Histamine Intolerance, Inflammation and RLS (Part 1): INTRODUCTION

ImageIt is EXTREMELY hard to watch someone make a huge lifestyle sacrifice by dramatically changing their diet by avoiding the obvious inflammatory foods and beverages (all the good stuff), and introducing a daily intake of natural vitamins, herbs, minerals and supplements (which can be expensive) … yet their legs are as bad as ever, and often become worse.

I feel horrible about this, but am staying true to my belief that inflammation is the primary cause of RLS. In fact I’m going to call it a “certainty.”

There are no exceptions to the Absolute Cure for RLS. That’s why I called it the “Absolute” Cure and not the “Sometimes” Cure or the “Almost Always” Cure. If you LESSEN your inflammation, your RLS will LESSEN. This is an indisputable fact. The only thing you need to find out are the details about what it is that’s causing your cells to inflame.

Unfortunately, there is a lot to choose from. Finding out exactly what it is that is causing the inflammation in your body can be a great personal mystery, and long journey.

The obvious triggers are no-brainers. The alcohol, sugar and MSGs of the world. But why are these people that avoid the obvious triggers still suffering with their RLS?

The more I look into the facts about Histamine Intolerance, the more I wonder if many of the people that are still in a great deal of pain, have some sort of Histamine Intolerance?

The world of Histamine Intolerance is massive and complex. It’s impossible to get your head around it all. But for an RLS sufferer, it is MANDITORY that you learn what Histamine Intolerance is, how it can possibly be affecting you and how you can change your diet to keep your histamine production at an acceptable, non inflammatory level.

ImageIn a recent study at John Hopkins University, scientists discovered that histamine receptors were substantially higher in RLS patients.

“We examined histamine receptors in substantia nigra tissue obtained from the RLS Foundation’s collection of RLS brains (6 females) and from age-matched controls (6 females) from the Harvard Brain Bank. In the nigra, histamine receptor 3 staining was more intense in 5 of the 6 RLS patients as compared to their age-matched controls. Histamine receptor 2 staining followed a similar pattern: staining was more intense in RLS nigra 4 out of 6 times as compared to controls. The staining was primarily confined to the neuromelanin cells.”

Richard P. Allen, James R. Connor, Amanda M. Snyder and Christopher J. Earley – “Restless Legs Syndrome and Histamine” Neurology Department, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Histamine Intolerance may also be involved with your inability to sleep at night, even when your legs are taking a break from twitching.

from Histamine and the Brain (Histadelia) on Total Health Clinic.com
“High levels of histamine can cause agitation, irritability and sleep cycle disturbances. Low levels of histamine are associated with feeling tired.”


I truly belief that those of you that have switched to an anti-inflammatory diet, but are still not seeing any results, can uncover the final puzzle piece by determining what it is in your diet that is producing high levels of histamine, and making the required adjustments.


  1. anne ishiguro said

    I have had some improvement on this diet, but now am very sleepy all the time except after 5 pm. Can this be caused from low histamine?


    • rlsottawa said

      Hi Anne

      It’s definitely possible. That also just may be your body reacting to such a major change. That’s normal as well.

      Make sure you’re still getting a lot of protein in your diet.

  2. ken osborn said

    In addition to histamine induced inflammation, inflammation can be from mechanical stresses, such as involuntary poor posture due to seating arrangements (cars, public transit, office seating, etc). If back muscles are strained from poor posture, low level inflammation will occur and if extended can then trigger an extra load on the sciatic nerve complex. In addition to the commonly observed issues like back pain, I believe this is also a source or at least contributor to RLS. My personal experience is when my back pain is gone my RLS subsides and when the back pain returns, so does the RLS.

    • rlsottawa said

      Hi Ken

      Thanks for the information about mechanical stresses.

      Restless Legs need the presence of inflammation to exist, so it makes perfect sense that when there is less inflammation present, your back feels better and your RLS subsides.

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