The Truth About Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

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

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

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

magellan2INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

And then things changed.

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

A new awareness was created.

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

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

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

ImageSo, What’s My Point?

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

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

The simple truth is this basic formula.

LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RESTLESS LEGS

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

ImageAN ABSOLUTE CURE FOR RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME (RLS)

PROLOGUE

There is NO case of RLS that is beyond repair.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ImageSTEP ONE: STOP CONSUMING INFLAMMATORY FOODS AND BEVERAGES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little progress will be made, if any.

ImageYOUR DAILY INTAKE OF SUPPLEMENTS, VITAMINS, MINERALS and HERBS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carrot Juice (anti-inflammatory)

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

ImageCurcumin (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

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

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

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

Iron (anti-inflammatory)

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

ImageL-Theanine (lowers glutamate level)

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

Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

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

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

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

Vitamin C(anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)vitamincinskincare

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

Water (anti-inflammatory, natural antihistamine)

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

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

tattooIN CLOSING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.rlcure.com/tes.html

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The Link Between Stroke, Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

11111ast-stroke-posterYou may have read about a new study that’s getting a lot of press. The study shows that severe Restless Legs Syndrome is linked to increased stroke.

Here is an excerpt about the study from an article written by Megan Brooks of MedScape.

“More severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) is associated with an increased risk for stroke, particularly ischemic stroke, a new analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study II suggests.

“We were surprised at the importance of taking into account RLS severity — it was only severe RLS, not milder RLS, that was associated with increased risk of stroke,” principal investigator Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University in University Park, said in a statement.”

You can read the full article here:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846486

This is not actually news. There was a study published in 2008 that demonstrated a powerful link between Stroke and Restless Legs Syndrome.

“A new US study has found that people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) have double the risk of stroke and heart disease compared to people without RLS. The study is the work of Dr John W Winkelman, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, and is published in the Janaury 1st 2008 issue of the journal Neurology.” from “Restless Legs Linked To Increased Stroke And Heart Disease Risk” by Catharine Paddock, Medical News Today
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/92849.php

As is the case with many other diseases and conditions, logic dictates that inflammation is the common link and points to the fact that RLS is an inflammatory condition and can therefore be treated if an anti-inflammatory protocol is set into motion.

In other words, stop eating crap that messes up your body.strokex216

Here are some quotes about the link between inflammation and stroke (for more information about the link between RLS and inflammation visit http://www.RLcure.com).

“Inflammation is an all encompassing term for a complex process that entails multiple cellular, hormonal and biochemical alterations that are both systemic and organ-specific. A panalopy of acute and chronic infections as well as many exogenous and intrinsic sources of inflammation is associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke.”  from “Inflammation and Stroke” by Bruce M. Coull, Arizona Health Science Center, University of Arizona, Department of Neurology

“Evidence continues to accumulate to suggest important roles for inflammation and genetic factors in the process of atherosclerosis and specifically in stroke. According to the current paradigm, atherosclerosis is not a bland cholesterol storage disease, as previously thought, but a dynamic, chronic, inflammatory condition due to a response to endothelial injury.”  from “Genetic and Inflammatory Mechanisms in Stroke” by Sally Sultan, MD, Columbia University Medical Center

“Recent work in the area of stroke and brain ischemia has demonstrated the significance of the inflammatory response accompanying necrotic brain injury. Acutely, this response appears to contribute to ischemic pathology, and anti-inflammatory strategies have become popular.”  from the study: “The Inflammatory Response in Stroke” by Qing Wang, MD et al. J Neuroimmunol. 2007 May 14.

“Exactly how inflammation plays a role in heart attack and stroke remains a topic of ongoing research. It appears that the inciting event in many heart attacks and some forms of stroke is buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in blood vessels.”
Deepak Bhatt, M.D, Chief of Cardiology for the VA Boston Healthcare System (from “Inflammation and Heart Disease” The American Heart Association)

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“RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME – A SCOURGE, BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS” by Ken Cowley. Heart Disease Miracle Blog

BikramQuote1(Editor’s Note: While researching online I found this article plugging my website http://www.rlcure.com and I’d like to share it with you).

As a contributor to this blog I’ve spoken before about my own health, nutrition and fitness thoughts and issues.

One issue I’ve had, and which I might be able to help others with is Restless Legs Syndrome. If you’ve never had it, you won’t understand it, but if you have you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say it’s a scourge. It’s not debilitating, it’s not exactly painful, it doesn’t stop you doing things, but it does/can have a big impact on quality of life.

