Posts Tagged restless legs remedy

Restless legs syndrome brain stimulation study supports motor cortex ‘excitability’ as a cause.

motor-cortex-RLS-466x335Experiments with patients suggest brain stimulation may be a viable treatment

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say new experiments using magnetic pulse brain stimulation on people with moderate to severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) have added to evidence that the condition is due to excitability and hyperarousal in the part of the brain’s motor cortex responsible for leg movement.

The researchers say their findings, published online in Sleep Medicine on May 31, may help devise safer, more effective ways to treat RLS and the chronic sleep deprivation it causes, using electrical or magnetic pulses to calm or interrupt the hyperarousal. Some 10 percent of adults in the U.S. experience RLS at one time or another, and about 1 in 500 report that the condition is severe and chronic enough to interfere with their quality of life, work productivity or mental health, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

People with severe RLS describe symptoms of the condition as an overwhelming urge to move their legs when they are at rest. They may feel pain, or the sensation of soda bubbles in their veins or worms crawling in their legs, with relief coming only when standing or deliberately moving their legs. Long-term effects include fatigue, anxiety and depression, much of it linked to repeated interruption of sound sleep. Standard treatments, which may carry significant side effects, include medications that behave like the neurotransmitter dopamine, opioids and anti-seizure drugs.

Although many conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes, have been associated with RLS, the neurological roots of the condition have been subject to much debate.

The new study, the Johns Hopkins researchers say, supports the idea that the underlying main-qimg-9add69791e0644077baa40054dfff984mechanism for RLS rests in the brain’s “move my legs” center and makes even more sense of the relief those with RLS experience when they get up and move them.

“Essentially the brain sends the signal when it’s preparing to move a limb, even when you aren’t planning to move, so your body is ready and amped up,” says Richard Allen, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The only way to alleviate the feeling is to move.”

In the new study, the researchers identified 32 adults with a moderate to severe RLS diagnosis from patients and asked them to stop their treatments for 12 days. They recruited 31 adult matched controls with no history of RLS or other sleep disorders and healthy sleeping patterns as controls. Participants in both groups were an average age of 58, and 59 percent were women.

For the experiments, the researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to apply safe pulses able to selectively stimulate various regions of the brain that control movement of the muscles in the hand or the leg. They then used electrodes attached to the hand or leg to measure muscle responses in that hand or leg during such stimulations in those with RLS and in the control group.

Pairing two pulses as a stimulus can either cause a reaction or suppress/inhibit a reaction in a muscle depending on the timing between the two pulses. The researchers looked at one type of excitatory paired pulses and two types of inhibitory pulses¾short- and long-interval ones.

For each analysis, the researchers took the ratio of the responses. The ratios were greater in the leg for those with RLS, at 0.36 compared with 0.07 for those people without RLS, when looking at the inhibitory long-interval pulses, but not with the short-interval pulses. They said they didn’t see a difference in excitatory pulses in the legs.

brain-optibac-probiotics“This basically means that inhibition is reduced or weakened in people with restless legs syndrome compared to people without the condition,” says Rachel Salas, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins. “The reduced response means that the region of the brain controlling the legs shows increased cortical excitability in the motor cortex.”

In a separate set of experiments measuring the effect of paired pulses given to the brain in the region that controls the hand, they found no real differences in the ratios of either of the inhibitory pulses¾short- or long-interval ones¾between people with RLS and those without the condition.

But the researchers say they did find that the ratios picked up from the hand muscles using excitatory pulses were lower, at 1.01 compared with controls with a ratio of 1.85.

“The measurements from the hand muscles show that the activity in the brain is reduced in the region that controls the hand in people with restless legs syndrome compared to controls,” says Salas.

Salas says that previous research shows that inhibitory pulses are associated with the action of the neurotransmitter GABA, a brain chemical typically known for tamping down activity in the brain’s neurons. The researchers say that since there is hyperactivity in the leg-controlling portion of the brain, it’s possible that cells and tissues there are lacking enough GABA to prevent hyperactivity.

“Other studies with TMS have been done on people with RLS, but they didn’t look at prelab16_Fig6people with severe forms of the condition or at the long-interval paired pulses in the leg,” says Salas. “We are fortunate to have access to such individuals because the Johns Hopkins Sleep Center attracts people worldwide and many who have exhausted treatment options available elsewhere,” she adds.

