Archive for The Restless Legs Diet

Histamine Intolerance, Inflammation and RLS (PART 6): NATURAL ANTIHISTAMINES

ImageFinding the right combination of natural antihistamines and dietary food intake is going to take a bit of time. Please don’t try and fix yourself in one day! Try out a couple of the natural antihistamines for a few days, and see how your body reacts. Make a few substitutions in your diet, and see if you can notice a difference.

It’s all about patience, the willingness to experiment, and most importantly … listening to your body.

from wisegeek.com
A natural antihistamine is a substance found in nature that can fight against histamines in the bloodstream. Antihistamines can treat allergies, colds, and sinus problems by blocking histamines and alleviating symptoms caused by excess histamines in the blood.

Histamines are a defense mechanism used by the body to protect against organisms it views as a threat. When an allergen is encountered, the body releases histamines into the blood to fight against the perceived intruder.

from Healthy Skin Care

Vitamin C
In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant and immune booster, some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin c can help reduce sensitivity to allergens and reduce inflammation, mucus production, and wheezing. Researchers at Arizona State University indicated that taking 2000mg of vitamin c per day reduces histamine levels in the blood by up to 40%. In order to act as a natural antihistamine the dose is usually greater than 1000mg per day.

(Editor’s Note: Many studies have shown that Vitamin C is an energy booster, so I highly recommend that you don’t take it later than mid-afternoon in order for it not to interfere with your sleep).

ImageQuercitin
is a bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids are potent nutrients that help maintain the health of collagen in the body. The firmness of the skin is due to collagen and so quercitin plays a role in preventing the anti-aging of skin and more specifically preventing the sagging of skin. Because quercitin and other bioflavonoids aid in improving the health of capillaries, connective tissues, and circulation, they also help treat bruising and varicose veins. Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants that also boost immunity and can aid in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cataracts, cancer, help to regulate blood sugar, help in respiratory problems such as asthma, and prevent inflammation.

In addition to the above stated benefits, quercitin falls into the group of natural antihistamines that will not cause drowsiness. Quercitin can be very effective in preventing the release of histamine from cells and can be used to treat allergy symptoms such as swollen nasal passages, congestion, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes and nose, and skin conditions such as dermatographism, psoriasis, and eczema. On the other hand, non-natural antihistamines work differently. They do not prevent the release of histamine, but rather they block the action of histamine at receptor sites.

Natural antihistamines such as quercitin can be found in apples, grapefruit and some other citrus fruits, cherries, raspberries, red grapes, yellow and red onions, leafy vegetables, red wine, green tea, black tea, evening primrose, squash, shallots, courgettes and broccoli, blue-green algae, and capsium or “chili peppers”.

Uritca urens is an herb that has been used for many centuries because of its natural antihistamine properties. This herb is a rich source of quercitin.

Quercitin also helps boost the benefits of vitamin c and visa versa and therefore are often taken together.

There is no set dosage for how much quercitin should be taken. Some recommend 1,200mg per day, while others suggest not going over 500mg per day to be absolutely sure of no problems, although no side effects have been reported. Dosages should be discussed with a physician and/or in consultation with a qualified nutritionist.

Bromelain
is an enzyme from pineapples that is an effective natural anti-inflammatory compound. It improves the absorption of quercitin and other bioflavonoids and therefore, natural antihistamine products often contain bromelain as well.

(Editor’s Note: Some companies like NOW Brand have supplements that are a combination of Quercitin and Bromelain).

ImagePycnogenol
also falls into the bioflavonoid group of natural antihistamines. Like quercitin, this bioflavonoid will not make you drowsy and is very effective at preventing the release of histamine from mast cells. Some laboratory studies have shown that this natural antihistamine can block up to 70 per cent of histamine released when an individual is exposed to an allergen.

Pycnogenol is obtained from the extract of the bark of the French maritime pine, which grows in Les Landes in southwest France. Suggested dosage is around 300mg per day.

