Posts Tagged curcumin

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS – PART TWO

passion-flower-bspTHERE ARE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS THAT ARE AS EFFECTIVE OR MORE EFFECTIVE THAN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Passionflowers are pretty plus help people with anxiety, stress, insomnia, and RLS. Besides the above-mentioned information about water and dietary changes, which will do more to improve your health than just about anything other than getting good exercise, there are some specific natural substances that will help most RLS sufferers as much or more than the conventional methods above, without unwanted side effects.

I’ve had RLS for many years, although ordinarily it was a minor annoyance. Although, during the past couple of years it got considerably worse, to the point that something had to change. It took a lot of searching to discover the real causes.

In the meantime (while I made the changes, like learning to drink enough pure, clean water and avoiding bad food ingredients), I needed something to help me sleep, while still in process of addressing the root causes of problems the drug companies want to treat with drugs (trust me, you don’t have a deficiency of whatever drug they want to prescribe).

I have found that the following supplements greatly help many people to sleep and to have significant reduction in RLS symptoms. I take the third one listed every night, although I’ve tried the others. They are the only things I’ve taken that were effective for my RLS symptoms besides drinking more water, exercising more, and improving my diet.

Now that I’ve increased my water intake (I don’t drink anything else now), my RLS symptoms are very mild, more like 5% of what they were.

Here are the herbs that help with RLS, stress, anxiety, and insomnia:

(1) Kava kava root extract (often just called “kava”), from a plant that grows on islands in the South Pacific, has been used by Polynesians for thousands of years. It is ignored by mainstream medicine because it’s not nearly as expensive as the prescription drugs, plus it’s not addictive and has no side effects, and they can’t patent it. Instead they try to make kava kava sound unsafe with warnings about liver damage. However, liver damage can only occur if other parts of the plant besides the root are used. Find a trustworthy manufacturer that uses only the root, and there’s no need to worry.

(2) Passion flower extract, from a plant native to North America, was used for centuries by Native Americans, is like kava in that mainstream medicine prefers you use their prescription drugs instead. Passion flower cannot safely be taken at the same time as kava, because both thin the blood some. This also makes both incompatible with some over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

(3) Valerian, from Europe and Asia, was used as long ago as ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Side effects are almost never seen, and the herb is found by many to work much like benzodiazepines but without the addictive qualities and other problems. Once again, mainstream medicine prefers you not know about it. Valerian also cannot be taken at the same time as kava, due to the fact that both are processed by the liver and overtaxation of the liver could result.

Valerian needs to be taken every day and becomes very effective after two to three weeks. The others can be taken at moments when anxiety, RLS, or whatever needs something. Of the three, I find valerian to be the best.

Note that valerian and passion flower can be taken together.

Since natural supplements are not supported by the government or the medical industry (who are really on the same side), it can be difficult to find information about them. Online research should tell you what the supplements are and aren’t compatible with, what dosages are safe, whether the supplement loses its effectiveness over time, and other needed information. All this is readily available with prescription drugs, but information on supplements including clinical trial information is almost nonexistent or may actually be misleading if the drug companies had a hand in it.

Information can be difficult to find, but it’s very important. The medical industry may actually be harming people by refusing to provide information (or accurate information) about natural supplements, and sticking to their position that everyone just needs the expensive patented prescription drugs (while minimizing, hiding, and denying the drugs’ harmfulness).

For the best website I’ve found that assists with determining interactions of drugs, also including information about many supplements, see LetsDrug.com.

healthy-lifestyle-logoFOCUSING ON YOUR OVERALL HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE WILL MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE

Exercising. I must re-emphasize the importance of overall health, which is adversely affected by insufficient physical activity, use of harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol and many drugs (prescription and illegal), consuming problematic food ingredients, and inadequate intake of pure, clean water (the last of which, as stated, causes dehydration and many “diseases” that result from dehydration).

Other factors critical to health include getting some sun, getting adequate sleep, and overcoming psychological stress.

To learn about food ingredients which are major culprits in causing major health problems, see the links to lenses I’ve made about them, listed below. Learning about these is important because they are very common in foods in nearly every aisle of the grocery store, and they can very much worsen inflammation and many health problems, such as RLS.

Most major food companies generally aim to make you addicted to their products, and to maximize profits at the expense of providing healthy products. The FDA allows nearly every deceptive thing the food companies do, which shows why you need to take personal responsibility and educate yourself, rather than rely on the government to protect you and keep you safe.

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RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS – PART ONE

draft_lens20066904module163749090photo_1368827404I ran across this article several months ago on Squidoo. It is written by Jonathan Nielsen from California, who found a solution to his Restless Legs Syndrome through natural means.

The article goes into great detail about commons sense ways to heal your RLS – methods that worked for him, and also worked for me.

It was such a thrill to find someone that had made similar discoveries about the relationship between inflammation and RLS.

Jonathan was kind enough to allow me to repost his article.

The article is fairly long, so I’m going to post it in two parts.

KNOWN CAUSES ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA’S ARTICLE Wikipedia-logo-en-big

Psychiatric drugs cause RLS in many people. The Wikipedia article on RLS lists some causes, but as we’ll see later in this lens, they leave out the #1 cause. The article lists:

(1) Deficiencies in some substances (iron, dopamine, folate, and magnesium)

(2) Certain auto-immune disorders (such as Sjögren’s syndrome, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis)

(3) “Other associated conditions” (varicose vein or venous reflux, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, uremia, diabetes, thyroid disease, peripheral neuropathy, hypoglycemia, and Parkinson’s disease)

(4) Medication side effects (side effects of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, some anti-convulsants, some anti-histamines, benzodiazepines, and antidopaminergic antiemetics)

(5) A genetic inheritance

knee_painABOUT INFLAMMATION, THE REAL CAUSE OF RLS

Wikipedia’s article neglects to mention inflammation as the cause of RLS. That it is caused by inflammation is known and scientific papers have been written on it, although this explanation doesn’t sit well with the medical industry, who like to suppress symptoms with drugs, and never address underlying causes. Note that many conditions listed, such as celiac disease and diabetes, involve massive inflammation.

Since inflammation isn’t mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the main cause of inflammation also isn’t mentioned, which is mild to severe dehydration, caused by not drinking enough pure, plain water.

Dehydration is a problem far more widespread and more serious than many people are aware of, and it is the cause of many common health problems that the medical industry will tell you have no known cause or cure. Miraculously, drinking adequate amounts of water clears these conditions up in many cases, addressing the root cause of the problem.

Medical science tends to focus on the portion of our body that is not water, which is only 30% to 40% of what we are composed of. The importance of what the majority of our body is made of, water, is commonly overlooked. We are typically 60% to 70% water, and thus water intake is critical, and without proper water levels we begin to have serious health problems. We get inflamed when water levels are inadequate.

There are books that are excellent for learning how to minimize inflammation, including dietary advice for avoiding inflammation-promoting foods. I’ll link to some below. However, water intake is the most critical factor.

The mainstream medical industry can’t make much money by telling people to drink water, so instead they invent drugs that don’t address the root causes of the problems. What the drugs do is silence the symptoms that indicate what it is you really need, which is water.

Drugs are pushed because they rake in money and people believe they help because they suppress symptoms. However, since they don’t address the root cause of the problem, health problems don’t go away like they would if the treatment was correct.

