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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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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2008 STUDY: Use of Low-Dose Hydrocortisone Lessen RLS Symptoms

CORT-Restless-Leg-Syndrome-Below is another study that supports the idea of inflammation being at the core of Restless Legs Syndrome.

It’s an older study I recently ran across that dispensed low-dose hydrocortisone to a small study group to see if their RLS symptoms would improve. The results of the study showed that symptoms were significantly lessened.

I’ve included an overview of the study below.

I’ve also included an excerpt from a SECOND study that demonstrates the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of hydrocortisone.

AND PLEASE NOTE, this is NOT an endorsement of hydrocortisone as a solution for RLS. It’s simply more evidence supporting the idea that INFLAMMATION is the PRIMARY cause of RLS. Which means, logically speaking, as you lessen your inflammation, your RLS will lessen.

This lessening of inflammation can be done in a natural way through diet, lifestyle, proper digestion etc. It doesn’t have to be a pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory.

STUDY ONEPuzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

“Low-dose hydrocortisone in the evening modulates symptom severity in restless legs syndrome.” Hornyak M1, Rupp A, Riemann D, Feige B, Berger M, Voderholzer U. Neurology. 2008 Apr 29;70(18):1620-2. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000310984.45538.89.

BACKGROUND

Circadian symptom manifestation in the evening and night is one of the main characteristics of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Although the inverse temporal course of corticosteroid rhythm and RLS symptom severity is obvious, this relationship has yet to be studied. We investigated the effect of late-evening application of exogenous cortisol (hydrocortisone) on sensory leg discomfort (SLD), one of the main complaints of patients with RLS.

METHODS

Ten untreated patients with idiopathic RLS participated in the study. Change of SLD was rated on a visual analogue scale during the 60 minutes resting period of the so-called Suggested Immobilization Test. Patients received either hydrocortisone 40 mg or placebo (saline) IV in random order in a double-blind crossover design, with 1 week between the experiments.

RESULTS

Severity of SLD was lower during hydrocortisone infusion than during placebo (p = 0.032). Though blind to the experimental condition, 5 of the 10 patients experienced improvement in symptoms during hydrocortisone administration, but no patient felt an amelioration during the placebo condition.

CONCLUSIONS

Our data indicate a probable physiologic relationship between evening and early night hour restless legs syndrome symptom increase and low cortisol level.

confused-doctorSTUDY TWO (excerpt)

“Low-dose hydrocortisone infusion attenuates the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.” The Phospholipase A2 Study Group. Briegel J1, Kellermann W, Forst H, Haller M, Bittl M, Hoffmann GE, Büchler M, Uhl W, Peter K. Clin Investig. 1994 Oct;72(10):782-7.

ABSTRACT

There is increasing evidence that the hypercortisolemia in inflammatory diseases suppresses the elaboration of *proinflammatory cytokines, thus protecting the host from its own defence reactions.

*A proinflammatory cytokine or more simply an inflammatory cytokine is a type of signaling molecule (a cytokine) that is excreted from immune cells like helper T cells (Th) and macrophages, and certain other cell types that promote inflammation from “Wikipedia Proinflammatory cytokine”

For helpful tips on how to lessen your RLS symptoms NATURALLY, please visit http://www.RLCure.com

 

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STUDY: MARIJUANA HELPS TO LESSEN RLS SYMPTOMS

cannabisIf you have followed this blog for awhile, or have visited my RLS website http://www.RLCure.com, you know that at the CORE of everything I present is that INFLAMMATION is the cause of RLS. In other words, eliminate the inflammation in your body and you will eliminate your RLS.

There are an ENDLESS number of ways in which inflammation can be introduced into your system, and there are unlimited ways in which it can be removed.

However, the REMOVAL requires a bit of effort and in most cases, a lot of sacrifice.

The articles below highlight how another anti-inflammatory agent has demonstrated success in lessening the effects of RLS.

Unfortunately for many of you, in this case the healing agent is MARIJUANA.

I want to make VERY clear that this post is not about promoting marijuana and endorsing it as a highly effective method to lessen your RLS symptoms. The idea of the post is to again emphasize that the KEY to your SUCCESS is to move towards an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY LIFESTYLE. That means that dietary, environmental, emotional, digestive changes etc. are required – anything that will move you away from continuing the inflammatory cycle that is at the heart of your RLS.