Many studies have been performed on pycnogenol and have shown that it is very safe. In addition to being one of the very effective natural antihistamines, it also is a powerful antioxidant and helps with a variety of conditions from diabetes to cholesterol control, menstrual disorders, asthma, other skin care problems, etc.

Grape Seed Extract
can be used as a natural antihistamine. The main active component is its high content of proanthocyanidin (OPC or PCO). Proanthocyanidin is found in red, white, and purple grapes, blueberries, cherries, and plums. The PCO is found mainly in the peels, skins, or seeds. Food processing and storage is detrimental to the amount of active proanthocyanidin available.

The PCO bioflavonoid complex can also be found in the barks of the lemon tree and the Landis pine tree, as well as the leaves of the hazelnut tree. The highest known concentration (95 per cent) of the PCO complex is found in purple grape seeds, and the second highest (80-85 per cent) in pine bark.

In addition, it has other benefits for the skin and body as well, such as: use as an anti-inflammatory, improves circulation and therefore good for varicose and spider veins and bruises, promotes healing, restores collagen and elasticity of the skin and thus good for anti-aging of the skin, strengthens weak blood vessels, arthritis, etc.

Dosage is usually 75 to 300mg daily for 3 weeks, then a reduction to a 40 to 80mg daily maintenance dose.

Butterbur (petasites hybridus)
is an herbaceous plant found in Europe and parts of North Africa and Asia. It is a plant with heart shaped leaves that enjoys damp marshy areas and sometimes is referred to as bog rhubarb.

For many years, butterbur was used to treat migraines. Recent research (in 2005) by Swiss and German scientists compared the butterbur extract versus other non-natural antihistamines. The conclusion from the study was that butterbur was as effective as an antihistamine as the other products, but with fewer side effects such as drowsiness.

Extracts from the butterbur plant need to be processed in order to eliminate some of the existing toxic components. This is the main concern about the use of butterbur, although proper processing of the extract would eliminate this problem. Many would like to see more safety information and research being produced before recommending it for long-term use.

Butterbur extracts are not recommended for individuals under 12 years of age, people with kidney or liver problems, or pregnant or lactating women. Consultation with a physician is highly recommended before considering the use of this product.

Green tea
also falls into the group of natural antihistamines. Green tea contains quercitin and catechins, which possess antihistamine properties. Two to three cups of green tea a day is required in order to obtain the antihistamine benefits. Green tea extract supplements are also available.

Honeycomb
can be used as a natural antihistamine. The active component in honeycomb that possesses mild antihistamine properties is propolis.

Simply chew a small square of honeycomb up to three times daily or add honeycomb to tea, etc., instead of sugar.

Magnesium
Natural antihistamines may also include certain minerals. For example, magnesium is one such mineral. Dosage as a supplement is typically in the 400 – 800mg per day range. Certain foods are also good sources of magnesium – plants, grains, meat, and fish. More specifically the top magnesium containing foods are: pumpkin and squash seed kernels, Brazil nuts, bran cereal, halibut, quinoa, spinach, and almonds.

L-Histadine
is an essential amino acid in the body that can prevent excessive histamine production. One or two 500mg capsules three times daily are usually required.

from Allergy Relief Help

Modern Alternative Health

and better nutrition

ImageStinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica)
has been used for its herbal quality for centuries. Other than being used for allergies, nettle is commonly used for inflammation and water retention. The leaves contain biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. They can also be used as a diuretic. The leaves have also been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease.  The roots contain unique and helpful qualities in similar and different ways from the leaves. Also useful as a diuretic, the root has been known to assist in prostate problems and treatment, including BPH (an enlarged prostate). An infusion of the plant also stems intern bleeding and can be used to lessen and control excessive menstruation.  Similar infusions have also been used to treat hemorrhoids and skin complaints like eczema.

Stinging nettle’s leaf contains a quality that blocks histamine receptors. This quality means that the leaf can function just as a common allergy treatment such as Allegra or Claritin as a histamine blocker but has none of the side effects that those drugs carry.