Many scientists know about inflammation and the importance of water (and not drinking other stuff that actually makes dehydration worse, like soda, tea, coffee, and alcohol). However, the information is suppressed. You’re supposed to think that drugs are the solution, and that when you hurt you need drugs and not anything natural or inexpensive. Doctors who go against the recommendations of the establishment may be censured or have licenses revoked, even if their advice is helpful to and they said nothing false.

The results are that many people with health problems, including RLS sufferers, will continue to be given treatments that don’t eliminate inflammation and therefore root cause of the problem.

Certain food ingredients are well known for worsening inflammation. Some of the most major ones are sugar, simple carbohydrates (like white flour and white rice), corn syrup, MSG (monosodium glutamate and similar chemicals), and trans fats. Eliminating these is guaranteed to reduce inflammation in your entire system, plus eliminate major causes of serious health problems like diabetes, obesity, migraines, and cancer. However, drinking plenty of pure, plain water is even more important.

Inflammation has also been shown to lower dopamine levels, and low dopamine levels are already accepted as consistent with RLS. The inflammatory food ingredients listed above all increase inflammation, lower dopamine, and can worsen restless legs syndrome, although the main cause is insufficient water intake, which causes chronic dehydration, which causes inflammation and numerous health problems currently described as having “no known cause.”

INFLAMMATION’S #1 CAUSE IS DEHYDRATION FROM INADEQUATE INTAKE OF WATER

Water is the best drink of all time. and always will be. I’ve often heard people say that we need eight cups (64 fluid ounces) of water every day. People usually also say that other drinks like juices, milk, sodas, and tea count for these water needs. Even some scientists and nutritionists say that, but it’s not correct.

Caffeine is known to cause more water to be flushed out of your system than how much was in the caffeinated drink itself. Tea, caffeinated sodas, and coffee actually dehydrate you more, rather than helping meet your water needs. Juice is full of sugar, which causes a myriad of problems. Milk provides some protein and calcium, but also has a lot of sugar and growth hormones.

We actually need pure, clean water and not other drinks with calories, sugar, and other things attached. The best guideline for how much pure water to drink? Divide your weight (in pounds) in half, and translate that to ounces. A man who weighs 200 lbs will need 100 oz pure water each day to prevent dehydration. A woman who weighs 150 lbs will need 75 oz pure water each day. These are minimums! It should be higher if you sweat a lot or if you live in a dry climate.

Why is dehydration a big deal? Isn’t dehydration rare? Actually, dehydration is common and it is the biggest cause of inflammation and many common health problems currently recognized as various “diseases,” and usually treated with harmful toxic chemicals (prescription drugs). The drugs usually mask signs of dehydration such as chronic pain, allergies, asthma, migraine headaches, and other symptoms of inadequate water levels in the body. The drugs suppress symptoms but don’t address the root cause of the problem.

PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS WORSEN RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROMEHow-long-do-you-have-to-take-Zoloft-before-it-works2

Anti-depressants like Zoloft can make RLS unbearable. Many of the most major psychiatric drugs, prescribed to sufferers of various mental disorders, significantly aggravate RLS. Look at the list from the article on Wikipedia:

- Anti-depressants, which include the very widely-used SSRIs such as Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft.
- Anti-convulsants, which are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder’s vicious mood swings.
- Benzodiazepines, which are commonly used to treat severe anxiety and panic attacks.
- Anti-psychotics, which are commonly used to treat schizophrenia and mania in bipolar disorder, and they are often used for other purposes as well.

This can be distressing news if you have been taking such medications and you suffer from RLS. The fact that RLS is a side effect of prescription psychiatric drugs, however, should not be a surprise. These drugs have a great many dangerous side effects, many of which are worse than the symptoms of RLS. Here are some examples:

- Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and those who seek to get off them often suffer greatly with withdrawal symptoms.
- Anti-psychotics are notorious for damaging the nervous system, causing weight gain, and causing diabetes.
- Anti-depressants frequently cause sexual dysfunction, have warnings about possibly making suicidal thoughts worse, and also cause many people to gain weight – in addition to being difficult to withdraw from, and rarely performing better than placebo in clinical trials.
- Anti-convulsants can cause problems with weight gain, migraine headaches, and more.

The problem in each of these instances does not lie with the patient, it lies with the drugs. Prescription drugs, besides being incredibly expensive, are often ineffective, and the drug companies don’t like to investigate negative aspects but frequently exaggerate benefits. For many of the conditions these drugs treat, it’s untrue that drugs are the best solution, and it’s also untrue that they treat the underlying problem. All they do is attempt to suppress symptoms, while often causing great harm.

Prescription drugs should actually be a last resort. For anyone perplexed by the idea of treating serious mental illness without drugs, I recommend starting with a booklet titled The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs. A link to this item is given below.

Unfortunately, the mainstream medical establishment only cares about making as much profit as possible at the expense of giving people the help they really need. Expensive prescription drugs are pushed with benefits exaggerated and risks minimized, and other treatment options are suppressed, ignored, ridiculed, or slandered.

Next we’ll explore how RLS is currently treated by mainstream medicine, and then we’ll discuss some “alternative” herbal treatments, which are natural and far superior to any bizarre chemical concoction manufactured by the drug companies.

HOW DOCTORS CURRENTLY TRY TO TREAT RLSPuzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

Benzodiazepines like Xanax can’t both cause and treat RLS. The Wikipedia article highlights the standard treatments given to RLS sufferers. As we’ll see, the treatments seek to address the symptoms but not the underlying cause, which is insufficient water, which causes dehydration, which causes inflammation, which causes RLS and many health problems.

First they suggest moving or shaking one’s legs. This is obvious, and is what RLS sufferers already feel compelled to do. It’s what they want to go away, rather than doing it even more.

Second they suggest iron supplements, although many RLS cases have nothing to do with low iron levels. Sufferers are advised to have iron levels tested and to consult with a physician before taking any iron supplements.

Iron supplementation is of course a good idea if you don’t get enough from your diet. If this helps a RLS sufferer with their symptoms, then great. But for many this will be insufficient.

Third they suggest prescription drugs (also called “pharmaceuticals”). One of these inexplicably is benzodiazepines, which are also on the list of drugs that cause RLS.

In PART TWO we’ll talk about “alternative” (which means not supported by the drug companies) methods for treating RLS.

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Study: Herbal Mixture Provides Significant Results for Children with RLS

ImageIn the following study from 2005, researchers created a mixture of several healing ingredients and produced a syrup which the children with RLS took orally.

Out of the 14 ingredients in the mixture, 13 of them had ANTI-INFLAMMATORY properties (references can be found for each by following the link at the end of this post). The only ingredient that didn’t have anti-inflammatory properities was Long Gu (Dragon’s Bone) which is “ground bone” – a sedative to reduce stress and calm the mind.

STUDY:

“Fifty cases of child restless legs syndrome treated with the integrated method of Chinese Herbal drugs.”
Wang W. and Fan H. J Tradit Chin Med. 2005 Dec;25(4):276-7.

