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Restless leg syndrome...





la_Duchess
This condition drive me nuts! Does anyone know how to control it. My Dr. in Canada will not prcribe me anything for it. I know there are prescriptions in the states that help. Requip is one of them. It's not approved to use in Canada for this issue... I hope some onee out there may have some helpful hints for me.
HamsterMan
I used to have it when I was inside all day working on my computer, but lately I've been biking to school each day and I haven't had it at all since.
deanhills
la_Duchess wrote:
This condition drive me nuts! Does anyone know how to control it. My Dr. in Canada will not prcribe me anything for it. I know there are prescriptions in the states that help. Requip is one of them. It's not approved to use in Canada for this issue... I hope some onee out there may have some helpful hints for me.


There must be a reason your doctor doesn't want to prescribe drugs to you. Also why Canada has not approved Requip for use. Why not go to a naturopath. You may have allergies or are sensitive to certain foods. It could be as simple as that.
la_Duchess
There are a lot of drugs that are FDA approved but not CDA approved. This is one of them. In Canada Requip is only approved for Parkinson's syndrome. In the states they use it for RLS and also Parkinson's. My sister and my father both use it. They live in the states though.

My doctor say's that he feels the side effects are far worse than the drug itself. I feel that to be true with almost all drugs. I just want to get a good nights sleep that's all.
la_Duchess
I'm going crazy with this RLS... There has to be something that will work for me.
PennyLane
What is this restless leg syndrom actually? Never heard of it...
Solon_Poledourus
A few shots of good Whiskey before bed might help, as it's a natural muscle relaxant.
peaceupnorth
I had this as well at one point. I think it was a combination of having high stress life-situation, eating a very processed diet, and the insomnia it caused didn't help matters at all.

The medications prescribed are usually very strong and can have side effects worse than the RLS. Maybe try taking vitamins (lots of vitamin C), getting some fresh air, meditating, and eat nice clean food. A vegetarian (or mostly veg diet) might really help, because it is more calming.

My two cents, good luck, hope you find help!
Solon_Poledourus
peaceupnorth wrote:
The medications prescribed are usually very strong and can have side effects worse than the RLS. Maybe try taking vitamins (lots of vitamin C), getting some fresh air, meditating, and eat nice clean food.

These are all good suggestions, but then there was this...
peaceupnorth wrote:
A vegetarian (or mostly veg diet) might really help, because it is more calming.

There is absolutely no evidence of that. Vegetarians suffer from RLS too. Not only that, but drastically changing your diet like that could put your body into shock and make you sick.
peaceupnorth
Solon_Poledourus wrote:

There is absolutely no evidence of that. Vegetarians suffer from RLS too. Not only that, but drastically changing your diet like that could put your body into shock and make you sick.
There is evidence. My own experience. Stopping eating meat made my system so much calmer. My RLS was history, never happened since. Many other nervous issues were also resolved.

Probably nobody has taken the time/expense to make a large-scale-randomly-controlled-double-blind study on the effects of vegetarian eating on RLS yet. So, you might have some trouble finding published data to support my claim. But if you are a person who is suffering sleep loss, desperate for rest, I don't think eating vegetarian for a few weeks is too drastic a thing to try.

Yes it is most likely true that there are vegetarians with RLS. There are also olympic athletes getting cancer, and safe drivers getting killed in car accidents. That doesn't make sports or safe driving useless though.

Vegetarian diet change gave me a little diarrhea for a couple days, and I lost some weight and was a little spacey for a few months. I certainly didn't get sick, in fact many health issues (RLS for instance) were resolved quickly and permanently. It was not a big shock.

I've heard of some people having stronger reactions, but they probably were just moving too fast into the change, and not following basic dietary principles.
Solon_Poledourus
peaceupnorth wrote:
There is evidence. My own experience. Stopping eating meat made my system so much calmer. My RLS was history, never happened since. Many other nervous issues were also resolved.