The best ways to receive the benefits of the plant as a histamine blocker are to either take a supplement or make a nettle infusion. Taking a supplement of freeze dried extract provides you with the best possible option as a supplement – the activity of the leaves are biologically preserved in the freeze drying process. A dosage of 300 mg 2-3 times a day should keep allergies at bay.

Making an infusion of the leaves is also a successful way to treat and prevent allergies, much more effective than a tea. A trip around the web will give you multiple recipes for infusions. Most lead to a recipe of 1 cup of dried leaves to 1 quart of water. Some people recommend boiling the water and then having the leaves steep/set for 8-10 hours. Others recommend using the sun as the heating element for the process. I’m going to start with hot water while the temperatures are still unpredictable and then move to sun steeping once spring is solidly here. (I am also waiting until this little boy is born before I start taking infusions.)

The primary antihistamine herb is STINGING NETTLE, which is one of the most popular herbs among those seeking natural allergy relief.  One study found that it may offer relief to people with hayfever.  Sixty-nine patients completed the study.  Of these 58 percent rated the freeze-dried preparation of stinging nettle effective.  Forty-eight percent said it worked as well or better than their conventional medications.  Typical dosage:  300 mgs. of freeze-dried nettle in capsules two or three times per day.

Some researchers think one of the active components is a bioflavonoid, others think polysaccharides are responsible, still others say lectins deserve the credit. But whatever the final determination of the active ingredients, nettle loses its antiallergy power if not harvested and processed correctly. Look for a high-quality powdered product that has been freeze-dried or specially processed to retain the active ingredients. This special processing costs more, so don’t be seduced by cheap imitations.

Use nettle when you would otherwise use an antihistamine drug to stop your misery. Many people take up to 3,000 mg per day of nettle leaf powder in capsules to relieve the temporary symptoms of hay fever and other allergic reactions, including animal allergies. Symptoms often begin to improve within 15 minutes, and the effect typically lasts for about four hours. The studied dosage is 300 mg twice a day of freeze-dried nettle leaf.

from Cybele Pascal on CybelePascal.com

Flavonoids
such as Quercetin are a group of plant pigments that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine that helps stabilize mast cells to prevent both the manufacture and release of histamine, as well as other allergic and inflammatory compounds. Good sources of Quercetin are citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes and berries.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
are thought to reduce allergic reactions through their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in such foods as cold-water fish (think salmon), and walnuts, but since this is a blog devoted to food allergy sufferers, I prefer to recommend you get your Omega-3s from less allergenic sources, such as hemp seeds, flax seed oil, canola oil, and grass-fed meat.

from One Good Thing By Jillee

ImageLavender, Lemon and Peppermint
For a couple of months now I have been dealing with the most random ailments. Things I’ve never dealt with before. But the two most tormenting things have been itching (all over) and swelling in my ankles. No matter WHAT I tried I couldn’t find relief! I would find temporary relief with a few natural remedies for the itching…but since it wasn’t dry skin related they really didn’t last. The swollen ankles were impervious to anything I tried!

UNTIL my sister Rebecca (Camp Wander) recommended I try something new. Through her work and research with essential oils she has become more and more convinced that many chronic medical issues stem from an allergic response our body is having to toxins. Toxins that our bodies are bombarded with every day from our drinking water, to our health and beauty products, to the materials used to build and furnish our homes!

So by following this line of thinking it makes sense that an antihistamine of some sort would help with this allergic reaction. No? YES! And, according to my sister, the combination of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils can create a powerful all-natural antihistamine. These three oils together can cool down body inflammation resulting from the body’s allergic response.

I’m going to get technical for just a minute…so bear with me. From what I understand, when an allergen of some kind (which could be a myriad of different things) enters the body, something called IGE antibodies begin releasing histamines that trigger an inflammatory response in the body. Cells start to release fluid and SWELL. The exact symptom I was having.