Fifty cases of child restless syndrome were treated with oral administration of Chinese traditional herbal drugs plus auricular-plaster therapy from December 1998 to November 2001, and another 47 cases were treated with oral administration of methylphenidate as controls

METHODS OF TREATMENT:

For patients in the treatment group the ingredients of formula were prescribed as below:  Image

Fu-Ling (Poria cocos) 40g
Shan Yao / Radix Dioscoreae (Chinese Yam Root) 40g
Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata 30g
Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni) 30g
Shi Chang Pu (Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii) 45g
Yuan Zhi / Radix Polygalae (Chinese Senega Root) 30g
Bai Ji Li (Fructus Tribuli) 30g
Long Gu (Dragon’s Bone) 60g
Mu Li (Oyster shell) 60g
Jiang Can / Bombyx Batryticatus (Silkworm) 30g
Gou Teng (cat’s claw) 30g
Yi Zhi Ren (Chinese Ginger) 30g
Da Zao (Jujube Fruit) 30g
Gan Cao / Radix Glycyrrhizae (Licorice Root) 25g   

They were made into 250 ml of syrup in the pharmaceutics department of this hospital.

The syrup was orally administered to the patients under 9 years in a dose of 25 ml, three times daily, and to the patients over 9 years in a dose of 40 ml, three times daily.

RESULTS OF TREATMENT:

Of the 50 cases in the treatment group, 21 cases were markedly effective, 26 cases effective, and 3 cases ineffective, with a total effective rate of 94%. Among the 47 cases in the control group, 15 cases were markedly effective, 17 cases effective, and 15 cases ineffective, with a total effective rate of 68.09%. The difference in total effective rate between the two groups was statistically very significant (P<0.01).

ImageDISCUSSION:

The results showed that the therapeutic effect of the treatment group was significantly superior to that of the control group

For details on the anti-inflamatory properties of the ingredients please visit:
http://www.rlcure.com/scientific-study-suggests-inflammation-is-a-primary-cause-of-RLS.html
 

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Successful Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome with the Herbal Prescription “Yokukansan.”

ImageYokukansan, also known as TJ-54, is composed of SEVEN herbs; Angelica acutiloba, Atractylodes lancea, Bupleurum falcatum, Poria cocos, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Cnidium officinale and Uncaria rhynchophylla.

Yokukansan is used to treat insomnia and irritability as well as screaming attacks, sleep tremors and hypnic myoclonia, and neurological disorders which include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Not only has Yokukansan proven in studies to have STRONG anti-inflammatory qualities, but EACH of the seven herbs that make up Yokukansan have anti-inflammatory qualities (references to these studies are below).

In 2010 a study showed that Yokukansan was beneficial in relieving RLS in all 3 test subjects.

In their conclusion, the scientists don’t mention that it was due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Yokukansan that brought on the relief in all 3 subjects.

However, it is just a matter of time before this case becomes another obvious example of the undeniable LINK between inflammation and RLS.

ImageTHE STUDY:
“Successful treatment of restless legs syndrome with the herbal prescription Yokukansan.”

Hideto Shinno, Mami Yamanaka, Ichiro Ishikawa, Sonoko Danjo, Yasushi Inami, Jun Horiguchi and Yu Nakamura. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Volume 34, Issue 1, 1 February 2010, Pages 252–253.

CONCLUSION:

RLS improved in ALL 3 cases after the addition of Yokukansan. We speculate that actions on GABAergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic systems might account for some of the therapeutic effects of KS in the present cases. YKS, therefre, appears to be useful in RLS treatment.

REFERENCES:

“Use of Yokukansan (TJ-54) in the treatment of neurological disorders: A review.”
S. de Caires, V. Steenkamp. Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria

“Ameliorative effects of yokukansan on behavioral deficits in a gerbil model of global cerebral ischemia.”
Liu Y et al. Brain Res. 2014 Jan 16;1543:300-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.11.015. Epub 2013 Nov 19.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24269335

“Yokukansan promotes hippocampal neurogenesis associated with the suppression of activated microglia in Gunn rat.”
Motohide Furuya et al. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2013, 10:145 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-10-145
http://www.jneuroinflammation.com/content/10/1/145

“Effects of Angelica acutiloba on mast cell-mediated allergic reactions in vitro and in vivo.”
Kyungjin Lee et al. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, August 2012, Vol. 34, No. 4 : Pages 571-577
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/08923973.2011.636048

“Further Phenols and Polyacetylenes from the Rhizomes of Atractylodes lancea and their Anti-Inflammatory Activity.”
M. Resch et al. Planta Med 2001; 67(5): 437-442. DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-15817
https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-2001-15817

Bupleurum (Bupleurum falcatum)
http://www.herbosophy.com.au/bupleurum-bupleurum-falcatum

Assessment of anti-inflammatory activity of Poria cocos in sodium lauryl sulphate-induced irritant contact dermatitis.
Fuchs SM et al. Skin Res Technol. 2006 Nov;12(4):223-7.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17026651

“Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis): Aroma Extract.”
Aki Tanaka and Takayuki Shibamoto. Chapter 20, pp 229–237. Chapter DOI: 10.1021/bk-2008-0993.ch020. ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 993.
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-2008-0993.ch020

“Components of rhizome extract of Cnidium officinale Makino and their in vitro biological effects.”
Bae KE et al. Molecules. 2011 Oct 21;16(10):8833-47. doi: 10.3390/molecules16108833.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22019572

“Uncaria rhynchophylla inhibits the production of nitric oxide and interleukin-1ß through blocking nuclear factor ?B, Akt, and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation in macrophages.”
Kim JH et al. J Med Food. 2010 Oct;13(5):1133-40. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.1128.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20828308

You can read the full study here:
www.deepdyve.com/lp/elsevier/successful-treatment-of-restless-legs-syndrome-with-the-herbal-tIA5ur7GMK

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Studies Show that Stress Increases Inflammation Levels

ImageMy last post featured studies on how INSOMNIA increases inflammation. This post will examine how STRESS increases inflammation.

If you’ve read some of the posts on this page, or have visited my website www.rlcure.com – you’ll know that I FIRMLY believe that inflammation is the CAUSE of RLS. Science is now confirming this.

What this means is that insomnia and stress are issues that must somehow be dealt with in order to help your suffering to come to an end. The MORE the inflammation in your body increases, the MORE your legs will act up.

Prescribed drugs are not the answer. Whatever lies beneath the surface and is causing your stress cannot be dissolved with a drug. That requires change through meditation, relaxation exercises, therapy etc.

This post provides scientific evidence that stress increases inflammation levels.

The information you’ll read below are short excerpts from articles talking about the studies. To view the full studies please visit:stressedcake
www.rlcure.com/how-stress-can-increase-inflammation.html

“Chronic Stress Changes Immune Cell Genes, Leading To Inflammation” Huffington Post, July 7, 2013

A new study provides a better understanding of why chronic stress leads to high levels of inflammation in the body.

Researchers found that chronic stress changes gene activity of immune cells before they enter the bloodstream so that they’re ready to fight infection or trauma — even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This then leads to increased inflammation.

“Dwelling on stressful events can increase inflammation in the body, study finds.” Ohio University Office of Research Communications. March 13, 2013.

Dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body, a new Ohio University study finds.

Researchers discovered that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose. The study is the first to directly measure this effect in the body.

Image“How Stress Influences Disease: Carnegie Mellon Study Reveals Inflammation as the Culprit.” Carnegie Mellon News (April 2012).

A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body’s ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease.

“Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control,” said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Cohen argued that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone. Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.

“When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”

“Brain pathways linking social stress and inflammation identified.” from Science Daily. Aug. 2010.