Anecdotal evidence doesn't prove the validity of vegeterianism as a cure for RLS(or prove it's calming nature).
peaceupnorth wrote:
Yes it is most likely true that there are vegetarians with RLS. There are also olympic athletes getting cancer, and safe drivers getting killed in car accidents. That doesn't make sports or safe driving useless though.

Comparing vegeterianism to driving safer is the same thing as camparing eating meat to driving more wrecklessly. There are plenty of healthy meat eaters out there.
peaceupnorth wrote:
Vegetarian diet change gave me a little diarrhea for a couple days, and I lost some weight and was a little spacey for a few months. I certainly didn't get sick, in fact many health issues (RLS for instance) were resolved quickly and permanently. It was not a big shock.
I've heard of some people having stronger reactions, but they probably were just moving too fast into the change, and not following basic dietary principles.

I'm glad it helped you out, but it still doesn't mean it's a bonafide cure for RLS. Suggesting a complete overhaul or drastic change in someones diet should really only be done by a medical professional after a full check up. This can be a dangerous thing for some people, and should be approached with caution.
peaceupnorth
peaceupnorth wrote:
There is evidence. My own experience. Stopping eating meat made my system so much calmer. My RLS was history, never happened since. Many other nervous issues were also resolved.

Solon_Poledourus wrote:
Anecdotal evidence doesn't prove the validity of vegeterianism as a cure for RLS(or prove it's calming nature).

Most evidence, be it from research or personal experience, can't constitute any "proof." But I give my experience, my two cents. Maybe somebody could find it helpful... I'm not claiming to be a doctor, and any advice found on this forum should be taken with a grain of salt.
Solon_Poledourus wrote:

Comparing vegeterianism to driving safer is the same thing as camparing eating meat to driving more wrecklessly. There are plenty of healthy meat eaters out there.
There are even more people dying from diseases related to the diet you mentioned. Heart disease kills more people in North America than any other cause of death. And vegetarians have a huge protection against the disease. You can reverse heart disease by feeding people a low fat vegan diet, without resorting to any drugs...
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
I'm glad it helped you out, but it still doesn't mean it's a bonafide cure for RLS. Suggesting a complete overhaul or drastic change in someones diet should really only be done by a medical professional after a full check up. This can be a dangerous thing for some people, and should be approached with caution.
I never called a veg diet a "bonafide cure".... all I said was that it might really help. I still disagree that changing to a healthy, plant-based diet is dangerous. Maybe you could post some evidence for your claims. I'd appreciate that...

Anyway, hopefully the lady has been finding some relief from her RLS, and bravely tries all the simple and safe remedies she can before resorting to the nasty drugs, which ARE proven to be dangerous to many people. Doctors prescribe sedatives, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and antiepileptics for RLS. These types of drugs are often toxic and DO kill people, many more than broccoli, potatoes and whole wheat bread ever did. The drugs help some people too, but why not try the easy way first?
Solon_Poledourus
peaceupnorth wrote:
There are even more people dying from diseases related to the diet you mentioned. Heart disease kills more people in North America than any other cause of death. And vegetarians have a huge protection against the disease. You can reverse heart disease by feeding people a low fat vegan diet, without resorting to any drugs...

But at the risk of other threats to their health... by the way, which diet did I mention? Meat eating? There are just as many health risks with a veg diet as there are with meat diets. The best diet is a combination of the both in balance. That's why we are called "Omnivores", it's how our bodies work best. Sadly, too many vegetarians seem to think that eating meat is inheirently unhealthy, when in fact, it's not any less healthy than eating vegetables. It's just more popular to say meat is less healthy because the health risks are more widely covered by news articles. It's all about proportion and balance.
peaceupnorth wrote:
I never called a veg diet a "bonafide cure".... all I said was that it might really help. I still disagree that changing to a healthy, plant-based diet is dangerous. Maybe you could post some evidence for your claims. I'd appreciate that...