So, what is it?

Essentially it’s a restless creeping feeling in one’s legs, particularly in the quads/thighs, and particularly at night and particularly (for me anyway) when sitting down. It’s extremely uncomfortable and I find it at it’s worst during flights or long films, or even just sitting down in my living room watching tv.

I’ve done quite a bit of research in to it, including what people usually say are the biggest triggers (caffeine, stress, poor diet, high blood pressure) and what are the solutions (medication, quinine, stretching etc.).

However, I recently came across a website with some excellent suggestions in it about RLS, and I’m happy to give it a plug here. The chap who runs the website isn’t even selling anything, he just wants to pass on his findings. Here’s the link; http://www.rlcure.com

Basically, he says that RLS is completely caused by Inflammation. Now, inflammation is a whole other subject, with a whole other list of causes and symptoms.

However, his cure, which simply involves a combination of herbs which can be purchased at any health store, DOES seem to helping me a lot, so I suggest you have a think about if, if you suffer from RLS.

Two other things that have also helped are;

Bikram Yoga, and again, that’s a whole other subject, which I’ll come back to some day.
65f064ee487967f293f01ed3d9500b3c
ProArgi9 from Synergy Worldwide. The reason I think Pro Argi helps with RLS is that it creates Nitric Oxide in the body and therefore has a big impact on circulation, blood flow (and possibly inflammation) thereby helping the legs to relax, including when seated or lying down at night time.

So, that’s my tuppence worth on Restless Legs Syndrome, a nasty little affliction, and I hope the above may be of some help to fellow sufferers!

Ken Cowley has a background in the leisure industry and sales, and wants to further explore all aspects of health, fitness and wellness and share this with friends and colleagues along the way. http://www.heartdiseasemiracle.com

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Debunking the Myth That There is a PRIMARY and SECONDARY type of Restless Legs Syndrome

myths-debunkedINTRODUCTION

Since you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you or a loved one suffer from Restless Legs syndrome. You’ve probably read dozens of articles on this mysterious condition. You have come to learn that there is a PRIMARY type of RLS (where the condition develops naturally, without an obvious cause) and a SECONDARY type of RLS (RLS caused by another underlying health condition).

The truth is that there is only ONE kind of RLS, the kind that is caused by chronic inflammation. There is no other type of RLS.

RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME IS CONNECTED TO OVER 50 INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS

Ankylosing Spondylitis (a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton) is another condition that you can add to the large number of inflammation-based conditions that show a higher prevalence of RLS. A recent study (Tekatas and Pamuk, 2015) found that RLS was significantly more common in patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis compared with healthy controls (30.8 versus 13.2 percent).

The latin suffix “itis” denotes diseases characterized by inflammation. For example, Arthritis (inflammation of one or more joints), Colitis (inflammation of the colon) etc.

You can be certain that any disease or condition that ends with “itis” is going to demonstrate a higher prevalence of Restless Legs Syndrome within its community. The “itis” disease and RLS are both a result of an underlying chronic inflammation.

Many studies have been performed in recent years that show the undeniable relationship between RLS and inflammatory conditions. To date, there are more than 50 inflammatory conditions that show a higher prevalence of RLS. Many of these studies are cited in the paper “Restless Legs Syndrome: Theoretical Roles of Inflammatory and Immune Mechanisms.” (Weinstock et al, 2012). http://www.rlcure.com/rls_study.pdf

CHRONIC INFLAMMATION IS THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF MOST DISEASESInflammation

Many doctors and scientists believe that the primary cause of most diseases is an underlying inflammation. And that belief is growing in leaps and bounds within the medical community. How it eventually manifests or “shows up on the surface” is based on the lifestyle and genetics of each individual.

In some cases it may manifest as cancer, in others as ALS, and in many it manifests several ways. Depression, IBS, Crohn’s disease … the combinations are endless.

Almost any ailment you can think of has the same issue at its core … inflammation.

If you don’t believe me, do a web search “Depression and inflammation”, “ADHD and inflammation”, “Parkinson’s and inflammation” etc. You’ll find a wealth of information on how they are intimately and undeniably linked.

The fact is, most of the people that contact me with questions or comments have other medical conditions that they are dealing with in addition to their RLS. These conditions are ALWAYS inflammation-based.

INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS ALWAYS HAVE A HIGHER PREVALENCE OF OTHER INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS

As stated, the reason that RLS has a higher prevalence in relationship to so many medical conditions is because the RLS and the medical condition result from the same core issue – chronic inflammation. They’re like different fingers on the same hand.

We’re focused heavily on RLS, because that’s what we’re dealing with in life. That’s how the chronic inflammation has manifested in our lives.

However, you can take ANY inflammatory condition and find that there is a higher prevalence of any other inflammatory condition (provided there has been a study done at some point). RLS is not unique in this mysteriously connected world.

To illustrate this fact, I’ve taken RANDOM pairs of conditions from the list of inflammatory diseases linked to RLS http://www.rlcure.com/diseases-conditions-that-are-linked-to-restless-legs-syndrome-willis-ekbom-disease.html and did some research to see if there is any known link between these random pairs.

health_20090219_depression_bannerHere are the results …

CANCER and ANEMIA
from “Anemia” by MediResource Inc.
“Anemia is very common in people with cancer. In fact, about half of people with cancer develop anemia.”  

DEPRESSION and DIABETES
from “Depression is more common in people with diabetes compared with the general population” by the Canadian Diabetes Assc.
“Symptoms of depression affect 30% of people with diabetes, while 10% of them experience major depression.”

PARKINSON’S and IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
from “Is there an association between inflammatory bowel disease and Parkinson’s disease?” by European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation – ECCO
“The proportion of PD having concomitant IBD is considerably higher than one would expect.”

FIBROMYALGIA and HEART DISEASE
from “Fibromyalgia linked to heart disease in new study” by EmaxHealth
“A new study has found a link between fibromyalgia and coronary heart disease after comparing patients with the condition to control groups. Researchers discovered that there was an association between the two disorders, and fibromyalgia patients were more likely to have heart disease.”

MIGRAINES and OBESITY
from “Migraine and Obesity: What You Should Know!” by B. Lee Peterlin, DO
“Those with general obesity have a greater prevalence of high frequency migraine (migraines occurring 10-14 days per month) than those without.”

COLITIS and MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
from “Association between ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis.” (Pokorny et al. 2007).
“The association between ulcerative colitis and MS appears to be real and may help identify common factors involved in the cause of these two diseases.”

You could spend weeks mixing and matching the various conditions. What you’ll find is that there is always a higher prevalence, a definite link between them.

THERE IS A HIGHER PREVALENCE OF INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS FOR THOSE WITH FIBROMYALGIA  fibromyalgia

I’m going to use fibromyalgia in this mini-study to show that the link that RLS has with various inflammatory medical conditions is not unique. You can find similar links with any inflammatory condition – cancer, colitis, depression etc. but in this case I’m going to use fibromyalgia as the benchmark.

FIBROMYALGIA and RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME
from “Restless legs syndrome and leg cramps in fibromyalgia syndrome: a controlled study.” (Yunus and Aldag, 1996).
“Our study shows an association between fibromyalgia syndrome and restless legs syndrome as well as leg cramps and confirms a previously reported association between rheumatoid arthritis and restless legs. The basis of this association is not clear. Fibromyalgia is not a psychiatric condition, and we found no association between restless legs syndrome and psychological state.”

FIBROMYALGIA and DEPRESSION
from “Bipolar Disorder Common in Fibromyalgia” by Jessica Ward Jones, MD, MPH, Psych Central
“Many fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from bipolar disorder as well as depression. New research suggests that just over 25 percent of patients with fibromyalgia also have symptoms of bipolar disorder.”

FIBROMYALGIA and MIGRAINES
from “7 Conditions Linked to Fibromyalgia” by Health.com
“A significant number of people with fibromyalgia also experience migraines and/or tension headaches, says Robert Duarte, MD, director of the Pain Institute at the North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System, in Manhasset, N.Y.”

FIBROMYALGIA and IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
from “7 Conditions Linked to Fibromyalgia” by Health.com
“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is marked by abdominal cramps and bouts of constipation and/or diarrhea. Between 30% and 70% of people with fibromyalgia have IBS too.”

FIBROMYALGIA and OBESITY
from “Fibromyalgia and obesity: the hidden link” (Ursini et al. 2011).
“Epidemiological data show that Fibromyalgia patients have higher prevalence of obesity (40%) and overweight (30%) in multiple studies compared with healthy patients.”

inflammation1IN CLOSING

After reading the above data, hopefully you’ll come to understand that the link between RLS and other inflammatory conditions is not unique at all. This whole belief about there being a PRIMARY and SECONDARY RLS just isn’t real. It’s like saying there’s a PRIMARY and SECONDARY depression, or a PRIMARY and SECONDARY migraine.