This is a total NON-ENDORSEMENT of smoking pot as a solution from yours truly, a man that has been in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years.

Smoking a DOOBIE may give you temporary relief, but unless you CHANGE your lifestyle, nothing permanent is going to take place. Your RLS will return.

Below are TWO articles. The FIRST one features a scientific study in which 5 out of 6 subjects had their RLS symptoms disappear thanks to the CHRONIC.

The SECOND article focuses on the tremendous anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.

ARTICLE ONEMedical-Marijuana-Cures

MARIJUANA CAN STOP RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME by Trey Reckling, The Fresh Toast

A small report published in the journal Sleep Medicine from the Bordeaux Hospital University Center in France is posing the question whether or not marijuana may help people with Restless Leg Syndrome to sleep better. The answer to that question is a crucial one for the 10-15 percent of people in the U.S. afflicted with the condition.

It’s easy to take sleep for granted when it’s working. When it’s not, it’s enough to drive you mad.

This is no secret for people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Even trying to classify the disorder is a challenge because it has crossover effect. It is sometimes classified as a sleep disorder because symptoms such as involuntary muscle twitching and jerking are initiated by inactivity or attempting to sleep. It can also be classified as a movement disorder because people affected sense an almost irresistible urge to move to reduce the uncomfortable sensation. But because the sensations originate in the brain, it could be argued that it is best identified as a neurological sensory disorder.

Regardless, to those who suffer from it, it means lack of sleep for starters. They can have a hard time both falling asleep and staying asleep. That lack of sleep impacts overall health, with negative impact on ability to concentrate, significant increase in daytime sleepiness and significantly lower productivity.

Sleep medicine expert, Dr. Imad Ghorayeb led the study.

mostpopularstrainsSome subjects reported taking seizure medications clonazepam and gabapentin with unsatisfactory results. All subjects reported prior efforts to alleviate their condition with prescription opiates and dopamine agonists for their RLS. They were ready for a new approach because nothing had worked for them or even made situations worse. Two subjects had experienced compulsive shopping and binge eating as a result of using dopamine agonists.

To be fair, there were a meager six subjects in the study. However, 5 of the 6 reported that smoking marijuana relieved their symptoms completely; one reported complete loss of RLS symptoms after using cannabidiol (CBD).

Researchers could not claim to understand why cannabis worked so well in the small group. They do suspect that it is related to the herb’s pain relieving properties and the effect could be enhanced by the sleepiness marijuana can induce.

While the researchers were not willing to fully endorse marijuana for those with restless leg syndrome, they admitted all subjects reported it was the most effective remedy they had tried so far.

Though small scale studies such as this one may not prove anything yet, they do lay important groundwork and interest for more in depth research.

You can read the full article here:
https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/marijuana-can-calm-restless-legs-so-you-can-sleep

ARTICLE TWOimages

CANNABIS FOR INFLAMMATION, WHY DOES IS WORK SO WELL? by Dana Smith, cannabis.net

Medical Marijuana For Inflammation and Swelling Works Wonders

Living a lifestyle that prevents inflammation is necessary in preventing chronic illnesses. This means eating a proper diet high in nutrients and inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough rest as well as regular exercise. Once you do have inflammation, it’s important to address it immediately otherwise it can lead to more serious conditions. Most people actually aren’t aware that inflammation affects almost every aspect of your health: arthritis, celiac disease, cancer, asthma, fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and ADD just to name a few. Inflammation can be happening right now in your body, but you won’t know it because it takes years for it to be clinically significant, or until it manifests through symptoms of another disease.

restlesslegHow Does Cannabis Treat Inflammation?

Numerous studies have proven that cannabis is effective in treating inflammation as well as addressing the accompanying pain. This is because of the presence of its 2 major cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

Both THC and CBD are effective in reducing inflammation that is linked to several diseases. But another compound found in cannabis called the beta-carophyllene also affects the CB2 receptor. A 2008 study analyzing mice who had swollen paws and were given oral doses of beta-carophyllene showed a 70% decrease in inflammation. The mice without CB2 receptors didn’t see any improvement.

