Archive for May, 2011

An Absolute Cure? I think it is.

The most common complaint I’ve received from people since I started my website An Absolute Cure for RLS is that I have no right calling my remedy an “absolute” cure.

I’ve debated changing it, but I still believe with every fiber of my being that inflammation is the primary cause of RLS, and if you get rid of your inflammation, you’ll get rid of your RLS.

So, I’m keeping the word ABSOLUTE in the title because technically, it is an ABSOLUTE cure. This is based on the premise that if you change your diet and take the inflammation fighting minerals, herbs and supplements that I recommend (or any ones you choose to take on your own) you WILL eventually become free of your RLS.

The problem is that there is no set way to relieve the inflammation that is causing your discomfort. You can deal with the bulk of the inflammation by taking the recommended supplements and avoiding the obvious harmful foods. The difficulty is finding out which are the harmful foods that are unique to your system.

The plan that I’ve laid out should take care of 80% to 90% of your problem. After that it becomes a very personalized program, as each person has to find out how to deal with the remaining 10-20%.

For some people the remaining irritation may be caused by tomatoes, for others it may be bananas, for many, it may be the medication you’re on.

Finding out what is prolonging your RLS and induces an inflammatory reaction in your body is all part of the great experiment that you must be a part of.

I was tremendously grateful when I pulled out of my RLS horror. The hopelessness I suffered for so long was behind me. To escape the grip of RLS, I took my herbs, vitamins and supplements religiously every day. I was also forced to changed my diet in a huge way.

Still, even a couple years after starting my new regiment, sometimes my legs would flair up. I’d sneak in some chocolate cake and ice cream, or a big plate of pasta, or a bowl of  chips and a few diet cokes, and that would often result in some twitching.

It was frustrating, and I would react, but when I settled myself down I realized that yes my legs were twitching, but realistically, my RLS was still 90% better than it was before. This more realistic outlook helped me to deal with these minor incidents.

Still, I couldn’t help wondering why these foods were still causing a bit of twitching? Shouldn’t all the inflammation be gone by now? After a couple years of carefully watching my diet, and continuing my daily intake of inflammation-fighting herbs, minerals and supplements, why were my legs still reacting?

Then one day, while visiting the Self Nutrition Data website, I decided to check out the inflammation rating for two of my breakfast staples, orange juice and peanut butter.

I was surprised to see that both were negatives. Orange Juice was a -25 and my natural peanut butter was -18. I LOVE peanut butter and orange juice. They were an integral part of my happy breakfast.

I did some more research and tried to find another type of juice that had a positive inflammation rating. The good news … and the bad news, is that the answer was carrot juice, with an incredible inflammation rating of +424 per cup!

Carrot juice? My whole life I would cringe whenever someone  even mentioned carrot juice (usually it was someone that had just bought their first juicer and was trying to convert me). The idea of someone drinking carrot juice gave me the willies. It was a drink for old hippies and creepy health nuts.  Keep away from me you freaks!

But +424. That’s absolutely amazing!! How can I not at least try it out.

So, I bought a bottle of pure carrot juice and when I got home I tried it out.

It wasn’t an exciting experience, but the main thing is, it wasn’t a repulsive experience. It tasted exactly like carrots, but just in a form that I’d never experienced before. Gulping down liquid carrots was a little weird at first, but I’m now used to it, and don’t mind carrot juice at all.

Every day I drink a few ounces at breakfast, lunch and supper. Since I started doing that, my legs and my sleeping have never been better.

At the same time I did the research into the carrot juice, I searched for a replacement for peanut butter. I checked out a lot of websites, and it was unanimous that almonds were the best anti-inflammatory nut.

I like almonds, but not nearly as much as I like peanuts or peanut butter. But for the sake of trying to rid myself of that last bit of inflammation, I was willing to make yet another painful dietary sacrifice, and replaced my morning dose of peanut butter with almond butter. I also include a handful of almonds with my breakfast and supper.

Since removing the negative effect that orange juice and peanut butter were having on my body, and replacing them with the positive effect of carrot juice and almond butter & almonds, I have never felt better, and my RLS is completely gone. Even when I stray from my diet and load up on pizza and diet coke, my legs remain fine.

The formula for success is simple.

        Zero Inflammation = Zero RLS.

By following this formula, there is a unique, but absolute solution for every individual. It comes down to you asking yourself “what am I willing to consume to rid my body of inflammation … and what am I willing to give up?”

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The Inflammation Rating of a “Normal” Breakfast

The book I mentioned in a previous post called The Inflammation Free Diet Plan has spawned a nutritional website called Self Nutrition Data

Thousands of different food are broken down into their nutritional components, including the inflammation rating for each one.

Based on the findings at Self Nutrition Data, here are the inflammation ratings for what could be considered a “normal” breakfast.

2 Eggs   -112
Bacon  -6
Rice Krispies -101 
Glass of Orange Juice -25
Toast (white) -93
1 Cup 2% milk  -70
1 Cup of Brewed Coffee +1

The grand total of the above foods is -406.

The irony of it is that the 2 foods that I expected to be the worst,  are actually not that bad … the bacon and coffee.

I promise I won’t show you the picture of that stomach ulcer again. Let’s  just assume that you do in fact have inflammation (damaged cells) in your legs. Imagine what kind of irritation is taking place when you start your day off with a breakfast similar to the one listed above.

Again, recovery is all about common sense, and the willingness to make some sacrifices.

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Breakfast and Inflammation

Breakfast provides us with an initial boost of fuel to help us through our day.

On a health scale, the spectrum of breakfasts is vast, from the highly disturbing (just walk through the cereal aisle at your local supermarket) to the super healthy.

The issue when it comes to healing our RLS is that a lot of healthy “sounding” breakfast products, are not really that healthy, at least when it comes to inflammation.

Because the first objective in healing our RLS is the lessening of inflammation, breakfast plays an important role in how our day is going to play out. We can either start the day by moving in a positive direction (working towards less inflammation) or in a negative direction (helping the inflammation to spread and deepen).

If you suffer from RLS, then starting your day with highly inflammatory foods is like a person with an ulcer starting their day off with a slice of pizza.

This picture of a stomach ulcer  clearly demonstrates that starting you day off with a slice of pizza would further irritate an existing health problem. You don’t have to be a doctor to realize that this is true. It’s just common sense.

Unfortunately I can’t show you a picture of inflammation, but if I could, and put it beside this stack of pancakes drowning in butter and syrup, it would bring upon the same realization – that certain foods MUST be avoided if healing is to ever take place.

It’s also fairly obvious that taking Requip or any other dopamine agonist is not going to repair your inflammation problem. Sure, in some cases you get a bit of relief (along with the occasional wacky side effect) but these drugs are strictly a band-aid solution. They will never (nor will any other RLS pharmaceutical) lessen your RLS. They will only mask what is truly happening beneath the surface.

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The Inflammation Free Diet Plan

It’s been a year since I posted. It’s good to be back! My legs are better than ever. Thank you carrot juice!!

Monica Reinagel  has written a book called The Inflammation Free Diet Plan.

Included in this book is a complete listing of IF Ratings for over 1600 foods.

The IF Rating™ system makes it easy by estimating how various foods and combinations of foods are likely to affect inflammation in the body. Foods with negative ratings may contribute to inflammation, especially when consumed in excessive quantities. Foods with positive IF Ratings support the body’s anti-inflammatory processes. The higher the number, the stronger the effect.

For instance, a half cup of chocolate ice cream is -127.  It’s just like it sounds … bad. Not very helpful for someone trying to become free of the inflammation that is causing their twitchy legs. A raw carrot is +99, so an excellent vegetable to eat lots of if you suffer from RLS.

In the next while I’m going to list some positive and negative foods that may surprise you.

This is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to making changes in your diet – changes that will begin the healing process of your RLS (inflammation).

What are you willing to give up in order to become healthy?

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