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 opinion 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

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“HIGH LEVELS OF RARE GUT BACTERIA MAY BE LINKED TO RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME” by American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) may be more prevalent among patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS), according to preliminary findings from a small, new study.

Results show that SIBO was found in all seven participants who have RLS. In contrast, the prevalence of SIBO in the general population is estimated to be no more than 15%.

“We’ve observed extremely high rates of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in the RLS group,” said lead author Daniel Jin Blum, Ph.D., D.B.S.M., an adjunct clinical instructor at Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine in Redwood City, California. “Exploring the relationship between RLS and gut microbial health has the potential to open novel avenues for possible detection, prevention and treatment for RLS and other sleep disorders.”

4af41defdea9b6dbe9b18a711b0d00f6SIBO is a condition in which rare gut-residing bacteria are over-represented in the gut. RLS is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by a complaint of a strong, nearly irresistible urge to move the limbs that is often accompanied by other uncomfortable sensations. These symptoms begin or worsen during periods of rest or inactivity such as lying down or sitting, are partially or totally relieved by movement such as walking or stretching, and occur exclusively or predominantly in the evening or at night.

Low iron in the brain is a key risk factor for RLS. According to the authors, this brain iron deficiency may be secondary to dietary iron deficiency or, potentially, gut inflammation.

Study participants completed questionnaires concerning sleep and SIBO syfdn-95mptoms and took home a fecal collection kit and a SIBO breath test kit. Fecal samples were examined by the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, and SIBO breath samples were evaluated by Aerodiagnostics for hydrogen and methane abnormalities.

Additional study participants continue to be recruited at the Stanford Sleep Center. Further analyses will examine fecal microbial composition, subtypes of RLS iron deficiency, and comparisons with insomnia.

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“THERE IS DIMINISHED BRAIN IRON IN PATIENTS WITH RLS EVEN WHEN BLOOD TESTS INDICATE THAT THEIR IRON STORES ARE *NORMAL*” by The Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome

use-thisRole of Iron in RLS

The single most consistent finding and the strongest environmental risk factor associated with RLS is iron insufficiency. Professor Nordlander first recognized the association between iron deficiency and RLS, and reported that treatment of the iron deficiency markedly improved, if not eliminated, the RLS symptoms.

Despite this strong association between serum iron insufficiency and RLS, only about 15% of the RLS clinical population appears to have peripheral iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 50 mcg/l). To account for this, Professor Nordlander in proposing his “iron deficiency” hypothesis of RLS stated “It is possible…that there can exist an iron deficiency in the tissues in spite of normal serum iron.”

This hypothesis has led investigators to examine whether the brain could be deficient in iron in the face of otherwise normal serum iron measures.

All studies to date support the concept of diminished brain iron in patients with RLS even when blood tests indicate that their iron stores are normal. Cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture has shown that the iron storage protein ferritin is low in RLS patients, despite these patients having normal serum levels of iron and ferritin.

Studies using MRI have shown decreased iron concentrations in the substantia nigra, one of the primary brain regions where dopamine-producing cells reside. One study using MRI found a strong relation between iron concentrations in the substantia nigra and the severity of the RLS symptoms.

Through the generous efforts of RLS Foundation, a Brain Bank has been set for RLS dopamine-systempatients who poshumously donate their brains for study. Studies on these tissues have shown markedly diminished iron and iron storage protein in the substantia nigra, consistent with iron insufficiency in the dopamine cells. Overall the studies support the concept of iron dysregulation in brains of patients with RLS, particularly in dopamine-producing cells.

Gaps in our knowledge. Despite the substantial body of research on peripheral iron regulation, we still know very little about how iron is regulated by the blood-brain barrier or by the different cells within the brain. Also there is a relative lack of research on the effects of having iron insufficiency and on exactly how a brain region can be low in iron yet other organs in the body have normal levels?

