Posts Tagged alternative medicine

Participants sought for restless legs study

Individuals with restless or unpleasant feelings in their legs at night or at rest, that are relieved by movement are needed. We are studying the possible benefits of yoga versus an educational film program for reducing symptoms of restless legs syndrome. Participants will attend up to two classes per week in Morgantown for 12 weeks. The study also involves two visits to WVU to complete questionnaires. Compensation is $150 upon completion of this research study. IRB approval on file (1505699758)

For additional information, contact:

  • WVU School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  • Caitlin Montgomery, MPH
  • 304.293.2082, cmontgo2@mix.wvu.edu

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“The Common Causes of Restless Legs Syndrome” by Dr. Aaron Ernst

AskDrErnstRestless legs syndrome is a seemingly unique condition and the cause is often difficult to pinpoint.

Few things are more frustrating than lying in bed at night, exhausted, but not being able to fall asleep because of an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. It seems so strange, doesn’t it? This phenomenon, known as restless legs syndrome (RLS), affects between 4% and 29% of adults in Western populations, and is a major contributor to sleep loss.

Pinpointing the cause of RLS has been an active research topic for years, but the condition is still not fully understood. The symptoms have been convincingly linked to impaired dopamine function in the brain, but the cause of this dysfunction is still being explored. Here are my top causes:

1. Systemic Inflammation & Immune Dysregulation (Subluxation)

One review paper published in 2012 investigated health conditions that were reported to Acute pain in a woman hand. Isolation on a white backgroundcause or exacerbate RLS symptoms, and found that 95% of the health conditions that are associated with RLS have an inflammation or immune component. As further evidence, an elevated blood level of C-reactive protein (a marker of systemic inflammation) has been associated with increased RLS severity.

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 vitamin D 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 & reduce the stressors to the central nerve system and spine. Often we see the issue target to L5/S1 regions.

2. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and IBS

A recent study found that 69% of RLS patients also had SIBO, compared with only 28% of control subjects. They also found that 28% of RLS patients had IBS, compared to only 4% of controls. And according to the 2012 review I mentioned above 32% of the health conditions associated with RLS are also associated with SIBO. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past neurological interference & gut infections are often the culprit—even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms—its worth getting your gut tested.

What to do: If you have RLS and suspect you may have SIBO or a gut issue its best to get tested to find our what is going on in there. Generally speaking, the intestines need to be flushed or cleansed then re-inoculated with healthy living strains of bacteria. Your typical probiotic won’t be able to do that. Overall the best approach is to follow a ketosis diet with bone broth until symptoms subside (and your SIBO tests are normal), and then gradually re-introduce fermented foods and probiotics.

3. Vitamin D Deficiency

One of the most-researched theories about the cause of restless legs syndrome is impaired dopamine signaling, which has led to the conventional treatment of RLS by dopamine agonists (i.e. chemicals that can bind to and activate dopamine receptors). Unfortunately, these treatments can become less effective over time, and can even result in a worsening of symptoms.

vitaminThis is where vitamin D comes into play. The role of vitamin D in dopamine signaling is only beginning to be investigated, but some evidence indicates that vitamin D could play an important role by increasing levels of dopamine and its metabolites in the brain, as well as protecting dopamine-associated neurons from toxins.

RLS has been associated with vitamin D deficiency in several studies, and disease severity has been inversely correlated with vitamin D levels. One study has also found that vitamin D supplementation improved the severity of RLS symptoms.

What to do: If you have RLS, one of the easiest first steps you can take is to get your vitamin D levels tested. A good range to shoot for is typically between 40-60 ng/mL. If you have an autoimmune disease or another chronic health condition, optimal levels are between 60-80 ng/mL. One way to supplement vitamin D is through taking it directly. And of course, you should get regular sun exposure.

We’re still learning more and more about this syndrome, and hopefully we’ll come to some truly concrete answers soon enough. But as is so often the case, watching your nutrition and lifestyle goes a really long way in taking care of these sorts of issues.