A new studys show that individuals who exhibit greater neural sensitivity to social rejection also exhibit greater increases in inflammatory activity to social stress.2stress

Their results showed that individuals who exhibited greater neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula during social rejection in the brain scanner also exhibited greater increases in inflammatory activity when exposed to acute social stress in the lab.

“This is further evidence of how closely our mind and body are connected,” Slavich said. “We have known for a long time that social stress can ‘get under the skin’ to increase risk for disease, but it’s been unclear exactly how these effects occur. To our knowledge, this study is the first to identify the neurocognitive pathways that might be involved in inflammatory responses to acute social stress.”

 

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Studies Show that Insomnia Increases Inflammation Levels

ImageYou’re lying awake in bed at 4 am. – it’s another sleepless night. Your legs are twitching and pulsating, your mind is racing aimlessly with blurred abstract nonsense and the giant purple bags under your eyes continue to darken and grow larger.

Yes, we’ve all been there.

The last thing you need to hear is that your STRESS and LACK OF SLEEP are actually making the problem WORSE!

But, it’s the truth.

And now that you know this, you can do something about it.

As the powerful influence of inflammation continues to move to the forefront of the media, more and more studies are being done to find out just how widespread its effects are. This includes studies I’ll present to you on this website showing that both stress and insomnia increase inflammation levels.

This post provides scientific evidence that insomnia increases inflammation levels. My next post will focus on how stress increases inflammation levels.

The information you’ll read below are short excerpts from the studies. To view the full studies please visit:
www.rlcure.com/how-insomnia-increases-inflammation.html

Image“Sleep Loss and Inflammation.”
Janet M. Mullington et al. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. Oct 2010; 24(5): 775–784.

ABSTRACT:

Controlled, experimental studies on the effects of acute sleep loss in humans have shown that mediators of inflammation are altered by sleep loss.  

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“Sleep duration and biomarkers of inflammation.”
Patel SR et al. Sleep. 2009 Feb;32(2):200-4.

INTRODUCTION:

Extremes of sleep duration have been associated with adverse health outcomes. The mechanism is unclear but may be related to increased inflammation. We sought to assess the association between sleep duration and inflammatory biomarkers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increases in habitual sleep durations are associated with elevations in CRP and IL-6 while reduced PSG sleep duration is associated with elevated TNFa levels. Activation of pro-inflammatory pathways may represent a mechanism by which extreme sleep habits affect health.
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Image“Sleep Loss Activates Cellular Inflammatory Signaling”
Michael R. Irwin et al. Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Sep 15;64(6):538-40.

BACKGROUND:

Accumulating evidence suggests that sleep disturbance is associated with inflammation and related disorders including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes mellitus. This study was undertaken to test the effects of sleep loss on activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, a transcription factor that serves a critical role in the inflammatory signaling cascade.

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“Chronic Insomnia and Stress System.”
Maria Basta, M.D. et al. Sleep Med Clin. Jun 2007; 2(2): 279–291.

SYNOPSIS:

In insomnia, which is a very common sleep disorder, objective sleep measures, EEG activity, physiologic findings, HPA axis activity and inflammation markers suggest that it is not a state of sleep loss, but a disorder of hyperarousal present both during the night and the daytime.

The finding that pro-inflammatory cytokines’ IL-6 and TNFa daytime secretion is elevated in insomniacs, considering their role in subjective complaints of fatigue and poor performance, may lead to novel approaches to treat insomnia.

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“The effects of 40 hours of total sleep deprivation on inflammatory markers in healthy young adults.”
Frey DJ et al. Brain Behav Immun. 2007 Nov;21(8):1050-7.

ABSTRACT:

Inflammatory cytokines are released in response to stress, tissue damage, and infection. Acutely, this response is adaptive; however, chronic elevation of inflammatory proteins can contribute to health problems including cardiovascular, endocrine, mood, and sleep disorders.

Our findings suggest that one night of sleep loss triggers a stress response that includes stimulation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins in the healthy young subjects tested under our experimental conditions.

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“Effect of sleep loss on C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker of cardiovascular risk.”Image
Meier-Ewert HK et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Feb 18;43(4):678-83.

CONCLUSIONS:

Both acute total and short-term partial sleep deprivation resulted in elevated high-sensitivity CRP concentrations, a stable marker of inflammation that has been shown to be predictive of cardiovascular morbidity. We propose that sleep loss may be one of the ways that inflammatory processes are activated and contribute to the association of sleep complaints, short sleep duration, and cardiovascular morbidity observed in epidemiologic surveys.

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“Sleep Restriction Increases the Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Diseases by Augmenting Proinflammatory Responses through IL-17 and CRP.”
Wessel M. A. et al. PLoS One. 2009;4(2):e4589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004589. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

BACKGROUND:

Sleep restriction, leading to deprivation of sleep, is common in modern 24-h societies and is associated with the development of health problems including cardiovascular diseases. Our objective was to investigate the immunological effects of prolonged sleep restriction and subsequent recovery sleep, by simulating a working week and following recovery weekend in a laboratory environment.

ImageCONCLUSIONS:

5 nights of sleep restriction increased lymphocyte activation and the production of proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1beta IL-6 and IL-17; they remained elevated after 2 nights of recovery sleep, accompanied by increased heart rate and serum CRP, 2 important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, long-term sleep restriction may lead to persistent changes in the immune system and the increased production of IL-17 together with CRP may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

For tips on putting an end to your sleepless nights, please visit these pages:

www.rlcure.com/histamine2.html

www.rlcure.com/glutamate2.html

 

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How Inflammation Can Affect Iron Levels

ImageThere are hundreds of articles parroting each other on the internet talking about what causes Restless Legs Syndrome. The two most agreed upon theories are an imbalance of dopamine (a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain) and low iron levels.

I’m going to present evidence that both of these conditions could be caused by the presence of inflammation. In other words, I believe inflammation to be the primary condition while restless legs, dopamine imbalance and low irons levels are simply effects of this chronic state.

This post provides scientific evidence that inflammation can affect iron/ferritin levels.

For information on how inflammation can affect dopamine levels, please visit
http://www.rlcure.com/dopamine.html

from Stop The Thyroid Madness “Iron and hypothyroidism”

Ferritin is an iron-storage protein which keeps your iron in a dissolvable and usable state, making the iron non-toxic to cells around it. So when Ferritin is measured via a blood test, it is basically measuring the iron you have tucked away for safe use. 70 – 90 is often mentioned in literature as a goal, but other iron labs are important with it, as your ferritin can look good, but your other labs reveal the truth. Inflammation tends to thrust iron into storage, so you can’t just look at Ferritin.

Inflammation can lower your iron levels. If you are having a hard time raising iron, or keeping it up, you may also have a chronic inflammation problem that needs discovery and treatment. Gluten can cause inflammation for those with Hashi’s. Even without Hashi’s, thyroid patients can have chronic inflammation in their joints. An allergy to what you eat can cause inflammation, as happened to thyroid patient Deb who discovered she was allergic to eggs. Once she removed eggs, her iron went up!

from “Towards explaining ‘unexplained’ hyperferritinemia” by Clara Camaschella and Erika Poggiali

It is well known that both acute and chronic inflammation, as occurring in infections, autoimmune disorders, chronic renal failure and also cancer – all conditions common in hospitalized patients – are associated with high ferritin levels.