After Rebecca explained all this to me it made so much sense, and I was eager to give it a try! I’ve been taking the LLP combination faithfully since then and have seen an almost COMPLETE elimination of my symptoms. The itching is MUCH better (with just an occasional flare-up) and my ankles are finally back to their normal size and shape! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am about this!

While the typical recommendation for using LLP as an antihistamine is to combine equal parts Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint essential oils with 1 part fractionated coconut oil and rub it on your feet twice a day, my sister suggested I try taking it internally. At first I was a bit worried about this because I know how STRONG those oils are! But then she told me about these “gelatin capsules” (which I found at my local health food store for about 5 bucks) and I was off and running and haven’t looked back! I faithfully fill and swallow 3 capsules a day with 3 drops each of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint in them. For me, it has made all the difference in the world.

from LiveStrong

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
can be found growing in the woodlands and meadows of many parts of North America. Its gnarled underground root is collected for medicinal use. Goldenseal possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in combating the effects of histamine. Goldenseal has been nicknamed the “cure-all” herb because it can be used for a wide range of ailments, including periodontal problems, eczema, heartburn, infections and painful menstruation. AltMD.com advises only taking goldenseal for short periods — not more than three weeks at time — because it can build up in your tissues and become toxic.

Horny Goat Weed
is a member of the Epimedium genus of plants; in traditional Chinese medicine, it is known as yin yang huo. This herb is native to parts of China and Korea, being used to relieve some of the symptoms caused by the body’s release of histamine. Horny goat weed has some anti-inflammatory properties, which may account for its effectiveness in treating hay fever. Horny goat weed should only be used for a short time, and it should not be used if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart disease or are taking any type of steroids.

Papaya
is very rich in vitamin C; each piece of whole fruit contains more than 300 percent of the recommended daily allowance, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods website. In addition to the antioxidant vitamins, enzymes found in papaya can help regulate inflammatory response in your body. “The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook” suggests that eating papaya or drinking its juices may act as an antihistamine and relieve the itching associated with hives.

from Colette Bouchez on WebMD  

ImageAcupuncture
In addition to whatever natural treatments you try on your own, you may also find significant relief visiting a practitioner of the ancient Chinese medical practice known as acupuncture. Based on the idea that stimulating points outside the body can change or initiate reactions inside, in this case treatment is thought to affect the immune system, where allergic reactions begin.

In a small but significant study of 26 hay fever patients published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture reduced symptoms in all 26 — without side effects. A second study of some 72 people totally eliminated symptoms in more than half, with just two treatments.

Acupuncture can be particularly useful if you are suffering from multiple allergies, since it works to quiet the areas of the immune system that are overstimulated by exposure to multiple irritating factors.

from Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. on acufinder.com

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
is rich in anti-histamine properties. The flowers can be crushed and used as a poultice for inflammatory swelling. Make a tea and drink 2-3 times a day. Chamomile can cause histaminic allergic reactions in some very sensitive people. If this occurs, simply discontinue.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
is a widely used herbal remedy for treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. This purple coneflower has shown to have antihistamine properties.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Hailed the “mushroom of immortality”, one of my favorite natural remedies is Reishi (Ling Zhi). Japanese researchers have found that reishi acts as an antihistamine, making it useful for treating allergies. “Lanostan”, a compound found in reishi, appears to control the release of transmitting chemicals in the body, thereby inhibiting the release of histamine. Since reishi also promotes the adrenal function and immune reaction, it has added effectiveness in controlling the body’s reaction to an allergen.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
is a natural antihistamine, as well as having antiseptic properties to help purge infections. The essential oil has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi.

from Jeanie Lerche Davis on WebMD

ImageTea
is considered a superfood — whether it’s black, green, white, or oolong tea. All those tea types come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The leaves are simply processed differently. Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo crushing and fermenting processes.

All teas from the Camellia plant are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables, according to long-time tea researcher John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.