I urge you to do your own research in this area. Take any pair of conditions that interest you from this list http://www.rlcure.com/diseases-conditions-that-are-linked-to-restless-legs-syndrome-willis-ekbom-disease.html and do a search to see if they are knowingly linked.

Eventually you’ll realize, that without a doubt, there is growing inflammation beneath the surface that is causing this laundry list of conditions.

RLS is only one of its many faces.

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“STRENGTHENING CIRCULATION TO LESSEN RESTLESS LEGS SYMPTOMS” by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc

arterial-and-venous-circulation-of-the-legsThere are a number of simple ways to boost circulation. Simply standing up and walking more frequently can work wonders.

You can also stretch, touch your toes, and practice deep breathing. Strengthening your circulation is especially important for people in office jobs, as sitting for many hours is known to be bad for your health on a number of levels, specifically cardiovascular.

I particularly recommend an ancient and extensively researched Tibetan herbal formula ( find out more here: http://www.dreliaz.org/recommended-product/tibetan-herbal-formula ) which has been shown in clinical studies to support circulation and cardiovascular health, along with other benefits. The formula includes Iceland moss, costus root, cherubic myrobalan, and other more unusual botanicals. In addition to boosting circulation, the formula also supports cellular health and immunity and provides antioxidant protection, demonstrated in more than 40 years of published studies.

We’re still learning about RLS, so I would encourage people to keep an eye on emerging research. However, by combining moderate exercise and minor lifestyle changes, together with circulation-boosting formulas and essential minerals, people struggling from RLS may find significant relief.

Even better, by supporting circulation and cardiovascular health, they can help lower their risk for heart disease and other serious conditions.

DrEliaz_BioPic-150x150Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrates Western medicine with his extensive knowledge of traditional Chinese, Tibetan, ayurvedic, homeopathic, and complementary medical systems. With more than 25 years of clinical experience and research, Dr. Eliaz has a unique holistic approach to the relationship between health and disease, immune enhancement, detoxification, and cancer prevention and treatment. For more health and wellness information, visit http://www.dreliaz.org.

This article originally appeared on the website “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen” http://www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com/restless-legs-syndrome

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“SURPRISING HERB MAY HELP RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME” by Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2.com

St.-Johns-Wort-For-Restless-Leg-Syndrome1When you think of the herb St. John’s Wort you probably think of depression. But new research published in the medical journal Clinics found that you might also want to consider this herb to help with Restless Leg Syndrome.

Officially known as Willis Ekbom’s disease, Restless Leg Syndrome is a common condition affecting the nervous system and characterized by jumpy legs that can’t remain still at night. It’s not a dangerous condition but it can be uncomfortable for sufferers and can interfere with quality of sleep and life.

The study is called “Saint John’s wort, an herbal inducer of the cytochrome P4503A4 isoform, may alleviate symptoms of Willis-Ekbom’s disease” by José Carlos Pereira et al.

The study found that St. John’s Wort effectively boosted certain liver enzymes that tend to drop to low levels in individuals suffering from restless legs. Researchers believe that the herb’s effectiveness in the pilot study may be attributed to the significant enzyme boost, resulting in a calming effect on restless legs.

That is potentially good news for sufferers of the condition who are often placed on a drug known as pramipexole, which has many side-effects, including: fainting, dizziness, suddenly falling asleep, unexpected gambling or sexual urges, tiredness, abnormal dreams, muscle pain, difficulty walking, skin growths, weight gain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and an increased risk of the skin cancer melanoma. Ironically, the drug can also cause unusual twitching or muscle movements, which are what sufferers of Restless Leg Syndrome are trying to alleviate when they seek medical intervention.Peelbark_St._Johns-wort_(Hypericum_fasciculatum)_(6439017119)

While the study was a small pilot study, the herb showed impressive results, improving the symptoms of 17 of the 21 participants. The study results are also invaluable considering the superior safety record of St. John’s Wort in comparison to pramipexole. Some of the potential side-effects of St. John’s Wort include: photosensitivity when taken within a few hours of direct sunlight exposure, anxiety, headaches, muscle cramps, sweating, weakness, dry mouth, or skin irritation; however, many of these symptoms tend to be infrequent.

