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.

THE SOLUTION:

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 http://www.rlcure.com).

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 http://www.rlcure.com

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“Acupuncture and Herbs Relieve Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)” by HealthCMi: The Healthcare Medicine Institute

acupuncture1Acupuncture and herbs alleviate restless leg syndrome (RLS). Researchers tested two forms of treatments and the findings indicate that acupuncture combined with herbal medicine is both safe and effective for the treatment of RLS. The total effective rate for acupuncture plus herbs was 95.24%.  

Restless leg syndrome (a.k.a. Willis-Ekbom disease) is characterized by a need to move the legs. The symptoms are typically worse at night and tend to lessen upon movement. An uncomfortable feeling in the legs including aching, pulling, itching, and a crawling sensation are characteristic of RLS.

The etiology of RLS is often considered unknown in biomedicine, however, several causes and exacerbating factors are known. Iron deficiency is common among RLS sufferers and is correlated with restless leg syndrome. Peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney diseases are correlated with RLS. Pregnancy related RLS typically occurs in the third trimester and usually resolves approximately one month after delivery. Several types of medications are linked to RLS including certain antiemetics, antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antidepressants.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles, RLS is closely related to Zang-Fu organ imbalances, especially in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Treatment principles including balancing yin and yang, promoting qi and blood circulation, nourishing the spleen, dredging the sanjiao meridian, and regulating the du and ren channels.

Two forms of acupuncture were tested for efficacy: body style acupuncture, eye region acupuncture. Both forms of acupuncture proved effective. The body style acupuncture included needling of the following acupoints:

Baihui, DU20
Sishenchong, extra
Fengchi, GB20
Anmian, extra
Shanzhong, REN17
Shenmen, HT7
Neiguan, PC6
Xuehai, SP10
Zusanli, ST36
Sanyinjiao, SP6
Taixi, KD3
Taichong, LV3

acupuncture2Mild reinforcing and reducing techniques were applied to acupuncture needles of 0.5 to 1.0 inches in length. Stimulation was applied to elicit deqi. Needle retention time was forty minutes per acupuncture session. Ten acupuncture treatments were applied to each participant in a period between ten and twenty days. Eye region acupuncture was applied to the following eye micro-acupuncture points: xiaojiao, liver, kidney, heart. The same frequency of treatment and session duration applied to the eye micro-acupuncture protocol of care.

Herbal medicine was given to participants receiving either type of acupuncture. The herbal formula was based on Jia Wei Xiao Yao Tang and additional herbs were added based on diagnostics. The base formula included:

Mu Dan Pi
Zhi Zi
Fu Ling
Bai Zhu
Dang Gui
Bai Shao Yao
Bo He
Gou Qi Zi
Ju Hua
Shu Di Huang
Shan Yao
Shan Zhu Yu
Ze Xie
Bai Ji Li
Zhen Zhu Me
Gui Ban
Quan Xie
Zhi Me
He Huan Pi
He Shou Wu

Additional herbs were added based on two criteria. For patients with loose stool and undigested food, Chen Pi and Bai Bian Dou were added. For patients with sticky stool, herbs were added and subtracted from the formula. Gou Qi Zi, Shan Yao, and Shan Zhu Yu (Shan Yu Rou) were supplanted with Che Qian Zi, Huang Lian, and Mu Xiang. The herbal formulas for all patients were brewed each day and served in the morning and at night.

RLS_acupointsThe high total effective rate of 95.24% for acupuncture plus herbal medicine treatments indicates that this approach to care is effective for patients with RLS. Acupuncture continuing education research focusing on additional TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) protocols of care will help to codify acupuncture and herbal medicine standards. The influences of du, taiyang, and shaoyang channel blockages on restless leg syndrome are important factors according to TCM principles. Qi and blood stasis affecting these channels due to disorders such as lumbar disc compression, IVF (intervertebral foramina) encroachment, immobility of the sacroiliac joint, and other local concerns affecting acupuncture channels of the legs warrants additional research.

References:
“Eye acupuncture and combined acupuncture and medicine in the treatment of 23 patients with restless legs syndrome.” Qin HJ. (2014). World Latest Medicine Information. 14(36).