Role of Dopamine in RLS

Marked improvement in RLS symptoms seen with drugs that stimulate the dopamine system and RLS-like symptoms produced with drug that block the dopamine system implicate the dopamine system in the pathogenesis of RLS.

dopamine-chemical-structureAlthough cerebrospinal fluid is a crude method for assessing the dopamine system in the brain, data from CSF indicated possible increase in brain dopamine production. Imaging studies using special radioactive chemicals have found reduced receptor and transporter function in the brain of more severely affected RLS patients.

Tissues from the Brain Bank have shown that the dopamine cells are normal in appearance and number, with no indication of damage. However, these studies also found that the dopamine receptors were decreased and the proteins associated with producing dopamine (tyrosine hydroxylase) were increased.

The composite results suggest the presence of increased production and release of dopamine a malfunction of the receptors that bind the dopamine and transmit the dopamine signal to other cells. The increase in dopamine may be the brain cells’ response to the poor signal.

When you cannot hear the voices clearly on the TV, you turn up the volume. Cells interact with each other in the similar manner: if a cell cannot “hear” the dopamine message from another cell, it “tells” the other cell to “turn up” the dopamine. Thus despite the increase in dopamine, the end result may be a decrease in the effect that dopamine has on certain brains cells at certain times of the day (i.e., evening and night time) leading to the develop of RLS symptoms.

Future Explorationwebsite-illustrations_Iron

Exactly how iron influences dopamine function is still unclear. Iron deficiency affects other systems in the brain, which potentially could affect the dopamine systems. Recent work done here at Johns Hopkins suggests another chemical in the brain, glutamate, may be equally important in causing some of the symptoms experienced by RLS patients.

Brain cells in culture and brains from animals show similar changes in the dopamine activity when the iron levels are lowered. We can uses these models of disease to examine the connections between iron and dopamine or glutamate, which may reveal what is happening in the human brain and specifically what is happening in RLS.

The Johns Hopkins RLS Center conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of restless legs syndrome.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/restless-legs-syndrome/what-is-rls/causes.html

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“RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME IS A SIDE EFFECT OF UNDERLYING CHRONIC INFLAMMATION” by Yugeva Cryo

chronic-inflammationUntil recently, there were various competing theories as to the causes of RLS. Prominent theories included:

* Iron deficiency
* Dopamine dysregulation
* Infection
* Chronic diseases-kidney failure, diabetes & peripheral neuropathy;
* Certain medications
* Pregnancy

New research, however, indicates that although the above conditions are highly associated with Restless Leg Syndrome, it is underlying chronic inflammation that is causing these conditions in addition to the RLS. Therefore, RLS and the above conditions are actually concurrent side effects of underlying, chronic inflammation.

Groundbreaking research conducted in 2012 revealed “The fact that 95% of the 38 highly-associated RLS conditions are also associated with inflammatory/immune changes 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.”

Current research suggests that INFLAMMATION is the root cause of RLS, as well as the fire, flameconcurrent conditions (once thought to be the source of RLS).

The inflammation causing RLS can also affect iron levels. The scientific community agrees that inflammation can affect iron levels. The causality is often confused here: low iron appears to be one of the guilty parties when it comes to RLS symptoms but it is inflammation that is causing the low iron levels. Increasing iron levels will improve RLS symptoms, but addressing the underlying inflammation can actually cure the condition.

Dopamine imbalance and RLS are both caused by inflammation. There are many scientific studies that show that a dopamine imbalance can be due to either low iron levels or caused directly from inflammation. Increasing dopamine levels helps with the symptoms, but does not deal with the actual cause. The inflammation that is causing the dopamine imbalance must be dealt with directly if the levels are ever to stabilize.

Infection causes chronic inflammation throughout the body and RLS is simply a “biomarker” revealing the high inflammation.

Chronic conditions such as kidney failure and diabetes are associated with high inflammation throughout the body which then causes the RLS.

Medications hypothesized to cause RLS are known to increase inflammation.

Pregnancy-Development-3rd-Trimester0-800x640RLS is caused by the higher inflammation found in pregnant women. Many scientific studies show that RLS symptoms are at their worst in the third trimester of pregnancy. Studies also show that inflammation levels tend to be higher in pregnant women, especially the third trimester.