Imagefrom WEB MD “Ferritin”

Reasons you may not be able to have the ferritin test or why the results may not be helpful include:

Having a blood transfusion in the past 4 months.
Being a female athlete whose amount of activity has changed her menstrual cycle.
Having conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as from illness or from a surgery.
Having a radioactive scan in the past 3 days.
Taking medicines, such as birth control pills and antithyroid medicines.
Age. Older adults may have a higher ferritin value.
Eating a diet high in red meats.

Because inflammation in the body can cause high ferritin levels, a test result that is slightly high does not always mean a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis) is present.

from “Interpretation of biochemical tests for iron deficiency: diagnostic difficulties related to limitations of individual tests”
by Frank Firkin, Director of Clinical Haematology; and Bryan Rush, Director of Laboratory Haematology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

INTRODUCTION:

The results of tests of iron status are relatively frequently distorted by other clinical factors. This is important to recognise as such distorted results may give a misleading view of the patient’s iron stores. The impact of these factors can be recognised by combining the results of currently available tests.

SUMMARY:

Most cases of iron deficiency can be diagnosed with simple tests. The concentration of serum iron does not fall until the body’s iron stores are exhausted. As the stores are depleted, the concentration of transferrin rises while the concentration of ferritin falls.

Caution is required when assessing patients with inflammatory disease as a low serum iron may not represent iron deficiency. These patients often have reduced concentrations of transferrin.

Imagefrom “Influence of acute inflammation on iron and nutritional status indexes in older inpatients.”
Chiari MM1, Bagnoli R, De Luca PD, Monti M, Rampoldi E, Cunietti E. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Jul;43(7):767-71.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relations between acute inflammation, as shown by high C-reactive protein (CRP) serum levels, and laboratory indexes of iron and nutritional status and to ascertain whether the presence of acute inflammation affects the diagnostic reliability of these indexes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with acute inflammation present altered iron status indexes that resemble those observed in the anemia of chronic disease.

http://www.rlcure.com/how-inflammation-can-affect-iron-levels.html

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A 2014 Study Indicates that there is a Direct Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

ImageInterleukin-17A is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IL17A gene. The protein encoded by this gene is a proinflammatory cytokine produced by activated T cells.
“IL17A” Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IL17A

As you will read below in the OBJECTIVE of Dr. Hennessey’s study, dopamine, iron and inflammatory pathways are considered important to the development of RLS.

My belief, as I’ve stated and provided evidence for on my website (links below) is that it is the inflammation that is affecting the dopamine and iron levels in RLS sufferers  – as well as creating the uncomfortable sensations in the legs.

www.rlcure.com/dopamine.html

therestlesslegsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/inflammation-increases-ferritin-levels-iron-results

At the very least, what you can take out of this study is that inflammation is now being directly linked to RLS by scientists. There are many other factors that need to be explored in the scientific community, but they are now at least agreeing, due to the growing body of evidence, that inflammation a primary component.

Here is the study:

 “Polymorphisms of Interleukin-1 Beta and Interleukin-17 Alpha Genes Are Associated With Restless Legs Syndrome.”
by Mary Dawn Hennessy, RN, PhD, Rochelle S. Zak, MD, Caryl L. Gay, PhD, Clive R. Pullinger, Kathryn A. Lee, RN, PhD and Bradley E. Aouizerat, MAS, PhD.  Biol Res Nurs April 2014 vol. 16 no. 2 143-151. doi: 10.1177/1099800413478827  

OBJECTIVE:

Dopamine, iron, and inflammatory pathways are considered important to the development of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Recent genetic studies support involvement of dopamine and iron; however, cytokine gene variation in the inflammatory component remains unexplored. A recent study reported a high prevalence of RLS among HIV-infected adults. We estimate occurrence of RLS in an ethnically diverse sample of HIV-infected adults and examine differences in demographic factors, clinical characteristics, and biomarkers relating to dopamine, iron, and inflammation between adults with and without RLS symptoms. Design: A prospective longitudinal study aimed at identifying biomarkers of RLS symptom experience among HIV-infected adults.

METHOD:

316 HIV-positive adults were evaluated using International RLS Study Group criteria. Genes were chosen for hypothesized relationships to dopamine (NOS1, NOS2), iron (HFE) or inflammation-mediated by cytokine genes (interferon [IFN], interleukin [IL], nuclear factor kappa-B [NFKB], and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNFA]).

RESULTS:

Similar to general population estimates, 11% of the sample met all four RLS diagnostic criteria. Controlling for race, gender, and hemoglobin, carrying two copies of the minor allele for IL1B rs1143643, rs1143634, or rs1143633 or carrying the minor allele for IL17A rs8193036 was associated with increased likelihood of meeting RLS diagnostic criteria.

ImageCONCLUSION:

This study provides preliminary evidence of a genetic association between IL1B and IL17A genes and RLS.

You can read the study here:
http://brn.sagepub.com/content/16/2/143.abstract?rss=1

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A 2012 Study Shows that there is a Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

ImageFor 5 years now I’ve been collecting data to help support my claim that RLS is caused by inflammation. The evidence is overwhelming, but still the willingness by anyone to make the required lifestyle changes to lessen their RLS is a rare occurrence. The pharmacological solution still rules.

There are countless stories of people that have become free of their RLS through various natural methods. These methods (as I indicate on my website) always have an anti-inflammatory component to them.

Unfortunately this body of evidence will always be considered “anecdotal” in the eyes of scientists. We’re simply children entertaining the grownups with our wild imagination.

Scientists build truths based solely upon the studies of their peers. That’s the ONLY data that they will consider.

This is why Dr. Weinstock’s study on the relationship between RLS and inflammation was such a groundbreaking event. Even though Dr. Weinstock will not be continuing with further studies of the relationship between RLS and inflammation (due to a lack of funding) others are expanding on his findings.

That includes a study (below) that I just ran across. It was originally published in the Nov. 2012 edition of the scientific journal “Brain, Behavior and Immunity.”

The study clearly demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between elevated C-reactive protein (an indicator of inflammation) and Restless Legs Syndrome.

Here is the study …

Image“Elevated C-reactive protein is associated with severe periodic leg movements of sleep in patients with restless legs syndrome.”
by Lynn Marie Trotti, Rye DB, De Staercke C, Hooper WC, Quyyumi A, Bliwise DL. Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Nov;26(8):1239-43. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2012.06.003. Epub 2012 Jun 26. Emory Program in Sleep, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common sleep disorder in which urges to move the legs are felt during rest, are felt at night, and are improved by leg movement. RLS has been implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease. Periodic leg movements (PLMs) may be a mediator of this relationship. We evaluated systemic inflammation and PLMs in RLS patients to further assess cardiovascular risk.

METHODS:

137 RLS patients had PLM measurements taken while unmedicated for RLS. Banked plasma was assayed for high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).

RESULTS:

Mean (SD) PLM index was 19.3 (22.0). PLMs were unrelated to TNF-a and IL-6, but were modestly correlated with logCRP (r(129)=0.19, p=0.03). Those patients with at least 45PLMs/h had an odds ratio of 3.56 (95% CI 1.26-10.03, p=0.02, df=1) for having elevated CRP compared to those with fewer than 45PLMs/h. After adjustment for age, race, gender, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, inflammatory disorders, CRP-lowering medications, and body mass index, the OR for those with ≥ 45PLMs/h was 8.60 (95% CI 1.23 to 60.17, p=0.03, df=10).

