Archive for ARTICLES by other authors

How To Overcome Restless Leg Syndrome Naturally (By Healing The Gut) by Jordan Reasoner, SCDLifestyle


Sleep is important (we all know this) … but just how important is it?

Poor sleep is associated with increased depression, anxiety, systemic inflammation and decreased immune function.

For those with Restless Leg Syndrome, a lack of sleep is likely a nightly occurrence. It’s also the most dangerous side effect of this frustrating condition.

Worse yet, many suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome and don’t know it.

RLS can often be misdiagnosed as another sleep disorder, depression, poor circulation, arthritis, back problems and even growing pains in children.

If you have extreme fatigue, trouble falling or staying asleep, depression or anxiety, take the time to keep reading.


Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition characterized by an uncomfortable feeling in the legs (most commonly). The unpleasant feeling causes an intense urge to move the lower extremity in order to find relief. The sensation is more prominent at night and is often described as “bugs crawling up the legs.”

The side effects of RLS are more concerning than the condition itself, and include:

Extreme daytime fatigue
Increased use of sleeping medications or alcohol to sleep
Increased use of stimulants in order to function
Increased stress (likely due to lack of sleep) and anxiety

Restless Leg Syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease or WED, is most common in middle to older-age women, although anyone can experience it. The National Sleep Foundation estimates up to 10% of adults suffer from RLS.

confused-doctorHOW IS RLS DIAGNOSED?

The International Restless Leg Syndrome Study Group requires the following clinical features to be present in order to confirm a diagnosis of RLS:

Strong urge to move the legs due to uncomfortable sensations in the leg(s)
Symptoms become worse during periods of rest or inactivity
Symptoms are partially or totally relieved by movement
Symptoms become worse in the evening or nighttime
Symptoms are not solely accounted for by another condition (i.e leg cramps, positional discomfort)

Perhaps the most important tool, though not always performed, is a test to determine your iron levels. The most accurate way to determine if iron deficiency plays a role in RLS is to measure ferritin. Ferritin is an iron binding protein in which low values (less than 50 ng/ml) indicate low iron storage in the brain (more on iron below).


First degree relatives are 3 to 6 times more likely to suffer from the condition and over 50 percent of affected individuals report having at least one immediate relative with the condition.

Studies suggest when children experience RLS (early onset) it is more likely due to genetics as opposed to onset later in life (after the age of 45). Several gene variations have been studied as possible contributors to RLS, including the following genomic regions: BTBD9, MAP2K5, MEIS1, PTPRD, SKOR1 and TOX3.

Risk allele BTBD9 is associated with RLS and decreased peripheral iron stores – a well-defined environmental factor in which the risk of RLS is about 9 times greater than the general populations.

A change in the BTBD9 gene is present in about 75% of patients who have RLS but also present in about 65% of patients who don’t have RLS…

The difference? Environmental factors.

It’s the environmental triggers in combination with the right genes that trigger Restless Leg Syndrome.

Genetics alone rarely tell the whole story (and that holds true for each of the autoimmune conditions we’ve covered).


Caffeine – Caffeine, most commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda may aggravate the symptoms of RLS. For many, caffeine activates excitatory neurotransmitters and has an arousal effect on the central nervous system. Ultimately, it’s effects promotes motor activity and inhibits proper control of fine motor movements, worsening the symptoms of RLS.

Iron Deficiency – The most consistent finding and the strongest environmental risk factor associated with RLS is iron insufficiency. Studies suggest that restless leg syndrome is related to a deficiency of iron in certain parts of the brain despite normal levels in the blood. (See information on testing iron in the diagnosis section.)

Vitamin D Deficiency – One of the most common theories about the cause of RLS is impaired dopamine signaling, and vitamin D is now being researched for its role in this process. Several studies support the hypothesis that a deficiency of Vitamin D correlates with more frequent and more severe symptoms of RLS.

Diet – Vitamin B12 is a critical part of a healthy nervous system, helping to maintain and protect the myelin sheath around the nerves. Researchers are led to believe it could play a role in the onset and treatment of RLS, due to its central role in our nervous system and brain.

A study published in the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine found both iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies to be common and treatable cause of RLS.