No problem... below are just a few of the risks posed by an all veg diet. This comes from the American FDA(food and drug administration), feel free to go to research this on your own too.
FDA.GOV wrote:
Vegetarians who abstain from dairy products or animal flesh face the greatest
nutritional risks because some nutrients naturally occur mainly or almost
exclusively in animal foods.


Vegans, who eat no animal foods (and, rarely, vegetarians who eat no animal
flesh but do eat eggs or dairy products), risk vitamin B12 deficiency, which
can result in irreversible nerve deterioration.
The need for vitamin B12
increases during pregnancy, breast-feeding, and periods of growth, according
to Johanna Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D., of Tufts University Medical School and the New
England Medical Center Hospital, Boston. Writing in 1988 in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dwyer reviewed studies of the previous five
years and concluded that elderly people also should be especially cautious
about adopting vegetarian diets because their bodies may absorb vitamin B12
poorly.

Ovo-vegetarians, who eat eggs but no dairy foods or animal flesh, and vegans
may have inadequate vitamin D and calcium. Inadequate vitamin D may cause
rickets in children, while inadequate calcium can contribute to risk of
osteoporosis in later years. These vegetarians are susceptible to iron
deficiency anemia because they are not only missing the more readily absorbed
iron from animal flesh, they are also likely to be eating many foods with
constituents that inhibit iron absorption--soy protein, bran, and fiber, for
instance. Vegans must guard against inadequate calorie intake, which during
pregnancy can lead to low birth weight, and against protein deficiency, which
in children can impair growth and in adults
can cause loss of hair and muscle mass and abnormal accumulation of fluid.

According to the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Dietetic
Association, if appropriately planned, vegan diets can provide adequate
nutrition even for children. Some experts disagree.

Gretchen Hill, Ph.D., associate professor of food science and human nutrition
at the University of Missouri, Columbia, believes it's unhealthy for children
to eat no red meat.

"My bet is those kids will have health problems when they reach 40, 50 or 60
years of age," she says, "mostly because of imbalances with micronutrients
[nutrients required only in small amounts], particularly iron, zinc and
copper." While meat is well-known as an important source of iron, Hill says
it may be even more valuable for copper and zinc. Copper not only helps build
the body's immunity, it builds red blood cells and strengthens blood vessels.
"A lot of Americans are marginal in this micronutrient," she says, "and, as a
result, are more susceptible to diseases. Children can't meet their zinc
needs without eating meat."

Also, vegetarian women of childbearing age have an increased chance of
menstrual irregularities, Ann Pedersen and others reported last year in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nine of the study's 34 vegetarians
(who ate eggs or dairy foods) missed menstrual periods, but only 2 of the 41
non-vegetarians did. The groups were indistinguishable when it came to
height, weight and age at the beginning of menstruation.

Here's the full article from the FDA website.
In connection with this thread on RLS, read the bold print towards the top of the quote, about the risk of irreversible nerve damage.
My guess would be that more water would help with the RLS. People seem to drink less and less water these days, with carbonated sugar drinks and such so readily available.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
But at the risk of other threats to their health... by the way, which diet did I mention? Meat eating? There are just as many health risks with a veg diet as there are with meat diets. The best diet is a combination of the both in balance. That's why we are called "Omnivores", it's how our bodies work best. Sadly, too many vegetarians seem to think that eating meat is inheirently unhealthy, when in fact, it's not any less healthy than eating vegetables. It's just more popular to say meat is less healthy because the health risks are more widely covered by news articles. It's all about proportion and balance.
This is very true. Including that every individual is completely different from the other person, and that some may thrive as vegetarians, while others may do better on animal protein. In addition, our bodies change all the time, so if we had done well as vegetarians, it could easily happen that our body may need animal protein at a stage. This could manifest when the person starts to feel less than well on purely vegetarian, including finding that he/she is gaining weight, and unable to loose the weight even by taking in less calories. Protein is a key part of revving the metabolism, but of course in moderation and as part of a balanced food programme that includes healthy carbohydrates and fats.