CONCLUSIONS:

PLMs are associated with increased inflammation, such that those RLS patients with at least 45PLMs/h had more than triple the odds of elevated CRP than those with fewer PLMs. Further investigation into PLMs and inflammation is warranted.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22750520

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A 2010 Study Touches on the Relationship Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

ImageA lot of the studies I read through (actually almost all of them) are completely dense and I’m usually able to grasp a few sentences at best. The study I refer to below is no exception. Most of the information bounced off my head except for one VERY IMPORTANT line in the “discussion” area of the report.

The study is titled “Restless legs syndrome enhances cardiovascular risk and mortality in patients with end-stage kidney disease undergoing long-term haemodialysis treatment.” by Gaetano La Manna et al. (see what I mean).

 

It was first published in the scientific journal “Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation” in 2011.

Here is the excerpt that concerns RLS sufferers. In the “Discussion” section of the study Dr. La Manna states:

“This study showed that the presence of RLS and new cardiovascular events was associated with increased inflammatory markers, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.”

Simply put, his study found that there is a correlation between RLS and inflammation.

You can read the full study here:
http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/6/1976.long

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2009 Study Shows that Valerian Improves RLS Symptoms

ImageA 2009 study performed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing witnessed highly positive results when giving their RLS subjects valerian.

ALL of the subjects participating in the study showed a MARKED improvement with their RLS over an 8 week period.

Valerian is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also helps to soften anxiety, insomnia and stress.

You can find out more about the benefits of valerian here:
www.rlcure.com/daily-intake-for-an-absolute-cure-for-restless-legs-syndrome.html

STUDY:

“Does valerian improve sleepiness and symptom severity in people with restless legs syndrome?”

Cuellar NG1, Ratcliffe SJ. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Mar-Apr;15(2):22-8.

OBJECTIVE:

To compare the effects of 800 mg of valerian with a placebo on sleep quality and symptom severity in people with restless legs syndrome (RLS).

METHODS:

A prospective, triple-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel design was used to compare the efficacy of valerian with placebo on sleep quality and symptom severity in patients with RLS. Thirty-seven participants were randomly assigned to receive 800 mg of valerian or placebo for 8 weeks. The primary outcome of sleep was sleep quality with secondary outcomes including sleepiness and RLS symptom severity.

ImageRESULTS:

Data were collected at baseline and 8 weeks comparing use of valerian and placebo on sleep disturbances (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Epworth Sleepiness Scale) and severity of RLS symptoms (International RLS Symptom Severity Scale) from 37 participants aged 36 to 65 years. Both groups reported improvement in RLS symptom severity and sleep. In a nested analysis comparing sleepy vs nonsleepy participants who received 800 mg ofvalerian (n=17), significant differences before and after treatment were found in sleepiness (P=.01) and RLS symptoms (P=.02). A strong positive association between changes in sleepiness and RLS symptom severity was found (P=.006).

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest that the use of 800 mg of valerian for 8 weeks improves symptoms of RLS and decreases daytime sleepiness in patients that report an Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score of 10 or greater. Valerian may be an alternative treatment for the symptom management of RLS with positive health outcomes and improved quality of life.

This study can be viewed on PubMed at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19284179

 

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ARTICLE: Inflammation May be Causing Your RLS: Reverse it in 3 Simple Steps

ImageThis article was written by Brenda Priddy on ProgressiveHealth.com. She talks about my history with RLS and the RLcure.com website. However, the facts are a bit skewered. The truth is that I found out about the relationship between RLS and inflammation through my own personal experience. My relationship with Dr. Leonard Weinstock and his RLS study occurred several years into my recovery. However, as they say, there’s no such thing as bad press. So, I’m leaving the article intact, as it was originally published on the ProgressiveHealth.com website.

The precise cause of RLS is unknown. Researchers have several theories about the origins of RLS, but until recently, there was no clear link between one cause and RLS. Find out the curious connection between RLS and inflammation below.

Restless Legs Syndrome is a condition that is irritating, unhealthy, and socially damaging. The Willis-Ekbom Disease (WED) Foundation and XenoPort, Inc. recently conducted a survey on 1600 individuals with restless leg syndrome as well as information from their partners on how the disease affects their quality of life and emotional health.

ImageThe data that the survey uncovered revealed a lot about the damaging affects of RLS.

90 percent of couples suffered from sleep disturbances
90 percent of couples reported having to adjust travel plans based on the condition
90 percent of couples said they were kept from participating in at least social event due to the disease
50 percent of RLS patients wish they had more support from loved ones
74 percent of partners said their daily lives were interrupted by RLS symptoms
47 percent of RLS patients and 34 percent of partners said they avoid movies, concerts, and theaters due to the disease
One-third of patients and spouses report sleeping in a separate bedroom due to RLS sleep disturbances

These social effects of RLS are only one way that the disease can affect a person and everyone in their life. There are many other physical side effects of the disease, including chronic insomnia; a higher risk for insomnia-related medical conditions like weight gain, heart disease, and stroke; and a reduced immune system.

Although there are many dangers to RLS, both social and physical, new studies have uncovered a promising cure for the disease, as David found out. Read more about his battle with RLS and the cure that finally worked for him below.


ImageDavid’s Story

David Wimble had restless leg syndrome for over 20 years. He suffered from many of the social symptoms of the disease, including the inability to sit and enjoy outings or even movie watching with his wife. Flying by plane was nearly impossible.

For over 8 years, he suffered from excruciating pain in his legs, ranging from numbness, to constant tingling, and the inability to keep still. David tried nearly every remedy for RLS he could think of. He tried diets, a wide range of supplements, teas, exercise, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage. However, none of these treatments lasted for long. David was desperate and frustrated.

Finally, after studying numerous studies on restless leg syndrome and the causes of RLS, David stumbled across a 2011 study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine. This study examined the roles of the immune system and the inflammatory response of the body.

In the study, researchers found that 54 other diseases are linked to RLS. 95 percent of these diseases are inflammation-related, and due to excessive levels of inflammation in the body. The researchers theorized that since RLS is related to so many inflammatory diseases, that perhaps controlling overall inflammation in the body would relieve RLS symptoms.

David found this to be true. He eliminated all sources of inflammation from his diet, started supplementing with anti-inflammatory vitamins and supplements, and took whatever steps necessary to completely remove as much inflammation from his body as possible.

To this day, David is living a normal life without restless legs or any other symptoms of RLS. These results have lasted over 5 years, when previous treatments have only lasted a few months.


ImageInflammation and RLS

The Washington University study poses an interesting theory about the cause of restless legs syndrome. RLS is usually thought relating to iron deficiency, the deregulation of dopamine, or peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, many patients with RLS have an increased prevelance of intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

The researchers believe that this could suggest that inflammation in immunological alterations play a key role in the start of RLS symptoms. The researchers found that 38 diseases are highly linked to the start of RLS symptoms. 95 percent of these diseases are immune system-related, and trigger inflammation in the body, or are caused by excessive inflammation. Due to this link, the researchers stated that this “suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms.

Inflammation can be responsible for iron deficiency and hypothetically could cause central nervous system iron deficiency-induced RLS. Alternatively, an immune reaction to gastrointestinal bacteria or other antigens may hypothetically cause RLS by a direct immunological attack on the central or peripheral nervous system.”