The best dietary sources of Vitamin B12 come from beef liver, grass-fed beef and eggs. But in order to absorb Vitamin B12, we must have adequate stomach acid levels and a healthy gut.

Stress – Chronic stress can alter cortisol production and lead to nighttime cortisol release, which researchers have found to be correlated with RLS. Stress levels can also decrease dopamine in the brain – a neurotransmitter necessary for smooth muscle activity and movement. When dopamine is decreased in the brain, it may cause movement problems seen in Parkinson’s disease and RLS.

Pregnancy – The prevalence of RLS during pregnancy is two to three times higher than in the normal population. Hormonal changes and iron status are the two main factors that may contribute to RLS during pregnancy.

Researchers have discovered another piece to the puzzle in the onset of RLS – systemic inflammation.


What if the cause of those frustrating leg twitches is something you can’t see or touch… and is rarely a diagnosis you’d receive at the doctor’s office?

We’re talking about systemic inflammation (inflammation relating to the whole body).

54 diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS – all interconnected by inflammation.

The fact that 89% of RLS-associated conditions are associated with inflammation and/or immune changes have led researchers to develop 2 possible theories in the RLS – Inflammation connection:

Systemic inflammation can contribute to an iron deficiency in the brain:

Inflammation can lead to the production of IL-6, an inflammatory cytokine which can stimulate hepcidin production.

Hepcidin is the main hormone involved in the regulation of iron and increased levels can lead to decreased serum iron levels. The result? Decreased availability of iron to the brain.

Systemic inflammation can trigger autoimmune disorders associated with RLS.

RLS is associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögrens syndrome, Scleroderma, Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease – all autoimmune diseases plagued by systemic inflammation.

RLS is present in up to one third of MS cases and is also common in those with Crohn’s disease – a disease associated with iron deficiency, inflammation, and bacterial overgrowth. One study of 272 Crohn’s disease patients found 30% were affected by RLS.

The bottom line is this – we have to address the factors in our life that cause inflammation and the best place to start is a damaged gut.


You might wonder what the gut has to do with that uncomfortable feeling in your legs.

A damaged or leaky gut is a breeding ground for inflammation – the very inflammation that can lead to RLS.

A leaky gut allows conditions like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to wreak havoc on the body and contribute to things like RLS.

One study found 69% of RLS patients had SIBO while 28% also suffered from IBS symptoms (i. e. gas, cramping, bloating, and changes in bowel habits).

SIBO can lead to systemic inflammation and autoimmune changes (which can result in the nerves being attacked in RLS) and SIBO induced inflammation can increase hepcidin (the main hormone responsible for regulating iron).

No matter which way we look at it, inflammation is the common denominator.

So, how do we stop the inflammation that can lead to Restless Leg Syndrome?

Considering the overwhelming amount of research on the topic of systemic inflammation and a leaky gut, your gut is too important to be ignored.

However, a large majority of the medical community has yet to accept the role of the gut in the fight against RLS.


Dopaminergic agents are often the first line of treatment in RLS. These drugs work to increase dopamine in the brain and include Requip, levodopa, and Neupro to name a few.

Known for their short-term effectiveness, they come with a long-term effects.

Augmentation is the most common side effect of dopaminergic drugs and occurs when the symptoms of RLS become more severe, happen earlier in the day, and spread to other parts of the body (i.e arms).

It’s estimated that over 80% of patients receiving levodopa for RLS develop augmentation.

With augmentation, the brain sees the extra dopamine (via medication) as a signal to decrease its natural production. The result? Patients become increasingly dependent on the drugs for relief.

Compulsive behavior is also a common side effect.

A study including 100 people with RLS (all were treated with dopaminergic agents) revealed well over 50% engaged in some type of compulsive behavior (ie. pathological gambling and compulsive eating habits).

After reading this, you may be wondering if there is a better way to treat RLS than the use of these dangerous medications.


If you’ve been keeping up with the latest information in natural health, you already know it’s nearly impossible to ignore a leaky gut as part of the cause and solution to autoimmune conditions like RLS.

Alessio Fasano, M.D. has been on the forefront of recent autoimmune disease research and published a paper titled “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases.”