Salas notes that medications that act like the neurotransmitter dopamine, such as ropinirole or pramipexole, work in the short term but can exacerbate the condition over time. Opioids are effective, but not ideal due to their risk for dependency. With the results of this new study, the researchers are hoping to use electrical stimulation to suppress the brain’s activity, and planning of these studies is in the works.

Additional authors on the study included Aadi Kalloo, Christopher Earley, Pablo Celnik, Tiana Cruz, Keyana Foster and Gabriela Cantarero of Johns Hopkins.

The study was funded by a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke grant (R01 NS075184).

Story Source:

Materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180829115526.htm

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

scdlifestyle

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?choice

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

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

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

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

confused-doctorHOW IS RLS DIAGNOSED?

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

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

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

IS RLS A GENETIC CONDITION?

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

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

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

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

The difference? Environmental factors.

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

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

TRIGGERS FOR RESTLESS LEG SYNDROMEtriggers-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sysesdefaultSYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION – THE CAUSE OF RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Systemic inflammation can trigger autoimmune disorders associated with RLS.

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

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

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

A LEAKY GUT – THE MISSING LINK IN RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME?leakystory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dopamine-Agonist-300x169THE MEDICAL APPROACH TO TREATING RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

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

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

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

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

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

Compulsive behavior is also a common side effect.

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

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

THE LEAKY GUT – AUTOIMMUNE CONNECTIONleaky-gut-connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOW TO TURN OFF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

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

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

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

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

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2008 STUDY: Use of Low-Dose Hydrocortisone Lessen RLS Symptoms

CORT-Restless-Leg-Syndrome-Below is another study that supports the idea of inflammation being at the core of Restless Legs Syndrome.

It’s an older study I recently ran across that dispensed low-dose hydrocortisone to a small study group to see if their RLS symptoms would improve. The results of the study showed that symptoms were significantly lessened.

I’ve included an overview of the study below.

I’ve also included an excerpt from a SECOND study that demonstrates the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of hydrocortisone.

AND PLEASE NOTE, this is NOT an endorsement of hydrocortisone as a solution for RLS. It’s simply more evidence supporting the idea that INFLAMMATION is the PRIMARY cause of RLS. Which means, logically speaking, as you lessen your inflammation, your RLS will lessen.

This lessening of inflammation can be done in a natural way through diet, lifestyle, proper digestion etc. It doesn’t have to be a pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory.

STUDY ONEPuzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

“Low-dose hydrocortisone in the evening modulates symptom severity in restless legs syndrome.” Hornyak M1, Rupp A, Riemann D, Feige B, Berger M, Voderholzer U. Neurology. 2008 Apr 29;70(18):1620-2. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000310984.45538.89.

BACKGROUND

Circadian symptom manifestation in the evening and night is one of the main characteristics of restless legs syndrome (RLS). Although the inverse temporal course of corticosteroid rhythm and RLS symptom severity is obvious, this relationship has yet to be studied. We investigated the effect of late-evening application of exogenous cortisol (hydrocortisone) on sensory leg discomfort (SLD), one of the main complaints of patients with RLS.

METHODS

Ten untreated patients with idiopathic RLS participated in the study. Change of SLD was rated on a visual analogue scale during the 60 minutes resting period of the so-called Suggested Immobilization Test. Patients received either hydrocortisone 40 mg or placebo (saline) IV in random order in a double-blind crossover design, with 1 week between the experiments.

RESULTS

Severity of SLD was lower during hydrocortisone infusion than during placebo (p = 0.032). Though blind to the experimental condition, 5 of the 10 patients experienced improvement in symptoms during hydrocortisone administration, but no patient felt an amelioration during the placebo condition.

CONCLUSIONS

Our data indicate a probable physiologic relationship between evening and early night hour restless legs syndrome symptom increase and low cortisol level.

confused-doctorSTUDY TWO (excerpt)

“Low-dose hydrocortisone infusion attenuates the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.” The Phospholipase A2 Study Group. Briegel J1, Kellermann W, Forst H, Haller M, Bittl M, Hoffmann GE, Büchler M, Uhl W, Peter K. Clin Investig. 1994 Oct;72(10):782-7.

