Archive for July, 2014

Podcast About the Relationship Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

bing2_Dr. Hoe Bing Lo hosts a popular science and nutrition podcast that is based in Cairns, Australia.

Dr. Bing has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S.) and Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc) from the University of Melbourne.

He has written several books on heart health including “Rekindling The Fire: Steps You Must take To Rebuild Your Heart Stronger Than Before Your Attack, One Heart: You Need Your Heart (And It Needs You)”, “What You Don’t Know About Your Heart May Cost You Your Life” and “Renew Your Heart Puzzle: Uncommonly Known But Vitally Important Secrets That Will Keep Your Heart Ticking Strong.”

He has also written many books promoting children’s health including his popular “Maths Club” series. His new “Five Colour Series” is his unique yet simple introduction to the wonderful world of whole food nutrition.

sleepmedjanIn this podcast focusing on Restless Legs, Dr. Bing analyzes a scientific study that was published in 2013 by Dr. Leonard Weinstock (et. al) titled “Restless legs syndrome – Theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms.”

Dr. Bing extracts the dense scientific data from the study and presents it in easily understandable terms.

Dr. Bing agrees that inflammation is the root cause, and builds upon the findings of the study by talking about the importance of changing our diet – and gives scientific insights supporting these changes.

You can stream the podcast from the following website:—fire-an

(once you arrive on the website, click on the link that says “Stream” and the podcast will start playing)

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Restless Legs Syndrome: Causes and Solutions – PART TWO


Passionflowers are pretty plus help people with anxiety, stress, insomnia, and RLS. Besides the above-mentioned information about water and dietary changes, which will do more to improve your health than just about anything other than getting good exercise, there are some specific natural substances that will help most RLS sufferers as much or more than the conventional methods above, without unwanted side effects.

I’ve had RLS for many years, although ordinarily it was a minor annoyance. Although, during the past couple of years it got considerably worse, to the point that something had to change. It took a lot of searching to discover the real causes.

In the meantime (while I made the changes, like learning to drink enough pure, clean water and avoiding bad food ingredients), I needed something to help me sleep, while still in process of addressing the root causes of problems the drug companies want to treat with drugs (trust me, you don’t have a deficiency of whatever drug they want to prescribe).

I have found that the following supplements greatly help many people to sleep and to have significant reduction in RLS symptoms. I take the third one listed every night, although I’ve tried the others. They are the only things I’ve taken that were effective for my RLS symptoms besides drinking more water, exercising more, and improving my diet.

Now that I’ve increased my water intake (I don’t drink anything else now), my RLS symptoms are very mild, more like 5% of what they were.

Here are the herbs that help with RLS, stress, anxiety, and insomnia:

(1) Kava kava root extract (often just called “kava”), from a plant that grows on islands in the South Pacific, has been used by Polynesians for thousands of years. It is ignored by mainstream medicine because it’s not nearly as expensive as the prescription drugs, plus it’s not addictive and has no side effects, and they can’t patent it. Instead they try to make kava kava sound unsafe with warnings about liver damage. However, liver damage can only occur if other parts of the plant besides the root are used. Find a trustworthy manufacturer that uses only the root, and there’s no need to worry.

(2) Passion flower extract, from a plant native to North America, was used for centuries by Native Americans, is like kava in that mainstream medicine prefers you use their prescription drugs instead. Passion flower cannot safely be taken at the same time as kava, because both thin the blood some. This also makes both incompatible with some over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

(3) Valerian, from Europe and Asia, was used as long ago as ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Side effects are almost never seen, and the herb is found by many to work much like benzodiazepines but without the addictive qualities and other problems. Once again, mainstream medicine prefers you not know about it. Valerian also cannot be taken at the same time as kava, due to the fact that both are processed by the liver and overtaxation of the liver could result.

Valerian needs to be taken every day and becomes very effective after two to three weeks. The others can be taken at moments when anxiety, RLS, or whatever needs something. Of the three, I find valerian to be the best.

Note that valerian and passion flower can be taken together.

Since natural supplements are not supported by the government or the medical industry (who are really on the same side), it can be difficult to find information about them. Online research should tell you what the supplements are and aren’t compatible with, what dosages are safe, whether the supplement loses its effectiveness over time, and other needed information. All this is readily available with prescription drugs, but information on supplements including clinical trial information is almost nonexistent or may actually be misleading if the drug companies had a hand in it.

Information can be difficult to find, but it’s very important. The medical industry may actually be harming people by refusing to provide information (or accurate information) about natural supplements, and sticking to their position that everyone just needs the expensive patented prescription drugs (while minimizing, hiding, and denying the drugs’ harmfulness).

For the best website I’ve found that assists with determining interactions of drugs, also including information about many supplements, see


Exercising. I must re-emphasize the importance of overall health, which is adversely affected by insufficient physical activity, use of harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol and many drugs (prescription and illegal), consuming problematic food ingredients, and inadequate intake of pure, clean water (the last of which, as stated, causes dehydration and many “diseases” that result from dehydration).