His findings present the idea that in order for an autoimmune disease to develop, 3 conditions must all exist together:

1. A genetic predisposition to autoimmunity (i.e. BTBD9 gene in RLS)
2. An exposure to the environmental trigger (i.e. Iron Deficiency)
3. Increased intestinal permeability (a.k.a. Leaky Gut Syndrome)

For those with Restless Leg Syndrome, healing the gut means getting to the root cause so you can stop chasing your symptoms.

Healing a leaky gut is one factor that’s in our control and it can be done step-by-step with the right plan.


Overcoming Restless Leg Syndrome requires a multifaceted approach to heal the gut and decrease inflammation – and that is exactly what we’re here to help you do.

Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, stated “all disease begins in the gut,” and some 2,000 years later Fasano and many other leading experts agree.

Ancient and current wisdom both suggest that powerful healing must begin in the gut.

jordanJordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems.

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Restless Legs, Inflammation and Food Intolerance

Mark-Hyman_2This post features an excellent article by Dr. Mark Hyman on how food intolerance lead to inflammation, which in turn leads to a laundry list of “possible” medical conditions. This list includes Restless Legs Syndrome.

I say “possible” because in the world of inflammation, you never know exactly how it is going to manifest on the surface. For some it may be cancer, for others obesity, for many others depression.

There’s probably not a medical condition that you can name that hasn’t scientifically been proven to be a result of inflammation.

However, as I’ve stated many times before, because you suffer from RLS, you’re kind of fortunate.

Just for a moment, if you can suspend the physical, mental and emotional torture of RLS, try to look at your restless legs as a friendly flare that your body is firing into the night sky, warning you about inevitable dangers that are forming inside your body.

Your restless twitchy legs are giving you a chance to take ACTION before a more life-threatening condition takes hold.

By trying to snuff out this flare with medication, instead of extinguishing it with a proper diet, you are in fact making a decision to NOT listen to your body.

prevention-smoke-alarmsTo better illustrate the decision you’re making, imagine that you’re lying in bed and the smoke alarm goes off.

When the alarm goes off, you probably don’t lie there and grumble about losing valuable sleep nor do you reach down and pull the sheets over your head in order to muffle out the sound.

You INSTINCTIVELY jump out of bed to find out what’s going on.

If it turns out that there is a fire, you gather your family and run out of the house to safety.

If it was just your child making a late night snack, and it was burnt toast that set off the alarm, you can open a window and safely go back to bed.

But when that alarm first went off, all that you knew was that there was a potential life-threatening situation that needed IMMEDIATE action. There was no delay. You got out of bed and investigated RIGHT AWAY to see what had to be done.

Why then, when your body’s smoke alarm goes off, do you ignore it?

I hope that Dr. Hyman’s article will inspire you to take the steps required to start putting out the smouldering fire that has set off your smoke alarm.


HOW CAN YOU, IN a week or less, get dramatic relief from all the symptoms you thought you had to live with the rest of your life?

I’ll get to that in just a minute…

First I’m going to tell you about a hidden culprit that’s linked to everything from obesity to all the chronic diseases of aging. And I’ll give you the key to solving this problem — and unlocking good health.

Over the years, I’ve helped patient after patient achieve good health. But what I’ve asked patients to do is so simple that anyone can do it — and get the same great results.

I’m going to tell you about something I’ve talked about before, but it’s so important that I want to emphasize it again and show you how it’s a hidden cause of poor health.

I’m talking about inflammation.

You’re probably familiar with the pain, swelling, redness, and heat that classically signify inflammation. It’s something just about every one out there has experienced.

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense system.

When your body senses foreign invaders, a specific cascade of events is set off in which your white blood cells and some special chemicals called cytokines mobilize to protect you.

This normal type of inflammation is a good thing. It helps your body protect and heal itself. However, when your immune system shifts out of balance, inflammation can run rampant — causing a chronic, smoldering fire inside your body that contributes to disease.

The causes of this type of inflammation are all around you. The sugar you eat, high doses of the wrong oils and fats in your diet, hidden food allergens, lack of exercise, chronic stress, and hidden infections all trigger a raging, unseen inflammation deep in your cells and tissues.

And this inflammation leads to every one of the major chronic diseases of aging — heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and more.