Studies of humans, animals, and petri-dish experiments show that tea is high beneficial to our health. Research suggests that regular tea drinkers — people who drink two cups or more a day — have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL cholesterol, and recover from heart attacks faster. There’s also evidence that tea may help fight ovarian and breast cancers.

Tea also helps soothe stress and keep us relaxed. One British study found that people who drank black tea were able to de-stress faster than those who drank a fake tea substitute. The tea drinkers had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

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Histamine Intolerance, Inflammation and RLS (PART 5): TREATMENT

ImageI have thoroughly scoured the web to see if there is a supplement or herb on the market that can naturally and effectively increase the level of DAO (you’ll read below that this is the enzyme the keeps the histamine levels in check). There are a few products on the market, but the reviews are POOR. I don’t recommend that you purchase them. My belief is that you’ll find more success in using natural antihistamines along with a low histamine diet.

However, there have been several scientific studies that show how copper increases the activity of the DAO enzyme. There is a direct relationship between the two.

“Copper supplementation of adult men: effects on blood copper enzyme activities and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk.” Jones AA, DiSilvestro RA, Coleman M, Wagner TL. Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1295

“Although copper had no significant effects on any parameter for the entire study group, it did significantly increase two enzyme activities (SOD and DAO), as well as lipoprotein oxidation lag times, in 10 subjects in the lower half of a median split for precopper values. Thus, copper supplementation appeared to influence some types of measurements in subjects beginning with less than median values.”

There are a lot of options available to you (many of them are listed below). There are tests available, diets, books, websites and blogs that can guide you and help you to lessen your histamine level. By lessening your histamines, your inflammation will lessen, which in turn will lower the intensity of your Restless Legs. It will also help you to sleep better. What more could you ask for.

Because you have Restless Legs, you’ll have to keep in mind that sugary histamine inhibitors like chocolate are not an option for you. It’s important to keep the main Restless Legs triggers in mind (sugar, msg, alcohol, caffeine, gluten etc.) when you’re developing your low histamine diet.

It’s a bit of a challenge, but it’s not hopeless. I’ve done it, as have many others. All I can tell you that it’s worth every sacrifice and effort that you’ll need to make.

PART 5 of this series on Histamine Intolerance, Inflammation and RLS will feature a MASSIVE list of natural antihistamines for you to choose from.

from Healthy Pixels
Copper is required to form the DAO enzyme and copper deficiency associates with low DAO enzyme activity in animals. More research is necessary to confirm that copper supplementation increases DAO activity. Foods high in copper include fresh basil, cocoa powder, cashews, soybeans (mature), herbal tea, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans and lentils.

from Dr. Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, Ph.D., R.D. on Swanson Health Products
Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an essential enzyme in the body that breaks down histamine. The body then takes the break-down products (called imidazole compounds) and excretes them through the kidneys into the urine. When the body’s level of histamine exceeds its requirements, DAO breaks down the excess so that histamine is kept within the “normal” level. A normal level of histamine is required for its vital control of some brain and digestive tract functions, and immune defenses. If a person has a slightly lower level of DAO, or has eaten too many foods with high levels of histamine that exceed their enzyme’s capacity to break down the excess quickly enough, signs of histamine excess result. Each person has his or her own “limit of tolerance,” which is determined by his or her DAO’s ability to keep histamine at a tolerable level.

Once a person feels comfortable, he or she might try one histamine-rich food, while continuing to take DAO. If they do not develop the familiar signs of histamine excess, they should be able to eat the occasional histamine-rich food while continuing to take a DAO supplement. This should allow them to be less rigid in their dietary choices and to eat some of the high-histamine foods they especially enjoy on occasions. It’s important to recognize, however, that while DAO can help maintain a healthy histamine tolerance, a person can still exceed his or her limit.