This information originally appeared on the “Ask Dr. Ernst” website.
https://askdrernst.com/common-causes-restless-leg-syndrome

Dr. Aaron Ernst completed his undergraduate education in pre-medicine/biology at Messiah University in Grantham, PA. As a first generation holistic practitioner, he began his career with a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, MO.  While in Missouri, Dr. Aaron began helping patients rebuild their health in a Maximized Living Health center, which was the largest wellness clinic in Missouri. His experience has led him to spend countless hours studying and researching to create procedures and protocols to rebuild health naturally. Dr. Aaron has traveled all over North America, Europe and Africa teaching the principles of Maximized Living and educating all generations on gaining victory over disease naturally.

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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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“RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME – A SCOURGE, BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS” by Ken Cowley. Heart Disease Miracle Blog

BikramQuote1(Editor’s Note: While researching online I found this article plugging my website http://www.rlcure.com 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; http://www.rlcure.com

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.
65f064ee487967f293f01ed3d9500b3c
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. http://www.heartdiseasemiracle.com

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“STRENGTHENING CIRCULATION TO LESSEN RESTLESS LEGS SYMPTOMS” by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, LAc

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: http://www.dreliaz.org/recommended-product/tibetan-herbal-formula ) 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 http://www.dreliaz.org.

This article originally appeared on the website “Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen” http://www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com/restless-legs-syndrome

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“SURPRISING HERB MAY HELP RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME” by Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2.com

St.-Johns-Wort-For-Restless-Leg-Syndrome1When you think of the herb St. John’s Wort you probably think of depression. But new research published in the medical journal Clinics found that you might also want to consider this herb to help with Restless Leg Syndrome.

Officially known as Willis Ekbom’s disease, Restless Leg Syndrome is a common condition affecting the nervous system and characterized by jumpy legs that can’t remain still at night. It’s not a dangerous condition but it can be uncomfortable for sufferers and can interfere with quality of sleep and life.

The study is called “Saint John’s wort, an herbal inducer of the cytochrome P4503A4 isoform, may alleviate symptoms of Willis-Ekbom’s disease” by José Carlos Pereira et al.

The study found that St. John’s Wort effectively boosted certain liver enzymes that tend to drop to low levels in individuals suffering from restless legs. Researchers believe that the herb’s effectiveness in the pilot study may be attributed to the significant enzyme boost, resulting in a calming effect on restless legs.

That is potentially good news for sufferers of the condition who are often placed on a drug known as pramipexole, which has many side-effects, including: fainting, dizziness, suddenly falling asleep, unexpected gambling or sexual urges, tiredness, abnormal dreams, muscle pain, difficulty walking, skin growths, weight gain, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and an increased risk of the skin cancer melanoma. Ironically, the drug can also cause unusual twitching or muscle movements, which are what sufferers of Restless Leg Syndrome are trying to alleviate when they seek medical intervention.Peelbark_St._Johns-wort_(Hypericum_fasciculatum)_(6439017119)

While the study was a small pilot study, the herb showed impressive results, improving the symptoms of 17 of the 21 participants. The study results are also invaluable considering the superior safety record of St. John’s Wort in comparison to pramipexole. Some of the potential side-effects of St. John’s Wort include: photosensitivity when taken within a few hours of direct sunlight exposure, anxiety, headaches, muscle cramps, sweating, weakness, dry mouth, or skin irritation; however, many of these symptoms tend to be infrequent.

Conversely, St. John’s Wort is commonly recommended as a treatment for: anxiety, mild to moderate depression, cancer, nerve pain, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The dosage used in the study to treat restless legs syndrome was 300 mg daily of St. John’s Wort extract for three months. For other health conditions, dosages vary greatly. For more information about dosages for other health conditions, consult my article “St. John’s Wort is for Much More than Depression.”

Because many drugs can interact with this herb it is important to check with your doctor, pharmacist, or natural health provider before taking.  Avoid taking if pregnant or nursing.

You can read the results of the study here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3634959

wwwL._UX250_Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, DNM, ROHP, PhD is an International Best-selling & Sixteen-time Book Author, Doctor of Traditional Natural Medicine. She lives in British Columbia.

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