Posts Tagged herbal remedies

Multiple Sclerosis, Restless Legs and the Amazing World of Epigenetics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THERE ARE NO HOPELESS CASES!

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

“DON’T BLAME YOUR FAMILY TREE” by Dr. Terry Wahls, MD.

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

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

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

For more information on Dr. Wahls, her recovery and her protocol please visit: http://www.terrywahls.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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“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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Dr. Stanley Lang, MD has a 90% Success Rate Treating RLS Patients over a 30 Year Period

Over 30 years ago Dr. Stanley Lang, MD developed a program to treat RLS and has been helping his patients to heal their RLS ever since (starting way back before the condition had an actual name).

His success rate is around 90% for those patients that have followed his regime.

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“Restless Legs Syndrome May be a Sign of a Bigger Health Problem” by Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, Bucks County Center for Functional Medicine

MikeJurgelewitz-059h-239x300A nationally-recognized sleep expert has published an article explaining Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) as a possible biomarker for underlying disease.

The editorial was in the March 5, 2014 issue of Neurology the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and was authored by Boston Medical Center neurologist Sanford H. Auerbach, MD.

Restless Leg Syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system. It is characterized by throbbing or other uncomfortable sensations in the legs with an uncontrollable urge to move them. Symptoms typically occur at night when a person is relaxing or getting ready for bed and can increase in severity during the night. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, which can lead to fatigue. Many people with RLS report that their job, personal relations, and activities of daily living are strongly affected as a result of their sleep deprivation. They often have difficulty concentrating and brain fog.

The editorial was in response to an analysis of 12,556 men who were followed over time by the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, published in the same issue of Neurology, which showed multiple disease associations with RLS.

The team found patients with RLS had a higher mortality rate than similar men, and showed an especially strong tendency toward cardiovascular disease and hypertension. In addition, men with RLS were more likely to be diagnosed with lung disease, endocrine disease, as well as diseases of nutrition and metabolism and immune system problems.

Researchers suggest that restless leg syndrome is a meaningful biomarker for serious disease, and that RLS screening may become more common as a tool for primary care providers to identify patients at risk.

I have had personal success with patients simply by adding magnesium and calcium at bedtime. They both calm muscles and nerves. Calming botanicals such as valerian, passion flower, lemon balm, and skullcap can also be added to support sleep and relaxation. You can also assess RBC nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium through many functional laboratories. In addition to assessing nutrient status they do play a significant role with blood pressure regulation and overall cardiovascular health. This provides a better indicator of nutrient status, compared to the serum.

I would also recommend an organic acid test. An organic acid test can identify imbalances occurring in the body that 202333-legs-bigprecede abnormal findings on a CBC or an MP. Organic acids are products of metabolism that can sensitively identify nutrient deficiencies that lead to metabolic roadblocks. Organic acids go a step further then measuring nutrient concentrations by measuring whether the nutrient is functionally adequately. Abnormal concentrations of organic acids in the urine can provide a functional marker for metabolic effects of nutrient deficiences, genetic polymorphisms, impaired enzyme function, toxic exposure, neuroendocrine activity, and intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Organic acid testing can indicate the functional need for specific nutrients, diet modification, antioxidant protection, detoxification, and other therapies.

There is also some evidence that indicates low iron levels in the brain being associated with RLS. A CBC w/diff and an Iron Panel (Serum Iron, Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC, UIBC) can identify an iron deficiency.

Restless leg syndrome may only be just a small part of the picture. It may be a simple nutrient deficiency in many cases, however, it is important to look deeper into the patient’s health. This includes thoroughly reviewing the patient’s history looking deeper into the cardiovascular system and other inflammatory markers. Looking deeper into the above factors can provide an effective treatment plan for patients with restless leg syndrome.

Dr. Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, has been studying wellness for the past 10 years. He has a B.S. degree in Health & Wellness, a B.S. degree in Anatomy, and is a Doctor of Chiropractic. He is Board Certified in Nutrition by the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition, has completed Functional Medicine University with a Certificate in Functional Medicine and has studied under both world renowned thyroid expert, Dr. Datis Kharrazian and Chiropractic Neurologist, Dr. Frederick Carrick. He is also active in continuing education through the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. http://www.thefunctionalmedicinecenter.com

sleep-auerbach-hREFERENCES

S. Auerbach, A. S. Walters. Restless legs syndrome: A predictor of lower physical function. Neurology, 2014; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000298

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