Other factors critical to health include getting some sun, getting adequate sleep, and overcoming psychological stress.

To learn about food ingredients which are major culprits in causing major health problems, see the links to lenses I’ve made about them, listed below. Learning about these is important because they are very common in foods in nearly every aisle of the grocery store, and they can very much worsen inflammation and many health problems, such as RLS.

Most major food companies generally aim to make you addicted to their products, and to maximize profits at the expense of providing healthy products. The FDA allows nearly every deceptive thing the food companies do, which shows why you need to take personal responsibility and educate yourself, rather than rely on the government to protect you and keep you safe.

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Restless Legs Syndrome: Causes and Solutions – PART ONE

draft_lens20066904module163749090photo_1368827404I ran across this article several months ago on Squidoo. It is written by Jonathan Nielsen from California, who found a solution to his Restless Legs Syndrome through natural means.

The article goes into great detail about commons sense ways to heal your RLS – methods that worked for him, and also worked for me.

It was such a thrill to find someone that had made similar discoveries about the relationship between inflammation and RLS.

Jonathan was kind enough to allow me to repost his article.

The article is fairly long, so I’m going to post it in two parts.


Psychiatric drugs cause RLS in many people. The Wikipedia article on RLS lists some causes, but as we’ll see later in this lens, they leave out the #1 cause. The article lists:

(1) Deficiencies in some substances (iron, dopamine, folate, and magnesium)

(2) Certain auto-immune disorders (such as Sjögren’s syndrome, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis)

(3) “Other associated conditions” (varicose vein or venous reflux, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, uremia, diabetes, thyroid disease, peripheral neuropathy, hypoglycemia, and Parkinson’s disease)

(4) Medication side effects (side effects of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, some anti-convulsants, some anti-histamines, benzodiazepines, and antidopaminergic antiemetics)

(5) A genetic inheritance


Wikipedia’s article neglects to mention inflammation as the cause of RLS. That it is caused by inflammation is known and scientific papers have been written on it, although this explanation doesn’t sit well with the medical industry, who like to suppress symptoms with drugs, and never address underlying causes. Note that many conditions listed, such as celiac disease and diabetes, involve massive inflammation.

Since inflammation isn’t mentioned in the Wikipedia article, the main cause of inflammation also isn’t mentioned, which is mild to severe dehydration, caused by not drinking enough pure, plain water.

Dehydration is a problem far more widespread and more serious than many people are aware of, and it is the cause of many common health problems that the medical industry will tell you have no known cause or cure. Miraculously, drinking adequate amounts of water clears these conditions up in many cases, addressing the root cause of the problem.

Medical science tends to focus on the portion of our body that is not water, which is only 30% to 40% of what we are composed of. The importance of what the majority of our body is made of, water, is commonly overlooked. We are typically 60% to 70% water, and thus water intake is critical, and without proper water levels we begin to have serious health problems. We get inflamed when water levels are inadequate.

There are books that are excellent for learning how to minimize inflammation, including dietary advice for avoiding inflammation-promoting foods. I’ll link to some below. However, water intake is the most critical factor.

The mainstream medical industry can’t make much money by telling people to drink water, so instead they invent drugs that don’t address the root causes of the problems. What the drugs do is silence the symptoms that indicate what it is you really need, which is water.

Drugs are pushed because they rake in money and people believe they help because they suppress symptoms. However, since they don’t address the root cause of the problem, health problems don’t go away like they would if the treatment was correct.

Many scientists know about inflammation and the importance of water (and not drinking other stuff that actually makes dehydration worse, like soda, tea, coffee, and alcohol). However, the information is suppressed. You’re supposed to think that drugs are the solution, and that when you hurt you need drugs and not anything natural or inexpensive. Doctors who go against the recommendations of the establishment may be censured or have licenses revoked, even if their advice is helpful to and they said nothing false.

The results are that many people with health problems, including RLS sufferers, will continue to be given treatments that don’t eliminate inflammation and therefore root cause of the problem.

Certain food ingredients are well known for worsening inflammation. Some of the most major ones are sugar, simple carbohydrates (like white flour and white rice), corn syrup, MSG (monosodium glutamate and similar chemicals), and trans fats. Eliminating these is guaranteed to reduce inflammation in your entire system, plus eliminate major causes of serious health problems like diabetes, obesity, migraines, and cancer. However, drinking plenty of pure, plain water is even more important.

Inflammation has also been shown to lower dopamine levels, and low dopamine levels are already accepted as consistent with RLS. The inflammatory food ingredients listed above all increase inflammation, lower dopamine, and can worsen restless legs syndrome, although the main cause is insufficient water intake, which causes chronic dehydration, which causes inflammation and numerous health problems currently described as having “no known cause.”


