The Restless Legs Diet: Chapter One – Gluten

Gluten (from Latin gluten “glue”) is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin comprise about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch. Worldwide, gluten is an important source of nutritional protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.

“Gluten”, Wikipedia,

Taking the herbal anti-inflammatories I’ve listed without changing your diet is like jogging while you’re eating a bag of potato chips.  A little bit of improvement will probably happen … but it will be slow and almost immeasurable.

I like the comparison of having a bad sunburn, yet remaining at the beach. You can rub aloe vera on your sunburn to try to help it, but the healing is really not going to have a chance to work its magic until you stay indoors for a while.

The Restless Legs Diet is exactly like that. It gets you out of the sun, away from the irritants that keep re-aggravating your sunburn.

In the case of RLS, the sunburn is the inflammation in your legs (or for some people arms, feet etc.). The sun is the RLS antagonists (MSG, sugar, gluten, caffeine etc.) and the shelter from the sun is a proper diet that is free, or at least lower, in RLS antagonists.

To finish the metaphor, the aloe vera that helps to heal your sunburn is the combination of vitamins, herbs and minerals that are going to help remove the inflammation in your legs.

Here are your options broken down in to simple terms …

1. HOPELESS SCENARIO (RLS will continue to get worse)

Intake: No herbs, vitamins or minerals.

Diet: No change. The usual amount of MSG, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Gluten, Aspartame and Salt.

2. GLIMMER OF HOPE SCENARIO (RLS will improve slightly)

Intake: A few vitamins, herbs and minerals.

Diet: No change. The usual amount of MSG, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Gluten, Aspartame and Salt.

3. HEY IT’S GETTING BETTER! SCENARIO (RLS symptoms will lessen noticeably)

Intake: A few vitamins, herbs and minerals.

Diet: Change in diet. Less MSG, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Gluten, Aspartame and Salt.

4. LIFE IS GOOD! SCENARIO (RLS symptoms will lessen dramatically)

Intake: Most of the vitamins, herbs and minerals.

Diet: Change in diet. Far less MSG, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Gluten, Aspartame and Salt.

5. THE LIGHT OF A MILLION SUNS! SCENARIO (RLS symptoms will disappear for good!)

Intake: All of the vitamins, herbs and minerals.

Diet: Change in diet. Careful watch over the intake of MSG, Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Gluten, Aspartame and Salt.

From the Lab: The relationship of Gluten with Inflammation

“Gluten is inflammatory and inflammation has been linked to most chronic illnesses and pain syndromes.”

Ralph Havens, PT, OCS, IMTC, “Gluten and Inflammation.” Mission Hills Physical Therapy: Wellness Blog, San Diego, CA (May 2, 2008)

“Researchers now know that gluten can cause inflammation in any organ and any cell of your body.”

Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts. “Recognizing Gluten Sensitivity: Inflammation The Food Philosopher.” Southlake, TX (2002)

“While going gluten free will greatly relieve inflammation, you must make additional dietary changes to fully relieve the symptoms.”

Mallory Ferland “Gluten-Free, Anti Inflammatory Diets.” Seattle, WA (September 2009)

You can view information on how all the RLS supplements and antagonists have a relationship with inflammation here:

Word from the Street
05-30-2006, 12:41 PM
Re: Atkins Diet and RLS
The same thing happened to my husband. After a lot of research, he stopped taking anything with gluten. I don’t think it is the carbs so much, but definitely the gluten. Try eliminating gluten and see what happens. Sure worked for us. Glenda
Location: MARYLAND
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:45 pm
Post subject: Worth Checking
I had restless leg syndrome since I was a child and I am now 48. It would occur at night, on a plane, in the movie theater, anywhere. Last year I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease which is an allergy to wheat or gluten. Within a month of not eating gluten my restless leg syndrome stopped. It can happen again if I inadvertently eat some gluten. MDGUY
Posted 28 June 2007 – 01:33 PM
RLS Disappeared
Hi Everyone:
I’m new here. I have been gluten free for 2 weeks tomorrow. I haven’t been formally diagnosed with Celiac disease yet, but I already seem to be at least gluten sensitive. I was having trouble with restless leg syndrome along with a lot of other things, prior to my gluten free diet. My restless leg syndrome disappeared within two days of going on the diet.Regards,Jayne
Posted 28 June 2007 – 03:10 PM
Restless Legs Stopped
Restless leg has also been linked to anemia–which is common with Celiac. I had restless legs for years, and it stopped after I went gluten-free–I was also severely anemic.
Posted 03 July 2007 – 07:22 AM
Gluten Free
It is funny that you mention RLS. I have not had any symptoms since going gluten-free a few weeks ago. YEA! Just another thing I can add to the positives of being Gluten Free! ~kristen~
Cherry Tart Icon
Posted 03 July 2007 – 08:45 AM
RLS Disappeared since going Gluten Free
I just realized after reading this post that I used to have RLS before going gluten-free. I never put 2 and 2 together. I always just assumed that I was an “active sleeper” 😆 Since going gluten-free, the RLS has disappeared, thank goodness!
01-30-2009, 12:44 PM
Gluten Free Diet
I recently had a friend who also suffered from RLS email me to tell me that she tried a gluten-free diet and it cured her. I was skeptical but figured I might as well try. After trying the gluten-free diet, I was pain-free the first night! I now no longer take requip and have been pain-free for almost a month!

From the Lab: After 6 months of a gluten-free diet, RLS symptoms improved in 50% of 28 patients.

“The incidence of RLS among 85 patients with celiac disease was 35%, with a prevalence of 25% compared with 10% of spouses (P < 0.02). In 79% of patients with RLS and celiac disease, neuromuscular symptoms began during or after onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. Iron deficiency was present in 40% of celiac patients with active RLS compared with 6% of patients without RLS (P < 0.001). After 6 months of a gluten-free diet, RLS symptoms improved in 50% of 28 patients.”

Leonard B. Weinstock1, Arthur S. Walters, Gerard E. Mullin and Stephen P. Duntley. “Celiac Disease Is Associated with Restless Legs Syndrome.” Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Springer Netherlands, ISSN:0163-2116 (Print) 1573-2568 (Online) DOI 10.1007/s10620-009-0943-9 (September 15, 2009).

I believe with every fibre of my being that the RLS symptoms of ALL these patients would have improved close to 100% (assuming they were not on any medication) if they (a) took the previously mentioned herbs, vitamins and minerals during their gluten free diet and (b) monitored their intake of other RLS antagonists such as aspartame, caffeine, sugar, MSG and alcohol.

The gluten free diet is great to stop the growing inflammation, but you need those vitamins, herbs and minerals to heal the damage.

For free information about the cause and cure for Restless Legs Syndrome visit This remedy for RLS is completely natural and features NO side effects.


  1. I didn’t understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?

    • rlsottawa said

      I’m not sure which part you’re talking about? Could you copy and paste the text into the comment box.

  2. Salih said

    When you say “The sun is the RLS antagonists (MSG, sugar, gluten, caffeine etc.)…. ” i think you mean “agonsits” not “antagonists”. Consider the terminology. If gluten was RLS antagonist that would mean that gluten prevents RLS. But if gluten was agonist that would mean that gluten causes RLS.

  3. Linda said

    I’ve had RLS for seven years and am now going gluten free. Just started three days ago and am learning much on the subject of gluten. Thanks you, Linda

  4. Hi, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am also cheerful
    to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: