The Restless Legs Diet: Chapter Three – Sugar

For some, this is the ultimate sacrifice. For some it’s impossible to even consider.

According to the statistic below, the average person is supposed to consume no more than 30 grams of sugar a day. There is 24 grams of sugar and 200 calories in a bowl of Cap’n Crunch … so if you’re starting the day off with a boost from Cap’n Crack, that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for the rest of the day. You pretty much have to pull the sheets over your head to avoid going over the recommended amount.

There’s even sugar in table salt. Glucose is a sugar (the main sugar in corn syrup), and is added in small amounts (0.04%) to salt to prevent the potassium iodide from breaking down into iodine, which evaporates away (sublimes).


“Table Salt.” Science Toys sci-toys.com/ingredients/table_salt.html

When it comes to RLS, it’s not a matter of cutting out ALL sugar in all of its excellent tasting forms forever. It’s simply a matter of cutting back while the inflammation is healing in your legs.

Once the inflammation heals to a certain degree, you won’t have such severe reactions when you do consume sugar, msg, gluten etc. There will likely be some quivers as a result of consuming a big piece of chocolate cake and ice cream, but the irritation will be a FRACTION of what it was when your legs were fully inflamed.

So, again the key to recovering from your RLS is to make the BIG sacrifice for the first few months, and then develop a diet that suits your needs.

After a couple of months of valuable discipline, you’ll know that the decision is yours alone as to your level of your RLS discomfort. You’ll no longer be able to scream at the sky cursing that you have been burdened with this incurable disease. You’ll know after a short stint of taking this remedy’s collection of vitamins, minerals and herbs … and watching your diet carefully … that there is a cure, and that it lies solely in your hands.

If you’re a big sugar lover, and NEED to have your daily sugar fix, record the effect that it creates.  That should make the connection between inflammation, sugar and RLS more real for you, and should also make the decision to back away from your favorite treats a little easier.

Sugar is an informal term for a class of edible crystalline  substances, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugar almost exclusively refers to sucrose, which primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet. Other sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucose, fructose  or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.

Excessive consumption of sucrose has been associated with increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.

In September 2009, the AHA (American Heart Association) released new limitations on added sugar intake. Their results show that women are to consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar daily and men are restricted to 37 grams. The average American consumes between 3 and 5 pounds of added sugar a week, adding up to 200+ pounds of added sugar a year per person. A 12 ounce can of regular soda alone contains 39 grams of added sugar, far exceeding the recommended limit for adults.

“Sugar.” Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar


IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the “Gold Book”). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). goldbook.iupac.org/S06088.html ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.


Joseph Wuebben and Mike Carlson. “Sugar: What Kinds to Eat and When.” Men’s Fitness www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/vitamins/114


Caroline J. Cederquist, “Sugar Free Diet: Overdoing Dietary Sugar is No Sweet Deal for Your Body.” Bistro M.D. www.bistromd.com/SugarFreeDiet.asp

From the Lab: Sugar’s Negative Effect on Inflammation

“One of the biggest offenders of inflammation is ingestion of sugar. By sugar I mean table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, honey (even raw), maple sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, fructose and any other word that ends in an “ose”, barley malt, rice syrup, liquid cane sugar, concentrated fruit juice and others. Don’t be fooled by the name organic when it applies to sugar. Sugar is sugar, organic or not.”

Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.,”The Relationship between Sugar and Inflammation.” LowCarb Monthly Magazine. (2007). www.lowcarbmonthly.com/general-health/the-relationship-between-sugar-and-inflammation.html

“The faster the foods show up as sugar in our blood, the faster inflammatory responses occur. This is dangerous for a diabetic, but slow or fast, the inflammation is destructive to all of us. High blood sugar damages the nervous system, the blood vessels, (which then get “repaired” by cholesterol deposits), and since our blood vessels go everywhere in our body, every part of our brain and body gets gradually eroded. Name a disease, it is related to this process.”

Dianne M. Buxton, “Shocker – Sugar and Inflammation Make Life Less Sweet.” SearchWarp.com (July 8, 2008) searchwarp.com/swa349728.htm

“The study shows that high glucose can increase levels of key proteins that result in inflammation. The inflammation process in blood vessels and the kidney can lead to a build-up of cells (atherosclerosis) and damage to tissues that can constrict the passage of blood through vessels.”

Armen Hareyan, “The Pathway Linking High Glucose to Inflammation That Can Cause Diabetes Complications.” eMaxhealth.com www.emaxhealth.com/23/4424.html

Williams MD, Nadler JL. “Inflammatory Mechanisms of Diabetic Complications.” Eastern Virginia Medical School. Current Diabetes Reports. 2007 Jun;7(3):242-8.

Word from the Street

http://www.ei-resource.org/illness-information/
related-conditions/restless-leg-syndrome-and-periodic-leg-movement

Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Leg Movement
by Jacob Teitelbaum M.D.
Natural remedies
For RLS focus on diet and nutritional supplementation. Avoiding caffeine is important. Because RLS may be associated with hypoglycemia, eating a sugar-free, high-protein diet with a protein snack at night may decrease episodes of cramping and RLS at night.

http://www.accupunture.info/ear-acupuncture/rls-any-effective-alrenative-treatmentganerd
Subject: Sugar
June 21, 2009 at 9:39 pm
By changing my diet, I am now free from all the poisonous prescription medications. My diet has little or no cane sugar, low in bad fats (saturated, hydrogenated, no fried foods!) high in good fats (omega 3 and 6).

http://www.revolutionhealth.com/healthy-living/natural-health/
alternative-clinic/conditions-treatments/restless-legs-syndrome

Alternative Treatments for Restless Legs Syndrome
Date updated: August 15, 2007
James Keough
Anyone with RLS should also limit alcohol intake, quit smoking and eliminate sugar, caffeine and refined foods from her diet. A small Dutch study, published in December 2006 in the Dutch journal Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, even found a connection between saccharine and RLS.

http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/message-boards/viewtopic.php?t=8184
Stanley
PostPosted: September 28 2002
Post subject: SUGAR & RLS
Throughout my life there has seemed a large correlation between night, or evening, consumption of sugar and a RLS event. Even a cookie or a soda could set it off. Has anyone else noticed this?

http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?t=6329
jojojojo
Location: UK
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:23 am
Post subject: sugar is not always sweet …
Hey I did an experiment earlier, and i noticed that if i cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible, the restless legs eases considerably.

I had a bit of a sugar fest yesterday, and worried that i would be ‘dancing’ all night, I had some cinnamon tea. (cherry and cinnamon). Cinnamon regulates the blood sugar, and I did NOT have restless legs AT ALL!!!!

http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?t=5319
VinnyButch
Location: New Jersey
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:48 pm
Post subject: Has anyone else noticed…?

What I have noticed is that when I stick to a healthy diet, my RLS symptoms seem to flare up much less frequently than when I eat junk foods, especially sugary snacks shortly before bedtime. If I have a sweet donut or two at night, I’m done. It will be hours before I can get to sleep. I assume that’s the amount of time it takes for my body to process the sugar. Any sort of sweet food will do it to me. Last night I finally fell asleep as the sun started to rise. I didn’t know whether to give sleep one more chance or just hop in the shower and start the day. Has anyone else noticed a correlation between sugar and RLS?

http://www.forumromanum.de
Anni Bergman
24 Jan. 2010 17:13
RE: Our diet and the Restless Legs Syndrome
I noticed that I react very strongly to sugar. If I eat fruit or sweets in the evening my legs become restless. Sometimes it is so bad that I can no longer remain seated. My sister also has RLS and has the same problem. Maybe this info will help someone. Anni

http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?t=4994
KBear
Location: Wisconsin USA
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:00 pm
Post subject: What’s working for me
I eliminated caffeine and started taking vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplements. I also revamped my diet to include only “whole foods” fruits, veggies, raw nuts, some dairy, whole grain bread, lean meats, eggs, and lots of filtered water. No processed foods, white flour, sugar, etc. As a moderate drinker I have also cut back to being a “light” drinker. I also take epsom salt baths a couple nights per week and lotion my feet every night before bed.

I am pleased to say that my RLS symptoms have subsided and I am sleeping well on most nights.

http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?t=3834
Critter
Location: Montana
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:14 am
Post subject: Sugar Connection
Hi Folks, like many of you I have been living with this for many years and am always looking for an answer!!! Someday!! I was wondering if anyone else notices increased rls symptoms after eating sugar? Seems to me it causes episodes to happen. Maybe just in me. Thanks, Chris

http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?t=3834
Location: Illinois
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:27 am
Post subject: re: Sugar Connection
I do, Chris. When I gorge on sweets, my legs go nuts. As a result, I don’t eat nearly as much, which is good all the way around. Jan

For more information about RLS antagonists (and remedies) that people have discovered through their own personal experience, visit www.RLcure.com/world.html


From the Lab: Sugar’s Negative Effect on Dopamine Levels

“After a few days, the rats were “hooked” – wanting to drink more each day. Their brains created more dopamine receptors. After a month of this schedule, when the sugar was removed, or the dopamine was chemically blocked using a drug, anxiety increased, to the point that the rats’ teeth audibly chattered — a sign of withdrawal, Hoebel said. What was especially interesting was that rats got a dopamine high even if they didn’t actually digest the sugar. One set of rats had drains placed in their stomachs that made all the fluid secrete out. Even in that group, the rats craved sugar.”