Water is the best drink of all time. and always will be. I’ve often heard people say that we need eight cups (64 fluid ounces) of water every day. People usually also say that other drinks like juices, milk, sodas, and tea count for these water needs. Even some scientists and nutritionists say that, but it’s not correct.

Caffeine is known to cause more water to be flushed out of your system than how much was in the caffeinated drink itself. Tea, caffeinated sodas, and coffee actually dehydrate you more, rather than helping meet your water needs. Juice is full of sugar, which causes a myriad of problems. Milk provides some protein and calcium, but also has a lot of sugar and growth hormones.

We actually need pure, clean water and not other drinks with calories, sugar, and other things attached. The best guideline for how much pure water to drink? Divide your weight (in pounds) in half, and translate that to ounces. A man who weighs 200 lbs will need 100 oz pure water each day to prevent dehydration. A woman who weighs 150 lbs will need 75 oz pure water each day. These are minimums! It should be higher if you sweat a lot or if you live in a dry climate.

Why is dehydration a big deal? Isn’t dehydration rare? Actually, dehydration is common and it is the biggest cause of inflammation and many common health problems currently recognized as various “diseases,” and usually treated with harmful toxic chemicals (prescription drugs). The drugs usually mask signs of dehydration such as chronic pain, allergies, asthma, migraine headaches, and other symptoms of inadequate water levels in the body. The drugs suppress symptoms but don’t address the root cause of the problem.

PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS WORSEN RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROMEHow-long-do-you-have-to-take-Zoloft-before-it-works2

Anti-depressants like Zoloft can make RLS unbearable. Many of the most major psychiatric drugs, prescribed to sufferers of various mental disorders, significantly aggravate RLS. Look at the list from the article on Wikipedia:

– Anti-depressants, which include the very widely-used SSRIs such as Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft.
– Anti-convulsants, which are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder’s vicious mood swings.
– Benzodiazepines, which are commonly used to treat severe anxiety and panic attacks.
– Anti-psychotics, which are commonly used to treat schizophrenia and mania in bipolar disorder, and they are often used for other purposes as well.

This can be distressing news if you have been taking such medications and you suffer from RLS. The fact that RLS is a side effect of prescription psychiatric drugs, however, should not be a surprise. These drugs have a great many dangerous side effects, many of which are worse than the symptoms of RLS. Here are some examples:

– Benzodiazepines are highly addictive and those who seek to get off them often suffer greatly with withdrawal symptoms.
– Anti-psychotics are notorious for damaging the nervous system, causing weight gain, and causing diabetes.
– Anti-depressants frequently cause sexual dysfunction, have warnings about possibly making suicidal thoughts worse, and also cause many people to gain weight – in addition to being difficult to withdraw from, and rarely performing better than placebo in clinical trials.
– Anti-convulsants can cause problems with weight gain, migraine headaches, and more.

The problem in each of these instances does not lie with the patient, it lies with the drugs. Prescription drugs, besides being incredibly expensive, are often ineffective, and the drug companies don’t like to investigate negative aspects but frequently exaggerate benefits. For many of the conditions these drugs treat, it’s untrue that drugs are the best solution, and it’s also untrue that they treat the underlying problem. All they do is attempt to suppress symptoms, while often causing great harm.

Prescription drugs should actually be a last resort. For anyone perplexed by the idea of treating serious mental illness without drugs, I recommend starting with a booklet titled The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs. A link to this item is given below.

Unfortunately, the mainstream medical establishment only cares about making as much profit as possible at the expense of giving people the help they really need. Expensive prescription drugs are pushed with benefits exaggerated and risks minimized, and other treatment options are suppressed, ignored, ridiculed, or slandered.

Next we’ll explore how RLS is currently treated by mainstream medicine, and then we’ll discuss some “alternative” herbal treatments, which are natural and far superior to any bizarre chemical concoction manufactured by the drug companies.

HOW DOCTORS CURRENTLY TRY TO TREAT RLSPuzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

Benzodiazepines like Xanax can’t both cause and treat RLS. The Wikipedia article highlights the standard treatments given to RLS sufferers. As we’ll see, the treatments seek to address the symptoms but not the underlying cause, which is insufficient water, which causes dehydration, which causes inflammation, which causes RLS and many health problems.

First they suggest moving or shaking one’s legs. This is obvious, and is what RLS sufferers already feel compelled to do. It’s what they want to go away, rather than doing it even more.

Second they suggest iron supplements, although many RLS cases have nothing to do with low iron levels. Sufferers are advised to have iron levels tested and to consult with a physician before taking any iron supplements.

Iron supplementation is of course a good idea if you don’t get enough from your diet. If this helps a RLS sufferer with their symptoms, then great. But for many this will be insufficient.

Third they suggest prescription drugs (also called “pharmaceuticals”). One of these inexplicably is benzodiazepines, which are also on the list of drugs that cause RLS.

In PART TWO we’ll talk about “alternative” (which means not supported by the drug companies) methods for treating RLS.

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