“Restless legs syndrome categorization, diagnosis and treatment.” Wang XD. (2006). Chinese Journal of Geriatrics. 25(7): 488-490.

You can read the full article here:
http://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1576-acupuncture-and-herbs-relieve-restless-leg-syndrome-rls

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“A LITTLE-KNOWN CAUSE OF RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME” by Dr. Della Parker

Dr. Della Parker3Systemic Inflammation and Immune Dysregulation
 
Restless legs syndrome has been associated with numerous conditions involving systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation. 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. 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.
 
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 dysregulation, 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.
 
You can also check out the bonus chapter about autoimmune disease from my book, as well as explore other information on my site about reversing autoimmune disease, the autoimmune protocol, the role of the microbiome, and alternative therapies such as LDN.
 
You can read the entire article here:
Dr. Della Parker, a naturopathic doctor, was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science. She then went on to graduate from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, also in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Della has struggled with health problems throughout her life. Severe asthma and eczema as a child led her down a path of chronic steroid use, which led to many other health problems. It wasn’t until she took a job as a receptionist at a holistic health clinic that she realized how health care could be different. Making basic changes to diet and lifestyle as well as being treated with the holistic model of health, she was able to regain and take control of her health. This experience put her on the path of becoming a Naturopathic Physician. Most conventional doctors use a “cookbook” approach to treating patients. They use protocols to treat diseases while disregarding the host. This takes the functioning of the individual’s body out of the equation. Dr. Della rejects this idea and instead uses a holistic approach to treatments. Using the holistic model means that the whole person is addressed. For example, ten different patients could present with high cholesterol. They each may receive a different treatment recommendation based on the functioning of their whole body. http://www.drdellaparker.com
 

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A Japanese Study Has Found an Association Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

sleepcoverDr. Terumi Higuchi of the Department of Nephrology, Keiai Hospital, Tokyo Japan, headed a recent study to determine if there was an association between RLS, oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

The results of the study were published in the August 2015 edition of the “Sleep Medicine Journal” (Volume 16, Issue 8, Pages 941–948).

The study was called “Association of restless legs syndrome with oxidative stress and inflammation in patients undergoing hemodialysis”

In the HIGHLIGHT section of the study, Dr. Higuchi states that “Restless legs syndrome was associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.”

You can read more details about the study here:
http://www.sleep-journal.com/article/S1389-9457%2815%2900746-7/abstract?cc=y=

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A Turkish Study Reveals a LINK Between RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME and INFLAMMATION

Tezcan KayaDr. Tezcan Kaya works in the Department of Internal Medicine at Sakarya University in Adapazar, Turkey. He headed a study that was recently published in the May 29, 2015 edition of the Japanese journal “Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis”

The article was called “Relationships Between Malnutrition, Inflammation, Sleep Quality, and Restless Legs Syndrome in Hemodialysis Patients.”

Unfortunately for him, the study didn’t turn up the link he was hoping to find between malnutrition and RLS in Hemodialyis patients.

However he did state in the article that “RLS severity is correlated with inflammatory parameters.”

In non-medical terms, what he’s saying is that “when there is a higher degree of inflammation, there tends to be a higher degree of RLS.”

This completely falls in line with the formula I’ve been hitting people over the head with for the last several years:

   “LESS INFLAMMATION = LESS RLS.”

Hopefully someone will pick up on Dr. Tezcan’s findings and do some further testing.

You can read the abstract from the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031339

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A Wayne State Study is Testing the Effects of Tocotrienols (from Palm Oil) on Restless Legs Syndrome

palm-oil-fruitINTRODUCTION:

For many years I’ve waited with great hope that some day there would be a study to test the effectiveness of a natural anti-inflammatory on patients with RLS. Today, I’m extremely excited to announce that dream is coming true!

The article below gives details on a study that is underway that is going to test the effect of powerful anti-inflammatories called “Tocotrienols” on End-Stage Renal Disease (Kidney Disease) and at the same time they are going to measure its effect on Restless Legs Syndrome.