Joy Victory, “Studying the ‘Sweet Tooth’: Rats Given High Sugar Diet Show Strong Urge to Have More and More.” ABC News (May 25, 2006). abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/story?id=2001298&page=1 BG Hoebel, P. Rada and NM Avena, “Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake”. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review 32: 20-39. PMID 17617461 (2008).

“Recent behavioral tests in rats further back the idea of an overlap between sweets and drugs. Drug addiction often includes three steps. A person will increase his intake of the drug, experience withdrawal symptoms when access to the drug is cut off and then face an urge to relapse back into drug use. Rats on sugar have similar experiences. Researchers withheld food for 12 hours and then gave rats food plus sugar-water. This created a cycle of bingeing where the animals increased their daily sugar intake until it doubled. When researchers either stopped the diet or administered an opioid blocker the rats showed signs common to drug withdrawal, such as teeth-chattering and the shakes. Early findings also indicate signs of relapse. Rats weaned off sugar repeatedly pressed a lever that previously dispensed the sweet solution.”

Leah Ariniello, “Sugar Addiction” Brain Briefings, Society for Neuroscience (October 2003).

“We made a fake bee and let it fly over the blue and yellow flowers” with variable amounts of sugar, Dr. Montague said. Each time a virtual bee landed on a flower, its dopamine neuron was alerted. As in most animals, the dopamine neuron at rest fires signals at a steady, base-line rate. When it is excited, it fires more rapidly. When it is depressed, it ceases firing. The virtual bee’s neuron was designed to give three simple responses. If the amount of sugar was more than expected (based on what the bee knows about similar looking flowers), the neuron would fire vigorously. Lots of dopamine meant lots of reward and instant learning. If the amount of sugar was less than predicted, the neuron would stop firing. Sudden lack of dopamine, going to other parts of the brain, told the bee to avoid what had just happened. If the amount of sugar was the same, as predicted, the neuron would not increase or decrease its activity. The bee learned nothing new. This simple prediction model — the dopamine neuron “knows” what has just happened and is waiting to see if the next reward is greater or smaller or the same – offers one explanation for how the bee behavior might arise, Dr. Sejnowski said. When the dopamine neuron encounters an empty flower, it throws the bee brain into an unhappy state. The bee, in fact, cannot stand hitting so many empties. It would rather play it safe and get more numerous, smaller rewards – or no rewards at all – by sticking to the yellow flowers.”

Sandra Blakeslee, “How Brain May Weigh the World With Simple Dopamine System.” New York Times (March 19, 1996).

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

6 Comments »

  1. Jenny said

    I have read that multivitamins could help people with RLS, staying away from sugar is just common sense.

    I bumped into this webste and they are saying thar Vitmamin B12 (Vb12M?) can treat RLS, it is said to be a special vitamin and with only one pill a day your RLS will go away. One pill! Anybody who know if this is true or not?

    Read about it here:
    http://crazylegscure.com/information-about-vb12m/vb12m-dosage.html

  2. Barbara Nepivoda said

    Has there been any research connecting RLS with Light Therapy?

    • Absolute Cure for RLS said

      I’ve never heard of any relationship?

  3. Jean Vivian said

    Thank you. MY legs have been driving me crazy for months and I dope myself up with pills from the doctor and asperin and anything I can find. Now I am so happy to hear the connection to sugar. I will atart a new life tomorrow, hopefully.

  4. BJ Truax said

    Just had my worst night ever with RLS, and I see a direct correlation to fruit sucrose. Yesterday I ate lots of fresh fruit salad (watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, melon, grapes), and a usual amount of protein, carbs. And less caffeine than usual…and I suffered the consequences. Heaviness in my legs, uncontrolled spasms resulting in tossing & turning for hours! AGH.

    It dawned on me that women are the greatest sufferers of RLS, and, in general, eat a lot of fruit as part of a healthy diet, low-fat, organic, etc. diet. The difficulty of fruit sucrose to breakdown in our blood stream may be a cause of RLS.

    I am not a doctor, and don’t profess to be. Just trying to find out what is causing my painful RLS discomfort.

  5. Bob said

    It’s the sugar that’s for sure. I have been trying to figure out why I have restless legs. It’s because I have consumed sugar in some form or another. Use to drink, and would be bouncing off the walls with what I call the heebie geebies?? legs where twitching and shaking and spasms. I had to get up and walk around, forget trying to sleep until it somehow passed. If I don’t consume anything with sugar I don’t get restless legs. Now I also feel jittery and jumpy and restless along with the RLS. I still have those sweet cravings, I have tried sugar free candies but they have sugar alcohols in them, so if I avoid sugar I have a much better night.

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