Yugeva Cryo is part of Evlee Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. – a progressive conglomerate of health professional from India. The young and vivacious company has been formed with a very clear focus to give innovative technological advancements to India and all over the world. Bringing in new technologies and fostering a new era of unconventional, yet highly effective and scientifically backed healthcare processes and practices to India, Evlee is all set to usher in a new regime of health and happiness to the classes and masses of the country and around the world. https://www.yugeva.com/about-us

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“SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION – THE CAUSE OF RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?” by Jordan Reasoner, heathygut.com

scdlifestyle

What if the cause of those frustrating leg twitches is something you can’t see or touch… and is rarely a diagnosis you’d receive at the doctor’s office?

We’re talking about systemic inflammation (inflammation relating to the whole body).

54 diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS – all interconnected by inflammation.

The fact that 89% of RLS-associated conditions are associated with inflammation and/or immune changes have led researchers to develop 2 possible theories in the RLS – Inflammation connection:

Systemic inflammation can contribute to an iron deficiency in the brain:

Inflammation can lead to the production of IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine which can stimulate hepcidin production.

Hepcidin is the main hormone involved in the regulation of iron and increased levels can lead to decreased serum iron levels. The result? Decreased availability of iron to the brain.

Systemic inflammation can trigger autoimmune disorders associated with RLS.

RLS is associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögrens syndrome, Scleroderma, Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease – all autoimmune diseases plagued by systemic inflammation.

RLS is present in up to one third of MS cases and is also common in those with Crohn’s disease – a disease associated with iron deficiency, inflammation, and bacterial overgrowth. One study of 272 Crohn’s disease patients found 30% were affected by RLS.

The bottom line is this – we have to address the factors in our life that cause inflammation and the best place to start is a damaged gut.

leaky gut

A LEAKY GUT – THE MISSING LINK IN RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?

You might wonder what the gut has to do with that uncomfortable feeling in your legs.

A damaged or leaky gut is a breeding ground for inflammation – the very inflammation that can lead to RLS.

A leaky gut allows conditions like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to wreak havoc on the body and contribute to things like RLS.

One study found 69% of RLS patients had SIBO while 28% also suffered from IBS symptoms (i. e. gas, cramping, bloating, and changes in bowel habits).

SIBO can lead to systemic inflammation and autoimmune changes (which can result in the nerves being attacked in RLS) and SIBO induced inflammation can increase hepcidin (the main hormone responsible for regulating iron).

No matter which way we look at it, inflammation is the common denominator.

So, how do we stop the inflammation that can lead to Restless Leg Syndrome?

Considering the overwhelming amount of research on the topic of systemic inflammation and a leaky gut, your gut is too important to be ignored.

However, a large majority of the medical community has yet to accept the role of the gut in the fight against RLS.

THE LEAKY GUT – AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTIONLeaky-Gut-1080

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest information in natural health, you already know it’s nearly impossible to ignore a leaky gut as part of the cause and solution to autoimmune conditions like RLS.

Alessio Fasano, M.D. has been on the forefront of recent autoimmune disease research and published a paper titled “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases.”

His findings present the idea that in order for an autoimmune disease to develop, 3 conditions must all exist together:

  1. A genetic predisposition to autoimmunity (i.e. BTBD9 gene in RLS)
  2. An exposure to the environmental trigger (i.e. Iron Deficiency)
  3. Increased intestinal permeability (a.k.a. Leaky Gut Syndrome)

For those with Restless Leg Syndrome, healing the gut means getting to the root cause so you can stop chasing your symptoms.

Healing a leaky gut is one factor that’s in our control and it can be done step-by-step with the right plan.

230px-HippoHOW TO TURN OFF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Overcoming Restless Leg Syndrome requires a multifaceted approach to heal the gut and decrease inflammation.

Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, stated “all disease begins in the gut,” and some 2,000 years later Fasano and many other leading experts agree.