After the article I have posted some details on what Tocotrienols are, and how their anti-inflammatory benefits have tested in regard to other medical conditions.

THE STUDY:

“A team of researchers led by Pramod Khosla, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and food science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wayne State University, will study the effects of a daily supplement of a Tocotrienol-rich fraction from palm oil to see if it improves dyslipidemia, a disorder of lipoprotein metabolism that may be manifested by a decrease in the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in patients with ESRD who are on hemodialysis. Tocotrienols are a form of Vitamin E and have been shown in recent years to have diverse health effects. In addition, Khosla’s team will explore the impact on symptoms such as inflammation and symptoms related to Restless Leg Syndrome in the same cohort of patients.

Khosla believes that the supplement will also act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient, leading to improved nutritional status, lipid profiles, and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in the ESRD patients.

The three-year study, funded by a $2.4 million grant from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, a premier government agency of Malaysia, will take place in multiple dialysis centers in the United States and Malaysia. The cross-collaboration will allow the investigators to evaluate differences in dietary patterns of 800 dialysis patients in the two countries. With the patient pool in Michigan of predominantly African Americans and Caucasians and the Malaysian cohort comprised of three distinct ethnicities – Malays, Chinese and Indians – the investigators hope to shed light on possible genetic and metabolic differences in the dialysis populations. Additionally, as a significant proportion of dialysis patients suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome — an unpleasant tingling or cramping sensation that impacts the quality of life — the investigators hope to shed some light on the underlying causes for the condition.redpalmoil

“End-stage renal disease patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis experience a higher risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, Restless Leg Syndrome, insomnia and other health issues,” said Khosla. “In this study, we hope to see significant improvements in various biomarkers that should help decrease some of these complications.”

Dr. James Sondheimer, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at WSU stated “We hope to gain a better understanding of how tocotrienols, as substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, affect clinical outcomes as well as metabolic parameters.”

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-07/wsu–wss071315.php

ABOUT TOCOTRIENOLS:

Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family. An essential nutrient for the body, vitamin E is made up of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta). Tocotrienols are potent gene regulators and modulators of many enzymes involved in human health, helping to quash the inflammation, glycation, and other processes that contribute to age-related diseases. Tocotrienols are increasingly being recognized for their potential roles in protecting against cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even osteoporosis.

Tocotrienols are natural compounds found in select vegetable oils, including rice bran oil and palm oil, wheat germ, barley, saw palmetto, anatto, and certain other types of seeds, nuts, grains, and the oils derived from them. This variant of vitamin E typically only occurs at very low levels in nature.

In studies, Tocotrienols reduced plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is both a marker of and a cause in the inflammatory response that damages heart and blood vessels. They reduce other inflammatory mediators such as cytokines.

Tocotrienols are potent antioxidants, which appear to reduce the oxidant-induced inflammation that contributes to bone loss.

553f63ad3015dedf22d0017954155678Tocotrienols given to mice with pancreatic cancer significantly improved their survival. Only 10% of animals in the control group survived for the study period while 70% of those taking tocotrienols survived!1 Pancreatic cancer is a particularly fast-moving and lethal form of cancer, and this study presents a promising new treatment option. Beyond cancer, research is showing that tocotrienols have a place in reducing important risk factors for some of the most lethal chronic diseases. For example, tocotrienols have been found to promote new artery formation after a stroke, lower homocysteine levels, improve insulin sensitivity, protect vital brain circuitry, and even prevent bone loss.

In a study using rabbits, tocotrienol supplementation, after a high-fat diet, significantly lowered a host of markers of both inflammation and heart muscle damage.

Through studies, tocotrienols have been closely linked to neuroprotection through their potent antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to redirect the production of inflammatory molecules to non- or even anti-inflammatory actions.