I think there is a place for an all vegetable diet on a very short-term basis to clean the system. But it should be done under the care of a nutrition/medical expert as obviously it should include a wide variety of vegetables as well as checked that the person is OK with the diet.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
I think there is a place for an all vegetable diet on a very short-term basis to clean the system. But it should be done under the care of a nutrition/medical expert as obviously it should include a wide variety of vegetables as well as checked that the person is OK with the diet.

I have no problem with veg diets. If someones metabolism is such that they are better off that way, then more power to them. If it's a matter of personal taste, then good for them as well. But simply stating that vegeterians are inheirently more healthy than other people is completely false. There are people all around the world who eat copious ammounts of meat in their diet and live long and healthy lives.
At any rate, I found the following: Some causes of RLS.
National Institute of Health wrote:
People with low iron levels or anemia may be prone to developing RLS. Once iron levels or anemia is corrected, patients may see a reduction in symptoms.
Chronic diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and peripheral neuropathy are associated with RLS. Treating the underlying condition often provides relief from RLS symptoms.
Some pregnant women experience RLS, especially in their last trimester. For most of these women, symptoms usually disappear within 4 weeks after delivery.
Certain medications-such as antinausea drugs (prochlorperazine or metoclopramide), antiseizure drugs (phenytoin or droperidol), antipsychotic drugs (haloperidol or phenothiazine derivatives), and some cold and allergy medications-may aggravate symptoms. Patients can talk with their physicians about the possibility of changing medications.

Some treatments for RLS symptoms:
National Institute of Health wrote:
For those with mild to moderate symptoms, prevention is key, and 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. Studies also have shown that maintaining a regular sleep pattern can reduce symptoms. Some individuals, finding that RLS symptoms are minimized in the early morning, change their sleep patterns. Others have found that a program of regular moderate exercise helps them sleep better; on the other hand, excessive exercise has been reported by some patients to aggravate RLS symptoms. Taking a hot bath, massaging the legs, or using a heating pad or ice pack can help relieve symptoms in some patients. Although many patients find some relief with such measures, rarely do these efforts completely eliminate symptoms

I hope this helps, and here is the full article.
deanhills
Solon_Poledourus wrote:
But simply stating that vegeterians are inheirently more healthy than other people is completely false.
Absolutely agreed. In addition, it is much more difficult to get a balance of everything that is needed for the body from a vegetarian diet than from one that has meat included in it. So there is a much bigger chance to be less healthy. For example one has to check up on protein consumption and getting all the B vitamins. Also it is quite easy to consume mono foods such as too much cheese, yochurt, or pasta, etc.
Solon_Poledourus
deanhills wrote:
Absolutely agreed. In addition, it is much more difficult to get a balance of everything that is needed for the body from a vegetarian diet than from one that has meat included in it. So there is a much bigger chance to be less healthy.

One thing I've always noticed is that because much of the grocery stores and restaurants don't tend to cater to vegeterian diets, many vegeterians end up eating alot more junk food, simply because it's available. This isn't always the case, but quite often enough. It's unfortunate as well.
la_Duchess
PennyLane wrote:
What is this restless leg syndrom actually? Never heard of it...


What is restless leg syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome is a common cause of painful legs. The leg pain of restless leg syndrome typically eases with motion of the legs and becomes more noticeable at rest. Restless leg syndrome also features worsening of symptoms during the early evening or later at night. The characteristic nighttime worsening of symptoms in persons with restless legs syndrome frequency leads to insomnia.

Restless leg syndrome usually begins slowly. Over time, the legs become more affected. Less frequently, restless leg syndrome can affect the arms.


What causes restless leg syndrome?

The cause of restless leg syndrome is unknown in most patients. However, restless leg syndrome has been associated with pregnancy, obesity, smoking, iron deficiency and anemia, nerve disease, polyneuropathy (which can be associated with hypothyroidism, heavy metal toxicity, toxins, and many other conditions), other hormone disease, such as diabetes, and kidney failure (which can be associated with vitamin and mineral deficiency). Some drugs and medications have been associated with restless leg syndrome including caffeine, alcohol, H2-histamine blockers (such as Zantac and Tagamet), and certain antidepressants (such as Elavil).