A study published by the US National Library of Medicine found that cannabinoids control the response of the immune system and works in suppressing inflammatory responses. The human endocannabinoid system has 2 receptors: CB1, which is located in the central nervous system, is responsible for psychoactive effects; and CB2, which is found in the tissues and is responsible for inhibiting inflammation.

Cannabis is also useful in keeping c-reactive protein levels down; high levels of this protein can lead to fatal heart disease. A study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal revealed that people who smoked cannabis had lower levels of c-reactive protein than those who didn’t smoke. Another study showed that CBD was effective in blocking the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and was also beneficial in providing relief for pain caused by joint swelling. It’s already well known that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain, which is a side effect of inflammation.

While we now know that THC and CBD work in treating and preventing inflammation, paperthey both work in the body in different ways. Both cannabinoids have demonstrated efficacy in decreasing both the release and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and also works to decrease the activation of LPS-induced STAT 1 transcription factor, which contributes to some inflammatory processes. However scientists find that CBD is much more potent in addressing inflammation, and for this reason high CBD strains are recommended particularly for those who suffer from extreme inflammation. CBD actually supports the concentration of endogenous cannabinoids which gives the body the ability to self-heal and ward off disease.

You can read the full article here:
https://cannabis.net/blog/medical/cannabis-for-inflammation-why-does-is-work-so-well

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Participants sought for restless legs study

Individuals with restless or unpleasant feelings in their legs at night or at rest, that are relieved by movement are needed. We are studying the possible benefits of yoga versus an educational film program for reducing symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Participants will attend up to two classes per week in Morgantown for 12 weeks. The study also involves two visits to WVU to complete questionnaires. Compensation is $150 upon completion of this research study. IRB approval on file (1505699758)

For additional information, contact:

  • WVU School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  • Caitlin Montgomery, MPH
  • 304.293.2082, cmontgo2@mix.wvu.edu

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“The Common Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome” by Dr. Aaron Ernst

AskDrErnstRestless legs syndrome is a seemingly unique condition and the cause is often difficult to pinpoint.

Few things are more frustrating than lying in bed at night, exhausted, but not being able to fall asleep because of an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. It seems so strange, doesn’t it? This phenomenon, known as restless legs syndrome (RLS), affects between 4% and 29% of adults in Western populations, and is a major contributor to sleep loss.

Pinpointing the cause of RLS has been an active research topic for years, but the condition is still not fully understood. The symptoms have been convincingly linked to impaired dopamine function in the brain, but the cause of this dysfunction is still being explored. Here are my top causes:

1. Systemic Inflammation & Immune Dysregulation (Subluxation)

One review paper published in 2012 investigated health conditions that were reported to Acute pain in a woman hand. Isolation on a white backgroundcause or exacerbate RLS symptoms, and found that 95% of the health conditions that are associated with RLS have an inflammation or immune component. As further evidence, an elevated blood level of C-reactive protein (a marker of systemic inflammation) has been associated with increased RLS severity.

Researchers have proposed three potential mechanisms to explain the association between RLS and inflammatory or autoimmune states: direct autoimmune attack on the nervous system; genetic factors that could predispose an individual to RLS and be triggered by inflammation or autoimmunity; and vitamin D deficiency caused by inflammation, which I’ll talk more about below.

What to do: If your RLS is a symptom of underlying systemic inflammation or immune dysregulation, the goal should be to find and treat the root cause & reduce the stressors to the central nerve system and spine. Often we see the issue target to L5/S1 regions.

2. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and IBS

A recent study found that 69% of RLS patients also had SIBO, compared with only 28% of control subjects. They also found that 28% of RLS patients had IBS, compared to only 4% of controls. And according to the 2012 review I mentioned above 32% of the health conditions associated with RLS are also associated with SIBO. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past neurological interference & gut infections are often the culprit—even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms—its worth getting your gut tested.

What to do: If you have RLS and suspect you may have SIBO or a gut issue its best to get tested to find our what is going on in there. Generally speaking, the intestines need to be flushed or cleansed then re-inoculated with healthy living strains of bacteria. Your typical probiotic won’t be able to do that. Overall the best approach is to follow a ketosis diet with bone broth until symptoms subside (and your SIBO tests are normal), and then gradually re-introduce fermented foods and probiotics.