Ancient and current wisdom both suggest that powerful healing must begin in the gut.

Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started HealthyGut.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. https://healthygut.com/articles/overcome-restless-leg-syndrome-naturally

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New research published in the Journal of Physiology presents a breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

motor-cortex-RLS-466x335

RLS is a common condition of the nervous system that causes an overwhelming irresistible urge to move the legs. Patients complain of unpleasant symptoms such as tingling, burning and painful cramping sensations in the leg. More than 80% of people with RLS experience their legs jerking or twitching uncontrollably, usually at night.

Until now it was thought that RLS is caused by genetic, metabolic and central nervous system mechanisms. For the first time the researchers show that, in fact, it is not only the central nervous system but also the nerve cells targeting the muscles themselves that are responsible.

This new research indicates that the involuntary leg movements in RLS are caused by increased excitability of the nerve cells that supply the muscles in the leg, which results in an increased number of signals being sent between nerve cells.

Targeting the way messages are sent between nerve cells to reduce the number of messages to normal levels may help prevent the symptoms of RLS occurring. This could be achieved by new drugs that block the ion channels that are essential for the communication between nerve cells.

The research conducted by the University of Gottingen in conjunction with the University of Sydney and Vanderbilt University involved measuring the nerve excitability of motor nerve cells of patients suffering with RLS and healthy subjects.

Editor’s Note: There are other solutions other than drugs to deal with this effect. Diet, vitamins, supplements and meditation to name a few.

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Restless legs syndrome brain stimulation study supports motor cortex ‘excitability’ as a cause.

motor-cortex-RLS-466x335Experiments with patients suggest brain stimulation may be a viable treatment

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say new experiments using magnetic pulse brain stimulation on people with moderate to severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) have added to evidence that the condition is due to excitability and hyperarousal in the part of the brain’s motor cortex responsible for leg movement.

The researchers say their findings, published online in Sleep Medicine on May 31, may help devise safer, more effective ways to treat RLS and the chronic sleep deprivation it causes, using electrical or magnetic pulses to calm or interrupt the hyperarousal. Some 10 percent of adults in the U.S. experience RLS at one time or another, and about 1 in 500 report that the condition is severe and chronic enough to interfere with their quality of life, work productivity or mental health, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

People with severe RLS describe symptoms of the condition as an overwhelming urge to move their legs when they are at rest. They may feel pain, or the sensation of soda bubbles in their veins or worms crawling in their legs, with relief coming only when standing or deliberately moving their legs. Long-term effects include fatigue, anxiety and depression, much of it linked to repeated interruption of sound sleep. Standard treatments, which may carry significant side effects, include medications that behave like the neurotransmitter dopamine, opioids and anti-seizure drugs.

Although many conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes, have been associated with RLS, the neurological roots of the condition have been subject to much debate.

The new study, the Johns Hopkins researchers say, supports the idea that the underlying main-qimg-9add69791e0644077baa40054dfff984mechanism for RLS rests in the brain’s “move my legs” center and makes even more sense of the relief those with RLS experience when they get up and move them.

“Essentially the brain sends the signal when it’s preparing to move a limb, even when you aren’t planning to move, so your body is ready and amped up,” says Richard Allen, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The only way to alleviate the feeling is to move.”

In the new study, the researchers identified 32 adults with a moderate to severe RLS diagnosis from patients and asked them to stop their treatments for 12 days. They recruited 31 adult matched controls with no history of RLS or other sleep disorders and healthy sleeping patterns as controls. Participants in both groups were an average age of 58, and 59 percent were women.

For the experiments, the researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to apply safe pulses able to selectively stimulate various regions of the brain that control movement of the muscles in the hand or the leg. They then used electrodes attached to the hand or leg to measure muscle responses in that hand or leg during such stimulations in those with RLS and in the control group.

Pairing two pulses as a stimulus can either cause a reaction or suppress/inhibit a reaction in a muscle depending on the timing between the two pulses. The researchers looked at one type of excitatory paired pulses and two types of inhibitory pulses¾short- and long-interval ones.