It’s simple.

foodintolwuyngjt7mzmrjmliwIf you don’t address inflammation by eliminating hidden food allergens or sensitivities and by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, you will never succeed at effective and permanent health. Hidden sensitivities and allergies to food you eat every day are making you sick and are causing your legs to be inflamed.

When most people think of food allergies, they usually imagine someone eating a peanut and ending up in the emergency room with a swollen tongue, hives, and not being able to breathe. That’s what is called an immediate allergy (also known as an IgE hypersensitivity reaction). This is very serious but not common.

But there is a different type of reaction to foods that is much less dramatic and deadly — but still very troublesome. It is called a delayed allergy (or IgG delayed hypersensitivity reaction). This reaction is much more common and creates a lot of suffering for millions of people. It’s mostly ignored by conventional medicine, yet it plays a HUGE role in many chronic illnesses.

This type of delayed allergic reaction can cause symptoms anywhere from a few hours to a few days after ingestion. It also causes a wide range of problems like weight gain, fluid retention, fatigue, brain fog, irritable bowel syndrome, mood problems, headaches, sinus and nasal congestion, joint pains, acne, eczema, and more.

foodintolerancesIf you hear someone say dismissively, “Oh, you just lost water weight,” they’re right (at first), because eating foods you are allergic to causes inflammation, which leads to swelling and fluid retention.

Getting rid of this fluid by reducing inflammation is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing.  It is what will allow your body to start the healing process so you can achieve permanent weight loss and optimal health.

Consuming a low-allergy diet for just 1 week will help you eliminate the excess swelling and fluid that accumulates in your tissues from food-induced chronic inflammation. Despite criticisms you may have heard about losing ONLY water weight, this is essential for you body to begin to heal and detoxify.

Let me explain a little more.

In my practice, treating food allergies and improving nutrition in general is the single most powerful tool I have to treat, reverse, and even cure hundreds of diseases that conventional medicine fails at miserably.

These include allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, fatigue, sinus problems, hormonal disorders, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, digestive diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, and colitis, and even mood disorders like depression and anxiety — just to name a few.

You see, we are seeing an epidemic of inflammatory diseases. In fact nearly every modern disease — everything from autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and cancer to obesity, diabetes, and dementia — is caused by inflammation!

These chronic diseases affect 125 million Americans. That means in the average family of three, at least one person has a chronic disease caused by inflammation. In my practice, helping people treat food allergies and food sensitivities is one of the most helpful things I do.

So what have I found after years of testing people for IgG allergies and teaching them how to use elimination diets to help recover from their chronic symptoms and illnesses?

inflammatoryfoodsWhile everyone is different, there are some foods that irritate the immune system more than others.  They are gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut), dairy (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt), corn, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshades (tomatoes, bell peppers1, potatoes, eggplant), citrus, and yeast (baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and fermented products).

These foods can also cause acute allergic reactions. But those are rare, generally affecting less than 1 percent of the population. When they occur they are serious, permanent, and need to be treated seriously.

But for more than 50 percent of us, there are some foods that just don’t agree with us and prevent vibrant, good health.

How Do You Know If You Are Allergic or Sensitive to Foods?

There are two ways to find out if you are reacting to foods.

One is a blood test for IgG antibodies to foods. This is useful and can pinpoint trouble areas, but it is not 100 percent accurate.

The second is a simple and well-accepted treatment called elimination/ provocation.

This means you get rid of the top trouble foods for 1 to 4 weeks, then reintroduce them one at a time and see what happens. Eliminating foods that cause allergic reactions or sensitivities is the basis for the remarkable results people have — like losing weight, feeling better, and getting rid of chronic symptoms — when they follow the detox phase of UltraMetabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss.

This program is based on a simple elimination diet: getting rid of gluten, dairy, eggs, and yeast products.

What happens?

Very quickly — in a week or less — people notice dramatic relief from all the symptoms they thought they had to live with the rest of their lives!


Simply put, your diet, the way you live, and the medications you take are to blame.

These things injure your gut.

They change the bacteria and damage the gut’s lining, which is the critical barrier that keeps your immune system from having to deal with all the garbage, toxins, and allergens inside your intestinal tract. This damage is called a leaky gut.