3. Vitamin D Deficiency

One of the most-researched theories about the cause of restless legs syndrome is impaired dopamine signaling, which has led to the conventional treatment of RLS by dopamine agonists (i.e. chemicals that can bind to and activate dopamine receptors). Unfortunately, these treatments can become less effective over time, and can even result in a worsening of symptoms.

vitaminThis is where vitamin D comes into play. The role of vitamin D in dopamine signaling is only beginning to be investigated, but some evidence indicates that vitamin D could play an important role by increasing levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the brain, as well as protecting dopamine-associated neurons from toxins.

RLS has been associated with vitamin D deficiency in several studies, and disease severity has been inversely correlated with vitamin D levels. One study has also found that vitamin D supplementation improved the severity of RLS symptoms.

What to do: If you have RLS, one of the easiest first steps you can take is to get your vitamin D levels tested. A good range to shoot for is typically between 40-60 ng/mL. If you have an autoimmune disease or another chronic health condition, optimal levels are between 60-80 ng/mL. One way to supplement vitamin D is through taking it directly. And of course, you should get regular sun exposure.

We’re still learning more and more about this syndrome, and hopefully we’ll come to some truly concrete answers soon enough. But as is so often the case, watching your nutrition and lifestyle goes a really long way in taking care of these sorts of issues.

This information originally appeared on the “Ask Dr. Ernst” website.
https://askdrernst.com/common-causes-restless-leg-syndrome

Dr. Aaron Ernst completed his undergraduate education in pre-medicine/biology at Messiah University in Grantham, PA. As a first generation holistic practitioner, he began his career with a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, MO.  While in Missouri, Dr. Aaron began helping patients rebuild their health in a Maximized Living Health center, which was the largest wellness clinic in Missouri. His experience has led him to spend countless hours studying and researching to create procedures and protocols to rebuild health naturally. Dr. Aaron has traveled all over North America, Europe and Africa teaching the principles of Maximized Living and educating all generations on gaining victory over disease naturally.

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A RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME SUCCESS STORY: Lynne Parrish, Sharon, PA

keep-calm-its-leg-dayHi everyone. I apologize that it’s been over 8 months since I posted. A lot of things have been going on. I’ve been mostly sidetracked with work.

There’s not a lot of news on the RLS front. Nothing helpful anyway. I’ll get back into deep research mode soon.

In the meantime, I’ve just received a wonderful thank you letter from Lynne Parrish of Sharon, PA. I’d like to present it to you, to hopefully give you hope.

Here it is …

I started my journey in July of 2013 after coming across David’s article “An Absolute Cure for RLS”

What? I’m 55 & have wrestled with this monster for about 30 years. Did I mention that I had tried everything except drugs? An absolute cure… I’m in. So with both feet and very restless legs, I jumped. I followed David’s nutritional & supplemental plan pretty much to the letter for the first several months. At his suggestion, I downloaded the IF (Inflammation Factor) app onto my phone and entered everything that passed my lips religiously. It was my “teacher”.

As I became more knowledgeable about the inflammation scores of various foods, I grew less & less dependent on the app. After completing a round of the supplements, I narrowed some things down to what I thought was working best for me.

One year later, I was almost symptom free, almost.9e8e16199b3a7adb9f5b4fb8b7b6714e

And another 2 years later, I was 57 and, quite frankly, my life had been redefined by the information that I stumbled across on David’s website.

Now, I am not only symptom free (except when I get very tired) I have been practically symptom free for 2 years!

It only took 3 days to feel my first drop in inflammation. I was hooked. Then in 3 weeks I felt another drop and then again in 3 months. I don’t know why, but I noticed the drops in 3’s and when it occurred, it felt as though the race horses trapped on the inside of my legs were finally slowing down.

Nowadays, I still stay fairly conscience of my diet & a few “anti inflammatory tricks” are my daily companions. I begin every morning with 1/2-1 cup of carrot juice mixed with protein powder & a mixture of almond meal & ground flax seed. I have mostly replaced the rice, bread, and white potatoes with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, & all things orange. Salmon, sardines, & anchovies are staples.

And so, I tip my hat to you David. Blessings on you. I am ever so grateful.

———————————————
For more information on healing RLS, please visit http://www.rlcure.com

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Restless Legs and Food Intolerance

foodintolerances

Detecting any food intolerance you may have is CRUCIAL for a healthy recovery from RLS.