ABSTRACT

There is increasing evidence that the hypercortisolemia in inflammatory diseases suppresses the elaboration of *proinflammatory cytokines, thus protecting the host from its own defence reactions.

*A proinflammatory cytokine or more simply an inflammatory cytokine is a type of signaling molecule (a cytokine) that is excreted from immune cells like helper T cells (Th) and macrophages, and certain other cell types that promote inflammation from “Wikipedia Proinflammatory cytokine”

For helpful tips on how to lessen your RLS symptoms NATURALLY, please visit http://www.RLCure.com

 

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STUDY: MARIJUANA HELPS TO LESSEN RLS SYMPTOMS

cannabisIf you have followed this blog for awhile, or have visited my RLS website http://www.RLCure.com, you know that at the CORE of everything I present is that INFLAMMATION is the cause of RLS. In other words, eliminate the inflammation in your body and you will eliminate your RLS.

There are an ENDLESS number of ways in which inflammation can be introduced into your system, and there are unlimited ways in which it can be removed.

However, the REMOVAL requires a bit of effort and in most cases, a lot of sacrifice.

The articles below highlight how another anti-inflammatory agent has demonstrated success in lessening the effects of RLS.

Unfortunately for many of you, in this case the healing agent is MARIJUANA.

I want to make VERY clear that this post is not about promoting marijuana and endorsing it as a highly effective method to lessen your RLS symptoms. The idea of the post is to again emphasize that the KEY to your SUCCESS is to move towards an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY LIFESTYLE. That means that dietary, environmental, emotional, digestive changes etc. are required – anything that will move you away from continuing the inflammatory cycle that is at the heart of your RLS.

This is a total NON-ENDORSEMENT of smoking pot as a solution from yours truly, a man that has been in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for over 30 years.

Smoking a DOOBIE may give you temporary relief, but unless you CHANGE your lifestyle, nothing permanent is going to take place. Your RLS will return.

Below are TWO articles. The FIRST one features a scientific study in which 5 out of 6 subjects had their RLS symptoms disappear thanks to the CHRONIC.

The SECOND article focuses on the tremendous anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.

ARTICLE ONEMedical-Marijuana-Cures

MARIJUANA CAN STOP RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME by Trey Reckling, The Fresh Toast

A small report published in the journal Sleep Medicine from the Bordeaux Hospital University Center in France is posing the question whether or not marijuana may help people with Restless Leg Syndrome to sleep better. The answer to that question is a crucial one for the 10-15 percent of people in the U.S. afflicted with the condition.

It’s easy to take sleep for granted when it’s working. When it’s not, it’s enough to drive you mad.

This is no secret for people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Even trying to classify the disorder is a challenge because it has crossover effect. It is sometimes classified as a sleep disorder because symptoms such as involuntary muscle twitching and jerking are initiated by inactivity or attempting to sleep. It can also be classified as a movement disorder because people affected sense an almost irresistible urge to move to reduce the uncomfortable sensation. But because the sensations originate in the brain, it could be argued that it is best identified as a neurological sensory disorder.

Regardless, to those who suffer from it, it means lack of sleep for starters. They can have a hard time both falling asleep and staying asleep. That lack of sleep impacts overall health, with negative impact on ability to concentrate, significant increase in daytime sleepiness and significantly lower productivity.

Sleep medicine expert, Dr. Imad Ghorayeb led the study.

mostpopularstrainsSome subjects reported taking seizure medications clonazepam and gabapentin with unsatisfactory results. All subjects reported prior efforts to alleviate their condition with prescription opiates and dopamine agonists for their RLS. They were ready for a new approach because nothing had worked for them or even made situations worse. Two subjects had experienced compulsive shopping and binge eating as a result of using dopamine agonists.

To be fair, there were a meager six subjects in the study. However, 5 of the 6 reported that smoking marijuana relieved their symptoms completely; one reported complete loss of RLS symptoms after using cannabidiol (CBD).

Researchers could not claim to understand why cannabis worked so well in the small group. They do suspect that it is related to the herb’s pain relieving properties and the effect could be enhanced by the sleepiness marijuana can induce.

While the researchers were not willing to fully endorse marijuana for those with restless leg syndrome, they admitted all subjects reported it was the most effective remedy they had tried so far.

Though small scale studies such as this one may not prove anything yet, they do lay important groundwork and interest for more in depth research.

You can read the full article here:
https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/marijuana-can-calm-restless-legs-so-you-can-sleep

ARTICLE TWOimages

CANNABIS FOR INFLAMMATION, WHY DOES IS WORK SO WELL? by Dana Smith, cannabis.net

Medical Marijuana For Inflammation and Swelling Works Wonders

Living a lifestyle that prevents inflammation is necessary in preventing chronic illnesses. This means eating a proper diet high in nutrients and inflammation-fighting foods, getting enough rest as well as regular exercise. Once you do have inflammation, it’s important to address it immediately otherwise it can lead to more serious conditions. Most people actually aren’t aware that inflammation affects almost every aspect of your health: arthritis, celiac disease, cancer, asthma, fibromyalgia, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, and ADD just to name a few. Inflammation can be happening right now in your body, but you won’t know it because it takes years for it to be clinically significant, or until it manifests through symptoms of another disease.

restlesslegHow Does Cannabis Treat Inflammation?

Numerous studies have proven that cannabis is effective in treating inflammation as well as addressing the accompanying pain. This is because of the presence of its 2 major cannabinoids, THC and CBD.

Both THC and CBD are effective in reducing inflammation that is linked to several diseases. But another compound found in cannabis called the beta-carophyllene also affects the CB2 receptor. A 2008 study analyzing mice who had swollen paws and were given oral doses of beta-carophyllene showed a 70% decrease in inflammation. The mice without CB2 receptors didn’t see any improvement.

A study published by the US National Library of Medicine found that cannabinoids control the response of the immune system and works in suppressing inflammatory responses. The human endocannabinoid system has 2 receptors: CB1, which is located in the central nervous system, is responsible for psychoactive effects; and CB2, which is found in the tissues and is responsible for inhibiting inflammation.

Cannabis is also useful in keeping c-reactive protein levels down; high levels of this protein can lead to fatal heart disease. A study published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal revealed that people who smoked cannabis had lower levels of c-reactive protein than those who didn’t smoke. Another study showed that CBD was effective in blocking the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and was also beneficial in providing relief for pain caused by joint swelling. It’s already well known that cannabis is effective in treating chronic pain, which is a side effect of inflammation.

While we now know that THC and CBD work in treating and preventing inflammation, paperthey both work in the body in different ways. Both cannabinoids have demonstrated efficacy in decreasing both the release and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and also works to decrease the activation of LPS-induced STAT 1 transcription factor, which contributes to some inflammatory processes. However scientists find that CBD is much more potent in addressing inflammation, and for this reason high CBD strains are recommended particularly for those who suffer from extreme inflammation. CBD actually supports the concentration of endogenous cannabinoids which gives the body the ability to self-heal and ward off disease.

You can read the full article here:
https://cannabis.net/blog/medical/cannabis-for-inflammation-why-does-is-work-so-well

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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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Restless Legs and Food Intolerance

foodintolerances

Detecting any food intolerance you may have is CRUCIAL for a healthy recovery from RLS.

A food intolerance will continue the lineage of inflammation in your body (including the inflammation that is causing your restless legs), even if you are taking supplements and avoiding obvious triggers.

I’m going to write an article on this in the near future based on my own experience, but for now, I present to you this overview on what a food intolerance is and how it can affect you.

FOODS THAT CAUSE CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

Chronic inflammation lies at the root of a host of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, heart disease (as measured by C-reactive protein), asthma, and many others. Food can be a major cause of chronic inflammation, however, symptoms differ from one person to another. If the inflammatory symptoms are suggestive of food allergy, then a food allergy blood test may pinpoint the causes.

Causes of inflammation

Acute inflammation is the first response to infection and manifests with symptoms of inflammation such as redness, swelling, pain, heat, and loss of function. Chronic inflammation is more subtle and involves a different mechanism than acute inflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and others can cause chronic symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, irritable bowel, asthma, etc., and cause tissue damage.