For each analysis, the researchers took the ratio of the responses. The ratios were greater in the leg for those with RLS, at 0.36 compared with 0.07 for those people without RLS, when looking at the inhibitory long-interval pulses, but not with the short-interval pulses. They said they didn’t see a difference in excitatory pulses in the legs.

brain-optibac-probiotics“This basically means that inhibition is reduced or weakened in people with restless legs syndrome compared to people without the condition,” says Rachel Salas, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins. “The reduced response means that the region of the brain controlling the legs shows increased cortical excitability in the motor cortex.”

In a separate set of experiments measuring the effect of paired pulses given to the brain in the region that controls the hand, they found no real differences in the ratios of either of the inhibitory pulses¾short- or long-interval ones¾between people with RLS and those without the condition.

But the researchers say they did find that the ratios picked up from the hand muscles using excitatory pulses were lower, at 1.01 compared with controls with a ratio of 1.85.

“The measurements from the hand muscles show that the activity in the brain is reduced in the region that controls the hand in people with restless legs syndrome compared to controls,” says Salas.

Salas says that previous research shows that inhibitory pulses are associated with the action of the neurotransmitter GABA, a brain chemical typically known for tamping down activity in the brain’s neurons. The researchers say that since there is hyperactivity in the leg-controlling portion of the brain, it’s possible that cells and tissues there are lacking enough GABA to prevent hyperactivity.

“Other studies with TMS have been done on people with RLS, but they didn’t look at prelab16_Fig6people with severe forms of the condition or at the long-interval paired pulses in the leg,” says Salas. “We are fortunate to have access to such individuals because the Johns Hopkins Sleep Center attracts people worldwide and many who have exhausted treatment options available elsewhere,” she adds.

Salas notes that medications that act like the neurotransmitter dopamine, such as ropinirole or pramipexole, work in the short term but can exacerbate the condition over time. Opioids are effective, but not ideal due to their risk for dependency. With the results of this new study, the researchers are hoping to use electrical stimulation to suppress the brain’s activity, and planning of these studies is in the works.

Additional authors on the study included Aadi Kalloo, Christopher Earley, Pablo Celnik, Tiana Cruz, Keyana Foster and Gabriela Cantarero of Johns Hopkins.

The study was funded by a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant (R01 NS075184).

Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180829115526.htm

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How To Overcome Restless Leg Syndrome Naturally (By Healing The Gut) by Jordan Reasoner, SCDLifestyle

scdlifestyle

Sleep is important (we all know this) … but just how important is it?

Poor sleep is associated with increased depression, anxiety, systemic inflammation and decreased immune function.

For those with Restless Leg Syndrome, a lack of sleep is likely a nightly occurrence. It’s also the most dangerous side effect of this frustrating condition.

Worse yet, many suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome and don’t know it.

RLS can often be misdiagnosed as another sleep disorder, depression, poor circulation, arthritis, back problems and even growing pains in children.

If you have extreme fatigue, trouble falling or staying asleep, depression or anxiety, take the time to keep reading.

WHAT IS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?choice

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition characterized by an uncomfortable feeling in the legs (most commonly). The unpleasant feeling causes an intense urge to move the lower extremity in order to find relief. The sensation is more prominent at night and is often described as “bugs crawling up the legs.”

The side effects of RLS are more concerning than the condition itself, and include:

Insomnia
Extreme daytime fatigue
Increased use of sleeping medications or alcohol to sleep
Increased use of stimulants in order to function
Increased stress (likely due to lack of sleep) and anxiety

Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease or WED, is most common in middle to older-age women, although anyone can experience it. The National Sleep Foundation estimates up to 10% of adults suffer from RLS.

confused-doctorHOW IS RLS DIAGNOSED?