And so the food particles “leak” across the damaged barrier and your immune system (60 percent of which is right under that lining) starts to attack these partially digested food particles. That’s when you develop IgG food intolerances or allergies.

Let me recap.

When your gut is leaky, partially digested foods get exposed to your immune system, which then creates an abnormal response to something pretty normal — food. That creates many chronic health problems.


Just because you have a food allergy or intolerance doesn’t mean you have to suffer with it. In fact, there’s a lot you can do to deal with the problem, re-balance your system, and eliminate chronic symptoms.

Visit my website to find out how to identify food allergies and to discover the tools you need to begin to heal your gut and repair your digestive and immune systems.

When you do these things, you’ll be more resilient and able to tolerate a wider range of foods. The plan is designed to get you started on the road to finding and healing this common obstacle to health.

Food-intolerance-test-600x400Just think about giving yourself the gift of a week long vacation for your body and soul. You might be surprised by what’s on the other side. You’ll be following the same simple program that I use with my own patients to eliminate food allergies.

I think you’ll find that the results are remarkable.

But I don’t want you to just believe what I am saying — I want you to prove it to yourself!

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality—and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That’s why he is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. He is a practicing family physician, an nine-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and has been a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, the Today Show, CNN, The View, the Katie Couric show and The Dr. Oz Show.

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Multiple Sclerosis, Restless Legs and the Amazing World of Epigenetics

Dr-Terry-WahlsDr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College. She is an avid clinical researcher with over 60 peer-reviewed scientific abstracts, posters and papers to her name.

Several years ago Dr. Wahls suffered from debilitating MS (and at the same time suffered from Restless Legs Syndrome).

As a doctor/scientist, her empirical view of life pointed to the undeniable fact that there was not going to be a cure discovered for MS before her rapidly approaching demise.

This stark truth propelled Dr. Wahls to look at alternative healing methods. By experimenting with changes in diet and attitude, Dr. Wahls was able to cure herself. In fact there is a famous split photo of her (below) showing a BEFORE PICTURE of her sitting, almost lifeless, in a wheelchair, and an AFTER PICTURE, showing her riding her bicycle, full of life, light and vibrancy.

I have had several correspondences with her, and I can tell you that she is an amazing force. As is the case with a lot of people that have been to the “brink” she wants to give back – to help others in similar situations to become healthy again.

Because she is also a former RLS sufferer, Dr. Wahls was kind enough to publish one of my RLS articles in her newsletter last year.

Her story will not only help those that suffer from MS or Restless Legs, it will inspire anyone with ANY condition to shift towards a healthy and balanced life.

In this article (below) from her monthly newsletter, she talks about the wonderful world of epigenetics, and how we are NOT bound by our genes. In other words, saying that you’re STUCK with RLS because you inherited the condition, just doesn’t wash anymore. It’s not reality. There is a LOT you can do to improve your condition, if you open your mind just a smidge.


For more information on Dr. Wahl’s amazing journey, please follow the link at the bottom of this article.


When you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you might have been wise enough to ask your doctor about diet and what you could do yourself to reduce the symptoms and pain associated with MS. Unfortunately, most neurologists today would shrug off that question and tell you there is no evidence that diet makes any difference. Your physician probably told you that science doesn’t know why you developed MS. You and your physician probably just blamed your genes, and then moved on to talking about what immune-suppressing drugs you should take, in an effort to keep you as functional as possible for as long as possible.

The problem with relying only on immune suppression to treat MS is that our immune cells are vital to the proper functioning of our bodies and brains. All immune-suppressing drugs therefore also have a long list of side effects, ranging from mild to life-threatening. But more importantly, immune suppression does not address the reasons people develop MS or any other autoimmune condition. To effectively treat disease, we must confront the root cause of why the immune system has malfunctioned and begun attacking the brain.

The good news is that for most chronic diseases, including autoimmune problems like MS, the cause is likely 5% genetic and 95% epigenetic. That means the environmental factors are huge. There are thousands of studies that have linked improving health behaviors with better health outcomes, a decline in symptoms of chronic disease, and reduced need for medication to treat diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mental health problems, cancers, and autoimmunity. Addressing diet and lifestyle as I explain in my book is how to have the more of the health promoting genes turned on and the disease promoting genes turned off.