Finding a balance really depends on your body’s ability to handle histamine. People who have very low levels of natural DAO will need to restrict their histamine-rich foods as well as taking a regular DAO supplement. If you experience only the occasional “histamine reaction” after indulging in too many histamine-containing foods you should be able to simply take a natural supplement when you plan to consume high-histamine foods and beverages such as wine and cheese at a party, or a large pepperoni pizza with double cheese and tomato sauce.

It is possible for anyone to exceed his or her DAO’s capacity to break down their excess histamine. For example, people who have quite normal levels of DAO may break out in hives after eating a large basket of strawberries. I have a client who breaks out in hives due to histamine excess when she eats ripe cherries from the tree in her garden; however, she can eat unripe cherries without difficulty because the unripe fruit has not yet produced a high level of histamine. Many people seem to develop a stuffy nose after consuming alcohol, especially if they consume a high-histamine food at the same time. Beer and pizza is a common combination that often results in headache, not so much from too much alcohol (although of course that will happen on occasion!) but from the excess histamine. If a person regularly experiences these signs after eating high-histamine foods it would be a good idea for them to try taking DAO prior to eating, and to find out if this helps. But again, I do want to caution that it is important to visit a health professional if your experience seems like it may be due to an allergy. We certainly do not want to encourage people to self-diagnose something that could truly be a medical condition. But in those instances where allergy is ruled out, histamine excess could be in play and in my experience, DAO has proven to be very helpful for many people.

Imageby Jamie Scott on That Paleo Guy
The main treatment is adherence to a low histamine diet. This is quite a separate entity to a histamine-free diet which would be practically impossible to adhere to, nor is it required for the patient to enjoy relieve from the typical symptoms of histamine intolerance. The key is to identify low histamine-containing and inducing foods and to bulk up the diet with these foods. I advise people to run a three day rolling average with their histamine loads. This allows a degree of freedom to perhaps consume some higher histamine foods, e.g. bacon, but still stay on top of histamine levels overall.

Once awareness is created around which foods are highest in histamine, constructing a low histamine ‘paleo’ diet is actually relatively easy to do. It is also important to recognise that a degree of additional tolerance is gained by removing the major inflammatory agents from the diet (grains, sugars & vegetable oils) – something that should already be taking place within the context of a paleo diet and which may explain either the full or partial relief people experience when they begin eating such a diet.

Where high histamine foods are unavoidable (e.g. you want to drain a bottle of red one night), then prophylactic dosing with antihistamines may buy you a bit of extra breathing space. However, in the general run of things, the taking of antihistamines appears to not add any additional benefit over the adherence to a low histamine diet. If an individual has been following a low nutrient diet for some time, then perhaps additional vitamin B6, copper and vitamin C may be of benefit. Diet should be assessed to ensure it is providing these nutrients in adequate amounts moving forward.

It is useful to assess all medications that are being used, including the oral contraceptive. It is quite on the cards that many of the medications that might be in play and which may interfere with histamine metabolism, are being used to treat individual symptoms of histamine intolerance, e.g. blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, and (ironically) histamine antagonists.

from Purehealth Clinic
Histamine intolerance (HIT) is defined as an intolerance to histamine. The cause can be a lack of the DAO enzyme needed to break down histamine, or be a discrepancy between DAO and histamine. In other words, you could have a high or normal level of blood histamine but not enough DAO to break it down. There is a test to measure the levels of DAO enzyme you have in your system to see if the lack of enzyme is your problem.

from Allergy UK
It should be noted that allergy tests measuring IgE levels, such as skin prick testing and specific IgE blood tests for these foods will be negative. This is because reactions to histamine are not caused by an IgE food allergy – the cause is histamine intolerance.

Diagnosis of histamine intolerance is usually made by a person trialling a low-histamine diet for a couple of weeks, and seeing if their symptoms improve. Blood tests that claim to be helpful in measuring levels of histamine or the level of the enzyme that normally breaks histamine down are not reliable.

Food exclusion should always be followed by a period of reintroduction in order to confirm a diagnosis. If this is not done the diet can easily become over restricted and unmanageable.  At worst it can become nutritionally deficient.