The International Restless Leg Syndrome Study Group requires the following clinical features to be present in order to confirm a diagnosis of RLS:

Strong urge to move the legs due to uncomfortable sensations in the leg(s)
Symptoms become worse during periods of rest or inactivity
Symptoms are partially or totally relieved by movement
Symptoms become worse in the evening or nighttime
Symptoms are not solely accounted for by another condition (i.e leg cramps, positional discomfort)

Perhaps the most important tool, though not always performed, is a test to determine your iron levels. The most accurate way to determine if iron deficiency plays a role in RLS is to measure ferritin. Ferritin is an iron binding protein in which low values (less than 50 ng/ml) indicate low iron storage in the brain (more on iron below).

IS RLS A GENETIC CONDITION?

First degree relatives are 3 to 6 times more likely to suffer from the condition and over 50 percent of affected individuals report having at least one immediate relative with the condition.

Studies suggest when children experience RLS (early onset) it is more likely due to genetics as opposed to onset later in life (after the age of 45). Several gene variations have been studied as possible contributors to RLS, including the following genomic regions: BTBD9, MAP2K5, MEIS1, PTPRD, SKOR1 and TOX3.

Risk allele BTBD9 is associated with RLS and decreased peripheral iron stores – a well-defined environmental factor in which the risk of RLS is about 9 times greater than the general populations.

A change in the BTBD9 gene is present in about 75% of patients who have RLS but also present in about 65% of patients who don’t have RLS…

The difference? Environmental factors.

It’s the environmental triggers in combination with the right genes that trigger Restless Leg Syndrome.

Genetics alone rarely tell the whole story (and that holds true for each of the autoimmune conditions we’ve covered).

TRIGGERS FOR RESTLESS LEG SYNDROMEtriggers-01

Caffeine – Caffeine, most commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda may aggravate the symptoms of RLS. For many, caffeine activates excitatory neurotransmitters and has an arousal effect on the central nervous system. Ultimately, it’s effects promotes motor activity and inhibits proper control of fine motor movements, worsening the symptoms of RLS.

Iron Deficiency – The most consistent finding and the strongest environmental risk factor associated with RLS is iron insufficiency. Studies suggest that restless leg syndrome is related to a deficiency of iron in certain parts of the brain despite normal levels in the blood. (See information on testing iron in the diagnosis section.)

Vitamin D Deficiency – One of the most common theories about the cause of RLS is impaired dopamine signaling, and vitamin D is now being researched for its role in this process. Several studies support the hypothesis that a deficiency of Vitamin D correlates with more frequent and more severe symptoms of RLS.

Diet – Vitamin B12 is a critical part of a healthy nervous system, helping to maintain and protect the myelin sheath around the nerves. Researchers are led to believe it could play a role in the onset and treatment of RLS, due to its central role in our nervous system and brain.

A study published in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine found both iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies to be common and treatable cause of RLS.

The best dietary sources of Vitamin B12 come from beef liver, grass-fed beef and eggs. But in order to absorb Vitamin B12, we must have adequate stomach acid levels and a healthy gut.

Stress – Chronic stress can alter cortisol production and lead to nighttime cortisol release, which researchers have found to be correlated with RLS. Stress levels can also decrease dopamine in the brain – a neurotransmitter necessary for smooth muscle activity and movement. When dopamine is decreased in the brain, it may cause movement problems seen in Parkinson’s disease and RLS.

Pregnancy – The prevalence of RLS during pregnancy is two to three times higher than in the normal population. Hormonal changes and iron status are the two main factors that may contribute to RLS during pregnancy.

Researchers have discovered another piece to the puzzle in the onset of RLS – systemic inflammation.

sysesdefaultSYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION – THE CAUSE OF RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?

What if the cause of those frustrating leg twitches is something you can’t see or touch… and is rarely a diagnosis you’d receive at the doctor’s office?

We’re talking about systemic inflammation (inflammation relating to the whole body).

54 diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS – all interconnected by inflammation.

The fact that 89% of RLS-associated conditions are associated with inflammation and/or immune changes have led researchers to develop 2 possible theories in the RLS – Inflammation connection:

Systemic inflammation can contribute to an iron deficiency in the brain:

Inflammation can lead to the production of IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine which can stimulate hepcidin production.