For more information on Dr. Wahls, her recovery and her protocol please visit:


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“A Little-Known Cause of Restless Legs Syndrome” by Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac

Chris-Kresser_P3Restless legs syndrome has been associated with numerous conditions involving systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation. (3)

One review paper published in 2012 investigated health conditions that were reported to cause or exacerbate RLS symptoms, and found that 95% of the 38 different health conditions that were strongly associated with RLS have an inflammation or immune component. (4) These conditions include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, diabetes, and depression.

As further evidence, an elevated blood level of C-reactive protein (a marker of systemic inflammation) has been associated with increased RLS severity. (5) A small crossover trial found that a hydrocortisone infusion, which reduces systemic inflammation, reduced RLS symptoms. (6)

Researchers have proposed three potential mechanisms to explain the association between RLS and inflammatory or autoimmune states: direct autoimmune attack on the nervous system; genetic factors that could predispose an individual to RLS and be triggered by inflammation or autoimmunity; and iron deficiency caused by inflammation, which I’ll talk more about below.

What to do: If your RLS is a symptom of underlying systemic inflammation or immune inflamation8dysregulation, the goal should be to find and treat the root cause. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, gut infections are often the culprit—even if you don’t have noticeable digestive symptoms—so get your gut tested.

If you already have a diagnosed inflammatory or immune condition such as those I mentioned above, the best first step you can take is to adopt a “low-inflammatory” diet and lifestyle. This means eating a nutrient-rich, low-toxin diet based on whole foods; getting enough sleep every night; prioritizing stress management; and incorporating regular movement into your day.

3. “Increased prevalence of restless legs syndrome in patients with Crohn’s disease.”
4. “Restless legs syndrome–theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms.”
5. “Elevated C-reactive protein is associated with severe periodic leg movements of sleep in patients with restless legs syndrome.”
6. “Low-dose hydrocortisone in the evening modulates symptom severity in restless legs syndrome.”

Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback in December 2014 as The Paleo Cure). You can read the full article here:

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Another Scientific Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

chronic-illness-46-638Below is an excerpt from an article titled “Inflammation and Pain Management with Magnesium” by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD, DM (P), December 8, 2009

“According to the National Sleep Foundation approximately 70 million people in the United States are affected with sleeping disorders. Approximately 12 million Americans have Restless Legs Syndrome, a sleep and movement disorder characterized by unpleasant (tingling, crawling, creeping and/or pulling) feelings in the legs, which cause an urge to move in order to relieve the symptoms.  

‘People with poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation exhibit increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL6), the chemical that causes inflammation throughout the body’ (Redwine et al. 2000).”

The above excerpt is a short but effective overview of the way that Restless Legs Syndrome feeds off itself; ever increasing the stranglehold it has over each individual.

The original RLS-causing inflammation in your body could have been created because of a number of issues. It’s  likely that diet is involved, but there are many other possible contributors such as lifestyle, environment & toxins, alcohol consumption, stress, pregnancy, aging etc.

Once the inflammation inside you reaches a level that causes your legs to start tingling … a whole new (ugly) cycle begins!

The lack of sleep you begin to experience because of your wonky legs AS WELL AS the stress of the increasing frustration BOTH raise the existing inflammation level inside of you.

And, of course, as time goes on, it just gets worse. It’s an ugly, ugly debilitating cycle.

Your sleep gets worse, the inflammation increases. Your stress gets higher, the inflammation increases. Your anger deepens, the inflammation increases.

Yes, all the while, the RLS-causing inflammation inside of you increases, raising your inflammation and RLS to new levels.


Healing RLS requires a multi-pronged attack. You can’t just take a pill and wish it all away.  Taking a prescribed medication expecting it to rid your RLS is like closing the door to a room that is on fire expecting the fire to die out.

The inflammation inside of you is going to continue to increase and manifest in other ways. (I explain how RLS is actually a warning signal from your body, on my website

To rid yourself of RLS you need to:

1. Put a cork in where the inflammation is flowing into your life.

This means, first off, change your diet! Get the sugar, trans & saturated fats, gluten, alcinflammatoryfoodsohol, refined carbohydrates and MSG out of your life, as best you can. Give your body a chance to heal. It doesn’t have to be forever, just give it some breathing room to heal itself.