Imagefrom Healthy Pixels
If any type of food allergy is suspected, consult with an allergist and start carefully taking notes about diet and symptoms. ChartMySelf.com can help you keep online records of your health. Blood tests for both immediate and delayed food allergies are available to doctors from Great Plains Laboratory, US Biotek and many others. Depending on the type of allergy exposure and related damage, a body may require days, weeks, or even months to fully recover.

Histamine on the horizon
We can now begin to imagine how to change our diet, avoid certain drugs, and adjust our lifestyles to better regulate our histamine levels. By first identifying our allergens through food or skin tests, we can reduce exposure and dramatically empty our “histamine bucket” and lower inflammation. Even if we have no allergies to avoid, we can improve our ability to breakdown non-allergic histamine with C and B vitamins. Ideally we can better prepare our bodies to handle histamine “spikes” as needed for fighting disease, increasing motivation, or simply tolerating delicious leftovers.

We desperately need a way to identify and “scan” histamine content in our food and supplements prior to purchase and consumption. Packages can differ widely based on their microscopic bacteria content – even within expiration dates. Austrian scientists have made suggestions for tolerable levels for certain foods including sausage, fish and cheese, but we need global standards for all foods and awareness of the risks surrounding fish, fermented foods, canned meats, alcohol, prepackaged meals and other high-risk products.

Similarly, daily tracking of our own histamine metabolism would help guide our diet and lifestyle. Recognizing the triggers can help us map our journey to good health and beyond!

Imagefrom Judy Tsafrir, M.D. of Boston Holistic Psychiatrist
I stopped eating left overs. I cooked smaller pots of food and froze the left overs in individual containers. I stopped eating cheeses, bacon and avocado. I began eating more salads. Most foods contain histamine, so you cannot have a histamine free diet like you can have a gluten free diet. But it is the relative quantity of histamine in relationship with your own capacity to handle it that translates into symptoms. I clearly was overwhelming my capacity to metabolize the histamine quantity that I was ingesting.

Within days of instituting the dietary changes, I slept better than I have in years; very deeply and I dreamt. This is unusual for me. I have had insomnia since I was a child, probably due to life long undiagnosed histamine intolerance. A sense of calm and peace replaced the chronic anxiety I was experiencing, my spirits lifted and I felt much less tired and more alert. Given the strength and immediacy of my response to lowering the histamine content of my diet, I believe that histamine intolerance should be considered in every case of anxiety disorder, depression, sleep and attentional disorders, especially if a person is aware of food sensitivity issues. My father could not tolerate eggs, shellfish, strawberries and alcohol, all which either contain high levels of histamine or liberate histamine. There may be genetic vulnerabilities.

Imagefrom The Failsafe Diet
FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. It was originally designed to treat ADHD children, but has proven useful for a wide range of symptoms.

FAILSAFE is Sue Dengate‘s term for the low-chemical exclusion diet formulated by allergists at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia. It is designed to treat sensitivities to specific natural and man-made flavouring, colouring and preservative chemicals found in foods.

Sensitivities to food chemicals are pharmacological and dose-related (like the side effects of drugs), rather than immune-mediated like allergies. Different people have dramatically different tolerance levels to salicylates, amines, glutamates, sulphites, food colourings and other additives, and sensitivity symptoms (intolerances), occur when a person’s tolerance levels are exceeded.

The symptoms caused by food chemicals appear to be allergy-like which can make determining their true cause very confusing. Despite food chemical intolerance being more common than true allergy, a lack of knowledge about this syndrome means that the symptoms are rarely understood properly by the layperson or the medical practitioner. There are specific metabolic reasons for these symptoms.

