Posts Tagged The Restless Legs Diet

Participants sought for restless legs study

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

For additional information, contact:

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

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

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

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

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

1. Systemic Inflammation & Immune Dysregulation (Subluxation)

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

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

What to do: If your RLS is a symptom of underlying systemic inflammation or immune dysregulation, the goal should be to find and treat the root cause & reduce the stressors to the central nerve system and spine. Often we see the issue target to L5/S1 regions.

2. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and IBS

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

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

3. Vitamin D Deficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“A 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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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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“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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