It also means that you need to learn to calm down.

Meditation, relaxation exercises and yoga have all been clinically proven to lower inflammation levels.

I still believe that no one is beyond help when it comes to RLS and inflammation. Regardless of how hopeless you think your situation is, if you’re willing to make necessary sacrifices and put in the work, you can be healed.

For some helpful tips on natural ways to put out the fire that’s raging inside your body, please visit my website

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BikramQuote1(Editor’s Note: While researching online I found this article plugging my website and I’d like to share it with you).

As a contributor to this blog I’ve spoken before about my own health, nutrition and fitness thoughts and issues.

One issue I’ve had, and which I might be able to help others with is Restless Legs Syndrome. If you’ve never had it, you won’t understand it, but if you have you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say it’s a scourge. It’s not debilitating, it’s not exactly painful, it doesn’t stop you doing things, but it does/can have a big impact on quality of life.

So, what is it?

Essentially it’s a restless creeping feeling in one’s legs, particularly in the quads/thighs, and particularly at night and particularly (for me anyway) when sitting down. It’s extremely uncomfortable and I find it at it’s worst during flights or long films, or even just sitting down in my living room watching tv.

I’ve done quite a bit of research in to it, including what people usually say are the biggest triggers (caffeine, stress, poor diet, high blood pressure) and what are the solutions (medication, quinine, stretching etc.).

However, I recently came across a website with some excellent suggestions in it about RLS, and I’m happy to give it a plug here. The chap who runs the website isn’t even selling anything, he just wants to pass on his findings. Here’s the link;

Basically, he says that RLS is completely caused by Inflammation. Now, inflammation is a whole other subject, with a whole other list of causes and symptoms.

However, his cure, which simply involves a combination of herbs which can be purchased at any health store, DOES seem to helping me a lot, so I suggest you have a think about if, if you suffer from RLS.

Two other things that have also helped are;

Bikram Yoga, and again, that’s a whole other subject, which I’ll come back to some day.
ProArgi9 from Synergy Worldwide. The reason I think Pro Argi helps with RLS is that it creates Nitric Oxide in the body and therefore has a big impact on circulation, blood flow (and possibly inflammation) thereby helping the legs to relax, including when seated or lying down at night time.

So, that’s my tuppence worth on Restless Legs Syndrome, a nasty little affliction, and I hope the above may be of some help to fellow sufferers!

Ken Cowley has a background in the leisure industry and sales, and wants to further explore all aspects of health, fitness and wellness and share this with friends and colleagues along the way.

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arterial-and-venous-circulation-of-the-legsThere are a number of simple ways to boost circulation. Simply standing up and walking more frequently can work wonders.

You can also stretch, touch your toes, and practice deep breathing. Strengthening your circulation is especially important for people in office jobs, as sitting for many hours is known to be bad for your health on a number of levels, specifically cardiovascular.

I particularly recommend an ancient and extensively researched Tibetan herbal formula ( find out more here: ) which has been shown in clinical studies to support circulation and cardiovascular health, along with other benefits. The formula includes Iceland moss, costus root, cherubic myrobalan, and other more unusual botanicals. In addition to boosting circulation, the formula also supports cellular health and immunity and provides antioxidant protection, demonstrated in more than 40 years of published studies.

We’re still learning about RLS, so I would encourage people to keep an eye on emerging research. However, by combining moderate exercise and minor lifestyle changes, together with circulation-boosting formulas and essential minerals, people struggling from RLS may find significant relief.

Even better, by supporting circulation and cardiovascular health, they can help lower their risk for heart disease and other serious conditions.

DrEliaz_BioPic-150x150Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc, integrates Western medicine with his extensive knowledge of traditional Chinese, Tibetan, ayurvedic, homeopathic, and complementary medical systems. With more than 25 years of clinical experience and research, Dr. Eliaz has a unique holistic approach to the relationship between health and disease, immune enhancement, detoxification, and cancer prevention and treatment. For more health and wellness information, visit

This article originally appeared on the website “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen”

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