Foods that Cause Chronic Inflammation

The Western diet is a major culprit in chronic inflammation because it contains a high proportion of inflammatory foods, such as processed food, sugar, and trans fats. Most people don’t get enough healthy foods in their diet, such as fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, which are packed with anti-inflammatory compounds. Many of us also get too much fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates in our diet, all of which promote chronic inflammation. The fats we do eat are too often derived from processed seed oils (safflower, sunflower, soy) which are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3. This high omega-6/omega-3 ratio is a key cause of chronic inflammation. Fats that are highly processed or heated contain a high proportion of trans fatty acids, one of the most inflammatory compounds known and which can hardly be called a “food.” These days, many physicians and nutritionists recommend an anti-inflammation diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.

Food Sensitivity – An Often Overlooked Cause of Chronic Inflammation

The symptoms of food hypersensitivity are driven by chronic inflammation. Gut inflammation can cause digestive problems and cause symptoms such as bloating, leaky gut syndrome, indigestion, and gas, food hypersensitivity can cause inflammation-related symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and even depression, hyperactivity, and migraine. Classic food allergies mediated by IgE antibodies are often the source of the problem, but many healthcare providers believe that delayed food hypersensitivity, also called Type III food allergy, can cause chronic inflammation and may play an important role in diseases such as inflammatory bowel syndrome, which includes Crohn’s disease. In this type of food allergy, circulating immune complexes made up of food molecules and IgG antibodies travel through the bloodstream and enter tissues where they cause chronic inflammation. Delayed hypersensitivity often goes unnoticed because symptoms arise hours or days after ingesting the offending foods. The list of foods that can cause food hypersensitivity is long, but the major offenders include dairy products, wheat and glutenous grains, yeast, eggs, food additives, and more. Sympoms of food intolerance are non-immune mediated and are usually due to toxic or metabolic reactions to food.

Elimination Diets are the Gold Standard of Diagnosis

Until recently, food allergy and intolerance was diagnosed with an elimination diet, a lengthy, unpleasant process of removing foods, waiting awhile, and replacing them back into the diet to observe symptom patterns. Elimination diets are a hit-and-miss affair because symptoms to some foods may persist while you have eliminated other foods. In the most extreme version of the elimination diet, the patient is put on a simple diet of foods with low allergenic potential, such as lamb, rice, and cooked vegetables. Then foods are added one by one while observing symptoms. It is common for such diets to go on for months when food sensitivities are many. But despite the effort required, elimination and rechallenge is still considered the gold standard for diagnosis of food allergy and intolerance.

Food Allergy Tests may Help Improve Chronic Inflammation Caused by Foods

The IgG food allergy blood test detects an individual’s IgG antibody response to various foods by combining their serum with food extracts distributed in an array of tiny wells. Through a process known as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a chemical signal is generated when IgG antibodies in the person’s serum reacts with the food extract in the well. The IgG food allergy blood test can be valuable adjunct to food elimination and rechallenge. Once the problematic foods are identified, they can be excluded from the diet. The IgG food allergy test is not useful for diagnosing non-immune mediated food intolerance; this can only be done through food elimination and rechallenge.

 

This article is from the LSIA Labratory website. You can read the full article here:

http://en.food-intolerance.ca/24/foods-that-cause-chronic-inflammation/

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Restless Legs, Inflammation and Food Intolerance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fireINFLAMMATION: HOW TO COOL THE FIRE INSIDE YOU by Mark Hyman, MD

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

I’ll get to that in just a minute…

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

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

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

I’m talking about inflammation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me explain a little more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What happens?

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

foodintolmaxresdefaultWHY DO YOU BECOME SENSITIVE OR ALLERGIC TO FOODS?

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

These things injure your gut.

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

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

Let me recap.

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

FINDING AND FIXING DELAYED FOOD ALLERGIES AND SENSITIVITIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, MD

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

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Multiple Sclerosis, Restless Legs and the Amazing World of Epigenetics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wahlssplit1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REFERENCES
3. “Increased prevalence of restless legs syndrome in patients with Crohn’s disease.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25951489
4. “Restless legs syndrome–theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22258033
5. “Elevated C-reactive protein is associated with severe periodic leg movements of sleep in patients with restless legs syndrome.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22750520
6. “Low-dose hydrocortisone in the evening modulates symptom severity in restless legs syndrome.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18443313

Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of ChrisKresser.com, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times best seller, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback in December 2014 as The Paleo Cure). You can read the full article here: http://chriskresser.com/4-little-known-causes-of-restless-legs-syndrome

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Another Scientific Link Between Restless Legs Syndrome and Inflammation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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