ImageA 3-STEP PLAN FOR CURING RLS

David identified a 3-step plan for curing RLS that worked for him. This plan involves removing inflammation from the diet, curing existing inflammation, and maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet so that inflammation does not return. This plan has enabled David to live symptom-free for over 2 years.

1. STOP THE SPREADING OF INFLAMMATION

According to studies from John Hopkins University, histamine and glutamate levels are higher in individuals with RLS. The researchers state that the “hyper arousal” state that is seen in RLS patients is likely caused by too-high histamine levels. Side effects of high histamine levels can contribute to a variety of bizarre symptoms, including irritability, sleep disruption, and agitation. A histamine is simply a compound in the body that is an inflammatory response to infections and invasions.

Ordinarily, histamines can help fight infections, but when an immune disorder is present, histamine levels can skyrocket, leading to side effects that contribute to RLS.

Another study from John Hopkins University linked high glutamate levels with an increase in RLS symptoms. Glutamate levels rise when dopamine levels drop. Glutamate is an amino acid used for many benefical processes in the body, such as to create an alert state during waking hours. However, when glutamate levels rise, a person has trouble concentrating, keeping still, and sleeping.

People with RLS appear to be more sensitive to glutamate than individuals without RLS. Other studies have shown that too-high levels of glutamate can lead to neurotoxicity, which is dangerous for the brain and body. Reducing glutamate levels in the brain may contribute to a reduction in RLS symptoms.

Supplementing with GABA may help balance the appropriate levels of glutamate and dopamine in the brain, according to some studies.

Sources of Glutamate:

Cheese
Meat
Fish
Eggs
Soy
Seeds

To reduce inflammation, you should eliminate foods that contribute to inflammation. Although some inflammation is good for your health, individuals with RLS are typically more sensitive to inflammation, which may be the cause of your symptoms.

For a few months at least, try to eat as few inflammation-causing foods as possible to help restore a healthy balance of amino acids and hormones in your body.

ImageInflammation-Causing Substances

Vegetable oils
Trans fats
Sugar
Gluten
Alcohol
Caffeine
MSG
Processed foods
Fried foods
Advanced glycation end products (AGE)-comes from high-heat cooking, including pasteurization
Dairy
Cigarettes
Preservatives

Image2. HEAL THE EXISTING INFLAMMATION

The next step in curing restless legs syndrome is to repair any existing inflammation in your body. It can take time to eliminate all inflammation, particularly if you have not paid much attention to your diet or lifestyle over the years.

Luckily, there are numerous supplements that have inflammation-fighting properties. These supplements will not only help cure restless leg syndrome, but they will also reduce your risk of many other common illnesses and diseases; including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and more.

The following supplements are effective at eliminating inflammation, restoring the balance of amino acids in the brain, and reducing RLS symptoms:

GABA: GABA is an essential amino acid that helps regulate glutamate levels and balance dopamine levels. Individuals with RLS often have low levels of GABA, which could contribute to an increase in symptoms. In 2011, researchers from the Quest Research Institute investigated the potential of GABA supplements for treating RLS. Participants supplemented with GABA for 52 weeks. At the end of the study, 84 percent of participants reported that their symptoms were “improved” or “very much improved.”

Calcium and Magnesium: Magnesium is an incredibly important mineral for the body. Magnesium is particularly important for nervous system health and brain health. Magnesium directly impacts natural GABA levels. Magnesium also reduces histamine release, which also benefits patients with RLS. Magnesium is most effective when taken in conjunction with calcium.

A 1998 study conducted by Albert-Ludwigs University in Germany found that supplementing with magnesium was able to significantly reduce symptoms and improve sleep quality of study participants with RLS.

Iron: Iron is necessary for many functions, but one of the most important is for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Low iron levels lead to sluggish body systems. The first signs of an iron deficiency include irritability, fatigue, and headaches. When the body is inflamed, it absorbs less iron. This can increase the chances that you will suffer from restless leg syndrome. This occurs because low iron levels lower dopamine levels in the brain, which can interfere with the circadian rhythm of the body.

In a study conducted by Beaumont Hospital in 1994, it was found that supplementing with iron for 2 months in elderly individuals with RLS improved their RLS severity score.

B Vitamins: B vitamins are essential vitamins for many of the body’s systems and functions. B vitamins, however, are water-soluable, and are not stored in the body. This means that you must replace these vitamins daily to maintain the vitamin levels necessary for optimal system functioning. Reduced levels of vitamin B12, vitamn B9 (folic acid or folate), and B6 can all lead to restless legs symptoms. Some researchers theorize that pregnant women are more likely to suffer from temporary RLS due to B vitamin deficiencies.

According to Web MD, these B vitamins are also anti-inflammatory, which can also contribute to a reduction in RLS symptoms. In a study of pregnant women conducted by the University of California San Francisco in 2001, researchers found that supplementing with additional folic acid and iron was able to significantly reduce RLS symptoms. A study published in “The New England Medical Journal” in 2000 found that supplementing with B12 reduced leg tremors.

Glycine: Glycine is another vital substance in controlling RLS and inflammation. Glycine acts like a neurotransmitter and regulates both motor reflexes and nociceptive pathways. Glycine interacts with GABA, which helps reduce tremors and inflammation. In a study conducted on mice in 1985, researchers found that supplementing with glycine has anticonvulsant effects.

ImageCurcumin: Curcumin is contained in turmeric and ginger, and is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agents in the word. Curcumin has been studied extensively, and is one of the most-studied herbs in the world today. Curcumin deactivates immune cells that cause excessive inflammation without reducing the effectiveness of the immune system. Curcumin can act similarly to an immunosuppressant medication, but without actually suppressing the infection-fighting powers of a healthy immune system. Curcumin is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine agent.

Valerian: Valerian is an herb that promotes health and fights inflammation. Valerian fights stress, insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness. Valerian can also reduce swelling, pain, and redness associated with inflammation. Supplementing with valerian increases the natural levels of GABA in the brain, according to the University of Maryland. Studies on sleep disorders, including RLS, found that supplementing with valerian (and other calming materials, like hops or lemon balm) was able to help study participants relax and sleep better.

Omega 3s: Omega 3 fats are some of the most anti-inflammatory fats in the world. Unlike omega 6 fats, which are highly inflammatory, omega 3 fats can counteract inflammation from a wide variety of poor diet choices. That is one reason why ensuring you have a healthy dose of omega 3s in your diet is one of the most simple steps you can take to improve your overall health. Aside from these essential supplements, you may also find the following supplements beneficial in reducing inflammation and fighting RLS.

Other Beneficial Supplements

Vitamin D
Grape seed extract
Vitamin C
Bromelain
Potassium
Skullcap
Chamomile
Ginger
Green tea
Zinc
Vitamin A
Vitamin E

Image3. MAINTAIN AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET

The third part of David’s cure for restless legs syndrome is to simply avoid further sources of inflammation in the diet, and ensure you eat a wide variety of foods that fight inflammation. This is a simple step that you can use to control your health and reduce your chances of seeing additional RLS episodes.