Hepcidin is the main hormone involved in the regulation of iron and increased levels can lead to decreased serum iron levels. The result? Decreased availability of iron to the brain.

Systemic inflammation can trigger autoimmune disorders associated with RLS.

RLS is associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögrens syndrome, Scleroderma, Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease – all autoimmune diseases plagued by systemic inflammation.

RLS is present in up to one third of MS cases and is also common in those with Crohn’s disease – a disease associated with iron deficiency, inflammation, and bacterial overgrowth. One study of 272 Crohn’s disease patients found 30% were affected by RLS.

The bottom line is this – we have to address the factors in our life that cause inflammation and the best place to start is a damaged gut.

A LEAKY GUT – THE MISSING LINK IN RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?leakystory

You might wonder what the gut has to do with that uncomfortable feeling in your legs.

A damaged or leaky gut is a breeding ground for inflammation – the very inflammation that can lead to RLS.

A leaky gut allows conditions like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to wreak havoc on the body and contribute to things like RLS.

One study found 69% of RLS patients had SIBO while 28% also suffered from IBS symptoms (i. e. gas, cramping, bloating, and changes in bowel habits).

SIBO can lead to systemic inflammation and autoimmune changes (which can result in the nerves being attacked in RLS) and SIBO induced inflammation can increase hepcidin (the main hormone responsible for regulating iron).

No matter which way we look at it, inflammation is the common denominator.

So, how do we stop the inflammation that can lead to Restless Leg Syndrome?

Considering the overwhelming amount of research on the topic of systemic inflammation and a leaky gut, your gut is too important to be ignored.

However, a large majority of the medical community has yet to accept the role of the gut in the fight against RLS.

Dopamine-Agonist-300x169THE MEDICAL APPROACH TO TREATING RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

Dopaminergic agents are often the first line of treatment in RLS. These drugs work to increase dopamine in the brain and include Requip, levodopa, and Neupro to name a few.

Known for their short-term effectiveness, they come with a long-term effects.

Augmentation is the most common side effect of dopaminergic drugs and occurs when the symptoms of RLS become more severe, happen earlier in the day, and spread to other parts of the body (i.e arms).

It’s estimated that over 80% of patients receiving levodopa for RLS develop augmentation.

With augmentation, the brain sees the extra dopamine (via medication) as a signal to decrease its natural production. The result? Patients become increasingly dependent on the drugs for relief.

Compulsive behavior is also a common side effect.

A study including 100 people with RLS (all were treated with dopaminergic agents) revealed well over 50% engaged in some type of compulsive behavior (ie. pathological gambling and compulsive eating habits).

After reading this, you may be wondering if there is a better way to treat RLS than the use of these dangerous medications.

THE LEAKY GUT – AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTIONleaky-gut-connection

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest information in natural health, you already know it’s nearly impossible to ignore a leaky gut as part of the cause and solution to autoimmune conditions like RLS.

Alessio Fasano, M.D. has been on the forefront of recent autoimmune disease research and published a paper titled “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases.”

His findings present the idea that in order for an autoimmune disease to develop, 3 conditions must all exist together:

1. A genetic predisposition to autoimmunity (i.e. BTBD9 gene in RLS)
2. An exposure to the environmental trigger (i.e. Iron Deficiency)
3. Increased intestinal permeability (a.k.a. Leaky Gut Syndrome)

For those with Restless Leg Syndrome, healing the gut means getting to the root cause so you can stop chasing your symptoms.

Healing a leaky gut is one factor that’s in our control and it can be done step-by-step with the right plan.

HOW TO TURN OFF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

Overcoming Restless Leg Syndrome requires a multifaceted approach to heal the gut and decrease inflammation – and that is exactly what we’re here to help you do.

Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, stated “all disease begins in the gut,” and some 2,000 years later Fasano and many other leading experts agree.

Ancient and current wisdom both suggest that powerful healing must begin in the gut.

jordanJordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems.

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