Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief.
Restless Legs Syndrome is indeed one of the hot new “conditions” being pitched in TV ads. It’s even got it’s own Foundation. Rest assured (no pun intended). There really are options.
What is RLS?
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move them for relief. Individuals affected with the disorder describe the sensations as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.
What Causes It?
No one really knows what causes restless leg syndrome. It does tend to run in families, however, and may appear as “growing pains” in children or as pregnancy-related “leg cramps.” And it tends to get worse as people get older.
For those with mild to moderate symptoms, many physicians suggest certain lifestyle changes and activities to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Decreased use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco may provide some relief. Physicians may suggest that certain individuals take supplements to correct deficiencies in iron, folate, and magnesium. Taking a hot bath, massaging the legs, or using a heating pad or ice pack can help relieve symptoms in some patients.
Physicians also may suggest a variety of medications to treat RLS, including dopaminergics, benzodiazepines (central nervous system depressants), opioids, and anticonvulsants. In 2005, ropinirole became the only drug approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS.
What I Think
I think the answers are inherent in what we already know, which is more than most people think.
– It responds to dietary and lifestyle changes
– It responds to programs that balance out hormones. (Clue: It frequently puts in an appearance during menopause.)
– It responds to massage and physical therapy
– It responds to detoxification programs
In other words, whatever genetic factors may be involved, lifestyle choices can significantly change the outcome.
The first thing I usually recommend is to take care of the nutritional aspects:
* Folic acid 5,000-20,000 micrograms
* Iron 18 milligrams
* Magnesium 400 milligrams
* Vitamin E (full spectrum)100-400 international units
Try using a natural progesterone creme to balance out any estrogen dominance that may serve as a trigger, and if that doesn’t help, you can try an all natural estriol (the good estrogen) creme in case the trigger is a sudden drop in estrogen.
Try cleaning up your act by doing a series of detoxes:
* Heavy metal
And by all means, employ the physical.
* Infrared saunas that work up a good sweat can be tremendously beneficial.
* Massage and bodywork are defintiely useful.
* And finally, I know someone who had major restless leg syndrome and was unable to get any relief through any nutritional approach. I got them to try a type of massge called BioSync. This is a very deep, very intense type of body work. After just one session, the RLS went away, never to return. The problem is that there are only a handful of BioSync practioners. Mostly California and about 6 or 7 other states — and some international. If you’re not near a BioSync practitioner, you might try and find someone near you who does deep muscle work like Rolfing or Heller work.