A food intolerance will continue the lineage of inflammation in your body (including the inflammation that is causing your restless legs), even if you are taking supplements and avoiding obvious triggers.

I’m going to write an article on this in the near future based on my own experience, but for now, I present to you this overview on what a food intolerance is and how it can affect you.

FOODS THAT CAUSE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

Chronic inflammation lies at the root of a host of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, heart disease (as measured by C-reactive protein), asthma, and many others. Food can be a major cause of chronic inflammation, however, symptoms differ from one person to another. If the inflammatory symptoms are suggestive of food allergy, then a food allergy blood test may pinpoint the causes.

Causes of inflammation

Acute inflammation is the first response to infection and manifests with symptoms of inflammation such as redness, swelling, pain, heat, and loss of function. Chronic inflammation is more subtle and involves a different mechanism than acute inflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and others can cause chronic symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, irritable bowel, asthma, etc., and cause tissue damage.

Foods that Cause Chronic Inflammation

The Western diet is a major culprit in chronic inflammation because it contains a high proportion of inflammatory foods, such as processed food, sugar, and trans fats. Most people don’t get enough healthy foods in their diet, such as fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, which are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds. Many of us also get too much fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates in our diet, all of which promote chronic inflammation. The fats we do eat are too often derived from processed seed oils (safflower, sunflower, soy) which are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3. This high omega-6/omega-3 ratio is a key cause of chronic inflammation. Fats that are highly processed or heated contain a high proportion of trans fatty acids, one of the most inflammatory compounds known and which can hardly be called a “food.” These days, many physicians and nutritionists recommend an anti-inflammation diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Food Sensitivity – An Often Overlooked Cause of Chronic Inflammation

The symptoms of food hypersensitivity are driven by chronic inflammation. Gut inflammation can cause digestive problems and cause symptoms such as bloating, leaky gut syndrome, indigestion, and gas, food hypersensitivity can cause inflammation-related symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and even depression, hyperactivity, and migraine. Classic food allergies mediated by IgE antibodies are often the source of the problem, but many healthcare providers believe that delayed food hypersensitivity, also called Type III food allergy, can cause chronic inflammation and may play an important role in diseases such as inflammatory bowel syndrome, which includes Crohn’s disease. In this type of food allergy, circulating immune complexes made up of food molecules and IgG antibodies travel through the bloodstream and enter tissues where they cause chronic inflammation. Delayed hypersensitivity often goes unnoticed because symptoms arise hours or days after ingesting the offending foods. The list of foods that can cause food hypersensitivity is long, but the major offenders include dairy products, wheat and glutenous grains, yeast, eggs, food additives, and more. Sympoms of food intolerance are non-immune mediated and are usually due to toxic or metabolic reactions to food.

Elimination Diets are the Gold Standard of Diagnosis

Until recently, food allergy and intolerance was diagnosed with an elimination diet, a lengthy, unpleasant process of removing foods, waiting awhile, and replacing them back into the diet to observe symptom patterns. Elimination diets are a hit-and-miss affair because symptoms to some foods may persist while you have eliminated other foods. In the most extreme version of the elimination diet, the patient is put on a simple diet of foods with low allergenic potential, such as lamb, rice, and cooked vegetables. Then foods are added one by one while observing symptoms. It is common for such diets to go on for months when food sensitivities are many. But despite the effort required, elimination and rechallenge is still considered the gold standard for diagnosis of food allergy and intolerance.

Food Allergy Tests may Help Improve Chronic Inflammation Caused by Foods

The IgG food allergy blood test detects an individual’s IgG antibody response to various foods by combining their serum with food extracts distributed in an array of tiny wells. Through a process known as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a chemical signal is generated when IgG antibodies in the person’s serum reacts with the food extract in the well. The IgG food allergy blood test can be valuable adjunct to food elimination and rechallenge. Once the problematic foods are identified, they can be excluded from the diet. The IgG food allergy test is not useful for diagnosing non-immune mediated food intolerance; this can only be done through food elimination and rechallenge.

 

This article is from the LSIA Labratory website. You can read the full article here:

http://en.food-intolerance.ca/24/foods-that-cause-chronic-inflammation/

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