Occasionally, restless legs run in families. Recent studies have shown that restless leg syndrome appears to become more common with age.
handfleisch
la_Duchess wrote:

The cause of restless leg syndrome is unknown in most patients. However, restless leg syndrome has been associated with pregnancy, obesity, smoking, iron deficiency and anemia, nerve disease, polyneuropathy (which can be associated with hypothyroidism, heavy metal toxicity, toxins, and many other conditions), other hormone disease, such as diabetes, and kidney failure (which can be associated with vitamin and mineral deficiency). Some drugs and medications have been associated with restless leg syndrome including caffeine, alcohol, H2-histamine blockers (such as Zantac and Tagamet), and certain antidepressants (such as Elavil).

Occasionally, restless legs run in families. Recent studies have shown that restless leg syndrome appears to become more common with age.


And how many of these possible causes have you cut down on or ruled out? Just going to the doctor and saying "give me meds" for such a condition is a bad idea.
Crazy_Canuck
My mom had this, my aunt, both brothers, and I also have it. Mine is fairly mild, but it does keep me up at nights every once in a while.

My mom's case was quite severe, and she suffered for many years. Her doctor finally recommended Mirapex and while she hated the way it made her feel at first, after a few weeks. she started feeling better, and it was like a miracle drug. This drug was truly a blessing, as her RLS got worse once she was diagnosed with cancer. If she was still here, she could tell you much more than I can. I just know that she thought the drug was the best thing. It changed her world (being able to get a decent night sleep for once).
magnustoday
Begin with pramipexole (0.125 mg) or ropinirole (0.25 mg) approximately one hour before the usual time of symptom onset; the dose is titrated upward according to response. These drugs are effective and well tolerated by most patients. Pramipexole doses above 0.75 mg/day and ropinirole doses above 4 mg/day are of unproven benefit.

An alternative is levodopa/carbidopa, 25/100 mg given before symptom onset in patients unable to tolerate a dopamine agonist. In some cases a controlled release formulation of levodopa may be necessary to get the patient through the night or to avoid rebound daytime symptoms.

Clonazepam, 0.5 mg before sleep can be used alone or as adjunctive treatment.

Gabapentin may be a good additional option because of its relative lack of adverse and sedative effects.

Opioids should be reserved as a final option, either alone or in conjunction with other medications.

A trial of oral iron therapy is indicated for all patients with RLS, particularly premenopausal women, as some patients without evidence of iron deficiency may still respond favorably.
appsapps
Being a woman, you would be more prone to iron deficiency anemia...one of the known causes of RLS. Women lose iron with every menstrual period. Iron defiency is what also makes pregnant women more prone to RLS...the growing baby takes all the iron from the mother's body.

Get your iron levels checked with a blood test. If you are low, then a daily dose of over-the-counter iron supplements washed down with a glass of orange juice (Vitamin C is needed to process iron) could be all you need to get rid of the RLS.

But don't take iron supplements without being checked first. Too much iron can be toxic, so iron supplements should only be taken by those in which a deficiency has been confirmed by a blood test.

It is untrue that a vegetarian diet is "more calming", especially if your RLS is caused by low iron. In fact, a vegetarian diet could make it worse, as vegetarians often do not consume enough iron, which is more abundantly found in meats (because meat contains iron-rich blood).

No matter what the cause of your RLS, you could try doing leg lift exercises (with feet flexed, not toes pointed) right before bed...about 30-50 each leg. The goal is to make the thigh muscles "burn" a little. Then relax and go right to sleep. If you wait too long and let the muscles cool down too much, you'll have to do them again.

Sometimes I do one leg, then the other, then repeat...then go to sleep. Seems to work better for me.
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