The failsafe diet excludes strong tasting and smelling foods and environmental chemicals, in particular:

About fifty additives including colours (like tartrazine, sunset yellow), flavours, preservatives and antioxidants (sulphites, nitrates, benzoates, sorbates, parabens).
Salicylates (aspirin) and polyphenols (natural flavours, colours and preservatives) found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables as well as in man-made NSAIDs and COX II inhibitors.
Neurotransmitters: free glutamates (MSG) and amines (histamine, serotonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine, tyramine and others) in aged proteins and fermented foods like cheese, game and hung meat.
Environmental chemicals and strong smells like perfumes, most commercial cosmetics, scented and coloured toiletries and especially mint and menthol products.
Some pharmaceutical drugs, including aspirin, all NSAIDS including ibuprofen, and the methyl-salicylates found in decongestants and anti-inflammatory creams.

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Back to the Basics: A Refresher

ImageI’m going to post answers to the THREE most common questions I’ve been asked over the past few years.

QUESTION ONE: “What brand of herb/supplements should I buy and how many should I take of each?”

ANSWER: When I started along the anti-inflammatory path, I focused all of my research energy on “what” to take rather than spending time doing any sort of brand comparisons.

For instance, when I first learned about the benefits of curcumin, I started taking whatever brand the health food store happened to have. If they had several brands, I would choose one at random (probably based solely on the packaging).

I now know that curcumin, because of the difficulty our bodies have to absorb its beneficial elements, varies a great deal from brand to brand. In fact, there are now companies producing a “super absorbent” curcumin, that I wish I had known about when I started out.

As far as the dosage goes, I suggest that you always start with the recommended dosage stated on the label. After awhile, when you become more in tune with your body, you can add or subtract as you feel is necessary.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind, that you don’t have to take the exact supplements or herbs that I recommend on my website. ANYTHING that helps fight inflammation is highly recommended. There are many new herbs and supplements I’ve discovered along that way that I wish I’d known about. I would have added some of them into my daily intake.

For instance, I would have definitely taken Systemic Enzymes if I had known about them. Later in my recovery I started taking another powerful anti-inflammatory called astaxanthin. There are many other anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements on the market that can help you.

I highly recommend that you go “outside the box” and try a variety of anti-inflammatory supplements and herbs – ones that feel right for you. Create your own personal cure.

ImageQUESTION TWO: “How long will it take before my legs start feeling better?”

ANSWER: There is no standard recovery time. Recovery is something that is unique to each individual based on a massive list of factors including lifestyle, diet, size, stress level, genetics, environmental issues, alcohol intake, prescription drugs being taken etc.

 

 

QUESTION THREE: “I have very extreme RLS and am beyond repair.”

ANSWER: I guess this is not really a question, it’s more of a statement, but one I hear over and over again.

ImageSure, we’d all like to have the worst case of RLS in the history of the world. If you’re going to have it, you may as well be all alone on the top of the mountain.

However, the true nature of the “disease” never changes … no matter how much worse you think yours is compared to everyone else, it all comes down to this simple formula:

LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RESTLESS LEGS

The key to success, as I’ve eluded to in Question Two, is to determine WHAT is causing the  inflammation in your body, especially your legs. In other words, what is going on in your life or diet that is causing cell damage?

So, no one is ever beyond repair as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

To find out what is causing the inflammation in your body takes a lot of experimentation. Yes, there are many obvious foods and beverages that have to be eliminated, including coffee, alcohol, sugar, excessive salt, and many other goodies … but for some cases it goes even beyond this.

Maybe you’re like me, and dairy doesn’t agree with your body. Perhaps rice, eggs or pasta. Maybe it’s strawberries?

All of us that have RLS, whether mild, or extreme, have to find out through our own personal life experiment, what agrees with our body and what doesn’t.

As you’re able to discover this, your RLS will lessen. It’s basic physiology and the bottom line is never going to change, and is worth repeating.

LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RESTLESS LEGS

Here’s a good place to start  for some basic information on inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods.

 

 

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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 www.RLcure.com 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?”

Comments (4)

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.  www.inflammationfactor.com

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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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.

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