The basic diet includes eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, minimizing inflammatory foods like trans fats, vegetable oils, and red meat, eating a lot of omega 3 fats, reducing consumption of processed foods and refined carbohydrates, and adding anti-inflammatory spices like ginger, curry, garlic, onions, thyme and other herbs. The following foods are all inflammation fighters and would make an excellent addition to your RLS diet:

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Fish
Leafy greens
Berries
Cherries
Walnuts
Beets
Blueberries

ImageThe Anti-Inflammatory Cure for Restless Legs Syndrome

If you have RLS, you will likely to almost anything to get a good night’s sleep and stop the chronic restlessness and pain that the condition brings. Even if you suffer only occasionally from the disorder, every sleepless night is a night that interferes with your overall health. David found a way to control his RLS symptoms by eliminating inflammation from his diet. Research suggests that this could be a key factor in controlling RLS symptoms.

If you want to try the three-step anti-inflammatory plan for controlling RLS, try it for a few months. It can take several weeks or months before you see positive results. A lifestyle of chronic inflammation takes a while to counteract.

With the right supplements, diet, and avoiding inflammation triggers, you may be able to say goodbye to your RLS for good!

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140213-911574.html

http://www.rlcure.com/my-history-with-restless-legs-syndrome-willis-ekbom-disease.html

http://www.rlcure.com/rls_study.pdf

This article was originally published on the ProgressiveHealth.com website:

http://www.progressivehealth.com/3-steps-reversing-rls.htm?utm_expid=4620948-17.jbto_HQzQDGLaCs8qqTSSQ.0

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ARTICLE: NATURAL NEWS YOU CAN USE – Try a Better Approach to Inflammation

Imageby Dr. Randy Hansbrough, TCPalm.com April 14, 2014

Recent articles by Drs. Komaroff and Roach report the usual pharmaceutical view of things concerning management of inflammation and pain, without fully disclosing the hazards of long-term damage to the gut, liver and kidneys, when relying on over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol or, in more severe cases, powerful drugs such as methotrexate, a potent immune system suppressant. Data implicates these drugs in a long list of side effects that aren’t good, so for those who have relied on them for relief, your future looks brighter if you can find a way to reduce the need for them.

Drug damage from routine use

Everything ultimately goes through your liver, and without it you will die, so preserving it and allowing it to thrive is wise. Common side effects from methotrexate use, which interferes with the action of the important B vitamin Folic Acid, includes ulcers, lowered white blood cells and increased risk of infection, inflammation and scarring of the lungs, and kidney failure, among others. Regular use of acetaminophen, Tylenol, often results in liver damage, and elevates your risk for cancer, skin reactions, asthma and more.

C Reactive Protein

CRP levels that are elevated is an indication that you have chronic inflammation, which means you have some form of autoimmunity (AI), where your immune system is now attacking your own cells. This can result in an array of other AI diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, Crohn’s, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and various neurodegenerative diseases, to name a few. Usually, a person with AI will develop a disease according to his/her genetic vulnerabilities. Thus, there are numerous autoimmune diseases, and numerous drugs have been developed to treat them, all with undesirable side effects.

ImageThe bowel is key

Since some 80 percent of your immune system originates from the bowel, with its normally efficient filter system (nutrients in and waste out), health of your GI tract is absolutely essential. That is why it is counterproductive to rely on harsh chemicals — drugs, to control the origin of inflammation, your bowel. In addition, you’ll need your liver if you plan on a long and healthy life, so nurture it and your bowel now, before other problems arise. Incidentally, your kidneys aren’t too happy with the overload placed on them. They have enough on their hands, filtering out uric acid and other waste, and helping maintain blood pressure and electrolyte levels.

A safe and logical option

Tying this all together, improving the health of your gut, calming down your immune system, decreasing the attack on your vulnerable genes, and reducing inflammation as a result, give you much better odds of swinging the situation in your favor. This cannot take place while you are taking drugs, because they actually interfere in the healing process, thus the risks listed above. That is why functional medicine has developed over the last two decades or more, in response to a great and growing need, a need for some common sense in health care. When comprehensive stool, autoimmune blood, gene testing and other unconventional labs are employed, and customized nutrient compounds are used to repair damaged systems in the body, you really can regain your best health potential.

Dr. Randy Hansbrough, DC, DACAN, author of Heal Without Drugs, is a chiropractic physician and board certified functional neurologist under the auspices of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. For questions, he can be reached at 772-287-7707 in Stuart. Visit his website at http://www.hcfn.org/, and tune in on wstu am radio 1450 on Mondays at 10 a.m.

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ARTICLE: Do you have silent inflammation?

ImageDo you have silent inflammation? by Dr. Tim Holcomb, The Victoria Advocate, March 18, 2014

Your degree of wellness and the rate at which you are aging depend upon the level of inflammation that is ongoing in your body.

It can be silently wearing you down, resulting in chronic, degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, arthritis, thyroid problems, fatigue, fibromyalgia and accelerated aging. That’s why I recommend the actual level be measured.

There is no way to tell just by looking at you. Here are the tests that I use to do just that. The most important test is the ratio of arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid.

This ratio should be in a certain range and can alert you to silent inflammation years to decades before you develop health problems. If this ratio is high, you are at risk of a heart attack, getting cancer, developing Alzheimer’s and more.

Another important test that is seldom measured is fasting insulin. If it is high, you are five times more likely to develop heart disease. In contrast, if you have high cholesterol, you are only twice as likely to develop a heart attack.

If your ratio of fasting triglycerides to your HDL (good) cholesterol is high, you have silent inflammation, so these need to be checked. Still another test is c-reactive protein, a common blood test that is useful but not as good as the ones already mentioned.

Measuring the percent of body fat with calipers at skin folds and waist measurements are additional tools I use as an indirect measure of inflammation and insulin resistance.

For men, ideal body fat measurements are from 12-15 percent body fat. A man’s waist should be less than 40 inches. Women should be anywhere from 20-25 percent body fat, and the waist should be less than 35 inches.

If you are serious about getting healthy again, I recommend you get these tests done as soon as possible. This way, you will know the amount of inflammation you are up against and be able to do something to help yourself in slowing down your aging process and preventing and reversing the symptoms of chronic diseases.

Tim Holcomb is a Victoria nutritionist, pharmacist, naturopath and chiropractor.

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/mar/18/gl_tim_holcomb_031914_235251/?features

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ARTICLE: Restless Legs Syndrome May Signify Bigger Health Problems

Image“Restless Legs Syndrome May Signify Bigger Health Problems”
from Medical Xpress / Neurology, March 5, 2014

A nationally-recognized sleep expert has published an editorial describing Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) as a possible biomarker for underlying disease. The editorial appears in the March 5, 2014 issue of Neurology the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and was authored by Boston Medical Center neurologist Sanford H. Auerbach, MD.

RLS is a disorder of the nervous system. Patients with RLS have uncomfortable sensations in their legs which lead to an overwhelming urge to move them – most often at night or whenever the patient is resting.

The editorial was in response to an analysis of 12,556 men who were followed over time by the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, published in the same issue of Neurology, which showed multiple disease associations with RLS.

“Patients with RLS had a higher mortality rate than similar men, and showed an especially strong tendency toward cardiovascular disease and hypertension,” said Auerbach, associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. In earlier analyses of the same data, men with RLS were more likely to be diagnosed with lung disease, endocrine disease, diseases of nutrition and metabolism and immune system problems.

Auerbach suggests that restless leg syndrome is a meaningful biomarker for serious disease, and that RLS screening may become more common as a tool for primary care providers to identify patients at risk.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-03-restless-legs-syndrome-signify-bigger.html

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