-reduce-gut-inflammation
“Can Probiotics Help Reduce Anxiety?” by Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN, Life Extension  blog.lef.org/2012/10/can-probiotics-reduce-anxiety.html
“Putting Out the Fire: Gut Flora and the Inflammatory Cycle” by Mark’s Daily Apple http://www.marksdailyapple.com/gut-flora-inflammation/#axzz3ATtIxTit
“Probiotics Found to Help Your Gut’s Immune System” by mercola.com July 05, 2008 articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/05/probiotics-found-to-help-your-gut-s-immune-system.aspx
“Probiotics: One of The Most Important Supplements You Can Take” September 24, 2011 by mercola.com articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/24/one-of-the-most-important-steps-you-can-take-to-improve-your-health.aspx

 

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PROBIOTICS AND RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: Part Three – The connection between Gut Bacteria and Restless Legs Syndrome

Kristina_Campbell__11_of_202__400x400Next in this series we have a wonderful article linking gut bacteria and RLS by science writer Kristina Campbell. Kristina was kind enough to let me post her article in this blog.

Kristina has written about the microbiome and digestive health since 2011. Her work as a gut bacteria science critic has appeared in newspapers, magazines and on her “Intestinal Gardener” blog http://intestinalgardener.blogspot.ca/

Kristina has lived and worked in Canada, Taiwan, and the U.K., and has completed degrees at the University of Toronto (B.A. Hon) and the University of British Columbia (M.Sc.). She worked as a communication clinician before training to be a journalist. Her own experience with digestive health problems first led her to investigate the science of the microbiome and its direct implications for health.

Kristina is also a frequent contributor to “The Gut Microbiota for Health” website www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com

FLORA-KILLING FALLOUT: THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GUT BACTERIA AND RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME

According to one intriguing new study in Sleep Medicine, Restless Legs Syndrome may be another thing that is connected to gut bacteria gone haywire.

The study came about because its investigators, Weinstock and Walters, had previously noticed that many people with celiac disease and Crohn’s disease happened to have a diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome.

They wondered: Does the reverse relationship hold between gastrointestinal problems and restless legs? That is, if we take a group of people with known RLS, would we find that they have more gastrointestinal problems than people with normal leg movement?

The gastrointestinal problems they were interested in studying were irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Importantly, IBS is a “functional syndrome”. That means doctors diagnose it based on reported healthy_stomach_wellbeingcomausymptoms rather than a specific test that confirms or disconfirms it. So to be fair, there’s no guarantee that people with IBS have anything wrong with their gut bacteria. But in recent years IBS has been linked to SIBO, a condition that is definitely associated with too many bacteria hanging out in a neighborhood where they don’t belong: the small intestine.

SIBO itself is diagnosed via an indirect method called the “lactulose breath test”. The attraction of this method is that it involves nothing more invasive than drinking a cup of sugar solution and blowing into a plastic tube.

The researchers wanted to investigate both IBS and SIBO because each one indicates that something is going wrong with digestion; some patients have both problems, but others have just one or the other. Smartly, the researchers ended up with one measure of gastrointestinal distress that was based on reported criteria (i.e. IBS), and one that was based on measurable biology (i.e. SIBO).

People with Restless Legs Syndrome discovered the study through ads that made no mention of gastrointestinal symptoms. Their diagnoses of RLS were confirmed by the investigators, and then each subject was assessed for both IBS and SIBO.

It turned out that IBS was diagnosed in 28% of subjects with Restless Legs Syndrome, compared to 4% of the controls. In some of the cases, the IBS symptoms had appeared before the onset of the RLS symptoms. In others, the two problems started around the same time.

As for SIBO, the breath test showed it was present in 69% of the people with Restless Legs Syndrome, compared to 28% of the controls.

The conclusion? People with Restless Legs Syndrome have a greater incidence of IBS and SIBO – that is, a greater incidence of problems in the digestive system – than people without it. And in at least some people with restless legs syndrome, the associated gastrointestinal problem was related to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

3d-intestinal-tract-225x300The research is far from concluding that gastrointestinal problems CAUSE restless legs or vice versa. But the researchers did put forward the tantalizing idea that there may be a common mechanism that leads to both: maybe some kind of inflammatory process in the body that leads to central or peripheral nerve damage, or a change in micronutrient absorption, resulting in restless legs.

In support of this, the researchers did an informal review of conditions that tended to co-occur with RLS; 89% of these disorders had been associated with inflammation or immune system activation.

In turn, the connection between inflammation and problems with gut bacteria has strong support in the literature. But that’s a topic for another day.

Lots of questions remain about Restless Legs Syndrome, but the connection that this study made between restless legs and gut troubles seems to confirm certain clinical observations – not to mention people’s personal experiences. We need more information though – let’s hope this area of research stays alive and… ahem… kicking.

http://intestinalgardener.blogspot.ca/2011/06/flora-killing-fallout-connection.html

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PROBIOTICS AND RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: Part Two – A Success Story

heatherHeather Sullivan Zydek from Milwaukee, Wisconsin sent me a message recently telling about her early success in eliminating her RLS by focusing on microbiome healing.

It was due to this message (along with an article that I am presenting in Part Three of this series) that got me REALLY excited about probiotics. This just feels like the core of the problem. It makes so much sense. If the gut is where most of the inflammation is being manufactured, then this has to be the primary target for healing.

Below is some hopeful information from Heather that was originally posted on a forum called “Healthy Microbiome: A place to discuss the healthy microbiome lifestyle” http://healthymicrobiome.com/discuss/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6

“For most of my adult life I have struggled with Restless Leg Syndrome, a condition believed to be auto-immune in nature. My flare-ups usually occur in the evenings when I am sitting watching TV or reading, on a car ride or at a play or movie. It started in my mid 20s with my pregnancies and worsened as the years went on. I tried quitting caffeine and taking extra iron, as both are associated with the condition. Nothing helped.

In the summer of 2012, I noticed a slight improvement on the almost nightly electrical feelings in my legs and arms after I started drinking the probiotic drink kefir daily. But my diet was still poor — as a lacto-ovo vegetarian I lived on tons of sugar, wheat and fat — so ultimately the RLS persisted.

For a while after that I wondered if maybe healing my microbiome would help this and other minor germs-289x300ailments (e.g. chronic heartburn) to improve. I was very thankful when I finally sat down and started learning how to heal the microbiome, and then made a commitment to try this summer.

I have now been following a microbiome diet for almost a month and can say that for the last week or so I have had almost no RLS symptoms. I even went on a two-hour car ride and had no RLS. I still feel a shadow of that irritating electricity wanting to flare up, but it never happens. I will keep watching to see if this is a legit healing or if the RLS is just at bay for a little while. I’m excited about the possibility that I might be able to go to evening plays and on road trips without the embarrassing disturbance of having major RLS symptoms.”

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