Conversely, St. John’s Wort is commonly recommended as a treatment for: anxiety, mild to moderate depression, cancer, nerve pain, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The dosage used in the study to treat restless legs syndrome was 300 mg daily of St. John’s Wort extract for three months. For other health conditions, dosages vary greatly. For more information about dosages for other health conditions, consult my article “St. John’s Wort is for Much More than Depression.”

Because many drugs can interact with this herb it is important to check with your doctor, pharmacist, or natural health provider before taking.  Avoid taking if pregnant or nursing.

You can read the results of the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3634959

wwwL._UX250_Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, DNM, ROHP, PhD is an International Best-selling & Sixteen-time Book Author, Doctor of Traditional Natural Medicine. She lives in British Columbia.

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Dr. Stanley Lang, MD has a 90% Success Rate Treating RLS Patients over a 30 Year Period

Over 30 years ago Dr. Stanley Lang, MD developed a program to treat RLS and has been helping his patients to heal their RLS ever since (starting way back before the condition had an actual name).

His success rate is around 90% for those patients that have followed his regime.

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“Restless Legs Syndrome May be a Sign of a Bigger Health Problem” by Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, Bucks County Center for Functional Medicine

MikeJurgelewitz-059h-239x300A nationally-recognized sleep expert has published an article explaining Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) as a possible biomarker for underlying disease.

The editorial was 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.

Restless Leg Syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system. It is characterized by throbbing or other uncomfortable sensations in the legs with an uncontrollable urge to move them. Symptoms typically occur at night when a person is relaxing or getting ready for bed and can increase in severity during the night. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, which can lead to fatigue. Many people with RLS report that their job, personal relations, and activities of daily living are strongly affected as a result of their sleep deprivation. They often have difficulty concentrating and brain fog.

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.

The team found patients with RLS had a higher mortality rate than similar men, and showed an especially strong tendency toward cardiovascular disease and hypertension. In addition, men with RLS were more likely to be diagnosed with lung disease, endocrine disease, as well as diseases of nutrition and metabolism and immune system problems.

Researchers suggest 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.

I have had personal success with patients simply by adding magnesium and calcium at bedtime. They both calm muscles and nerves. Calming botanicals such as valerian, passion flower, lemon balm, and skullcap can also be added to support sleep and relaxation. You can also assess RBC nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium through many functional laboratories. In addition to assessing nutrient status they do play a significant role with blood pressure regulation and overall cardiovascular health. This provides a better indicator of nutrient status, compared to the serum.

I would also recommend an organic acid test. An organic acid test can identify imbalances occurring in the body that 202333-legs-bigprecede abnormal findings on a CBC or an MP. Organic acids are products of metabolism that can sensitively identify nutrient deficiencies that lead to metabolic roadblocks. Organic acids go a step further then measuring nutrient concentrations by measuring whether the nutrient is functionally adequately. Abnormal concentrations of organic acids in the urine can provide a functional marker for metabolic effects of nutrient deficiences, genetic polymorphisms, impaired enzyme function, toxic exposure, neuroendocrine activity, and intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Organic acid testing can indicate the functional need for specific nutrients, diet modification, antioxidant protection, detoxification, and other therapies.

There is also some evidence that indicates low iron levels in the brain being associated with RLS. A CBC w/diff and an Iron Panel (Serum Iron, Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC, UIBC) can identify an iron deficiency.

Restless leg syndrome may only be just a small part of the picture. It may be a simple nutrient deficiency in many cases, however, it is important to look deeper into the patient’s health. This includes thoroughly reviewing the patient’s history looking deeper into the cardiovascular system and other inflammatory markers. Looking deeper into the above factors can provide an effective treatment plan for patients with restless leg syndrome.

Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, has been studying wellness for the past 10 years. He has a B.S. degree in Health & Wellness, a B.S. degree in Anatomy, and is a Doctor of Chiropractic. He is Board Certified in Nutrition by the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition, has completed Functional Medicine University with a Certificate in Functional Medicine and has studied under both world renowned thyroid expert, Dr. Datis Kharrazian and Chiropractic Neurologist, Dr. Frederick Carrick. He is also active in continuing education through the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. http://www.thefunctionalmedicinecenter.com

sleep-auerbach-hREFERENCES

S. Auerbach, A. S. Walters. Restless legs syndrome: A predictor of lower physical function. Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000298

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