SOURCES:

“Tocotrienol” Wikipedia  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocotrienol
“The Little-Known Benefits Of Tocotrienols” by Thomas Rosenthal http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2014/8/the-little-known-benefits-of-tocotrienols/page-01
Prasad K. Tocotrienols and cardiovascular health. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(21):2147-54.
Das S, Mukherjee S, Lekli I, et al. Tocotrienols confer resistance to ischemia in hypercholesterolemic hearts: insight with genomics. Mol Cell Biochem. 2012 Jan;360(1-2):35-45. Nazrun AS, Norazlina M, Norliza M, Nirwana SI. The anti-inflammatory role of vitamin e in prevention of osteoporosis. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2012;2012:142702.
Nizar AM, Nazrun AS, Norazlina M, Norliza M, Ima Nirwana S. Low dose of tocotrienols protects osteoblasts against oxidative stress. Clin Ter. 2011;162(6):533-8.
Muhammad N, Luke DA, Shuid AN, Mohamed N, Soelaiman IN. Two different isomers of vitamin e prevent bone loss in postmenopausal osteoporosis rat model. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:161527.
Tiwari V, Kuhad A, Bishnoi M, Chopra K. Chronic treatment with tocotrienol, an isoform of vitamin E, prevents intracerebroventricular streptozotocin-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative-nitrosative stress in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Aug;93(2):183-9.
Kaileh M , Sen R. Role of NF-kappaB in the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3 Suppl):334S-339S.

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The Link Between Stroke, Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

11111ast-stroke-posterYou may have read about a new study that’s getting a lot of press. The study shows that severe Restless Legs Syndrome is linked to increased stroke.

Here is an excerpt about the study from an article written by Megan Brooks of MedScape.

“More severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) is associated with an increased risk for stroke, particularly ischemic stroke, a new analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study II suggests.

“We were surprised at the importance of taking into account RLS severity — it was only severe RLS, not milder RLS, that was associated with increased risk of stroke,” principal investigator Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University in University Park, said in a statement.”

You can read the full article here:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846486

This is not actually news. There was a study published in 2008 that demonstrated a powerful link between Stroke and Restless Legs Syndrome.

“A new US study has found that people with restless legs syndrome (RLS) have double the risk of stroke and heart disease compared to people without RLS. The study is the work of Dr John W Winkelman, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, and is published in the Janaury 1st 2008 issue of the journal Neurology.” from “Restless Legs Linked To Increased Stroke And Heart Disease Risk” by Catharine Paddock, Medical News Today
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/92849.php

As is the case with many other diseases and conditions, logic dictates that inflammation is the common link and points to the fact that RLS is an inflammatory condition and can therefore be treated if an anti-inflammatory protocol is set into motion.

In other words, stop eating crap that messes up your body.strokex216

Here are some quotes about the link between inflammation and stroke (for more information about the link between RLS and inflammation visit http://www.RLcure.com).

“Inflammation is an all encompassing term for a complex process that entails multiple cellular, hormonal and biochemical alterations that are both systemic and organ-specific. A panalopy of acute and chronic infections as well as many exogenous and intrinsic sources of inflammation is associated with an increased risk for ischemic stroke.”  from “Inflammation and Stroke” by Bruce M. Coull, Arizona Health Science Center, University of Arizona, Department of Neurology

“Evidence continues to accumulate to suggest important roles for inflammation and genetic factors in the process of atherosclerosis and specifically in stroke. According to the current paradigm, atherosclerosis is not a bland cholesterol storage disease, as previously thought, but a dynamic, chronic, inflammatory condition due to a response to endothelial injury.”  from “Genetic and Inflammatory Mechanisms in Stroke” by Sally Sultan, MD, Columbia University Medical Center

“Recent work in the area of stroke and brain ischemia has demonstrated the significance of the inflammatory response accompanying necrotic brain injury. Acutely, this response appears to contribute to ischemic pathology, and anti-inflammatory strategies have become popular.”  from the study: “The Inflammatory Response in Stroke” by Qing Wang, MD et al. J Neuroimmunol. 2007 May 14.

“Exactly how inflammation plays a role in heart attack and stroke remains a topic of ongoing research. It appears that the inciting event in many heart attacks and some forms of stroke is buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque in blood vessels.”
Deepak Bhatt, M.D, Chief of Cardiology for the VA Boston Healthcare System (from “Inflammation and Heart Disease” The American Heart Association)

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