Restless Leg Syndrome
The occurrence of this syndrome known as restless leg syndrome which brings on tickling, burning or itching sensations in the legs of affected individuals at all times of the day and particularly at night is not rare as such is the typical and symptomatic manifestation of the disorder. Affected parts of the legs itch, tickle and have a burning sensation on them. Relief does not last though slightly moving the legs about may alleviate it temporarily. An incessant desire or urge to move the legs returns immediately just seconds or minutes after the last motion. Wakefulness results and sleeping is difficult as the desire to move the legs is constant and it can distress the afflicted individual. While the fact is not so apparent, twitching muscles in the legs are the real causes behind the condition called restless leg syndrome.
While it is believed that the nervous or the circulatory system is involved in someway, the definite causative factors and underlying causes for this condition have as yet not been identified. Muscular and arterial spasmodic contractions may have some part to play in the origin of restless leg syndrome. A tense nervous system and hypersensitivity are very commonly linked to the syndrome and its causation within the body. This is because the nervous system may be irritated and disturbed by many factors such as stress and alkaloid compounds found in substances like coffee or cola drinks that are consumed. The condition can appreciably worsen and aggravate in its effects when a person stops using the medications intended to combat it, the loss of support from the medication can lead to tension and nervous disorders including sudden anxiety and other forms of psychological symptoms. Perhaps because it restricts the circulatory system and general circulation in some way, smokers and those experiencing pregnancy are usually prone to its occurrence in the body. Many disorders of circulation and several other circulatory problems are also aggravated by substances found in birth control and other contraceptive pills used by women. Deficiencies of the folic acid, which is a B complex vitamin may also bring on restless leg syndrome, levels of this vitamin may plummet in the body because of malabsorption syndrome, which prevents the proper uptake of the vitamin. Folic acid absorption from consumed food is very poor in most patients suffering from this condition, the absorption mechanism for the vitamin is either impaired or is missing altogether. As a consequence of this, sufficient levels of absorption are not seen, even when large amounts of the vitamin are supplemented in the diet. Till the time, the bowel is in a position to absorb folic acid naturally; supplementation may be carried out through injections of folic acid. The poor absorption of folic acid is a self-perpetuating cycle in that; depleted levels of the vitamin also affect the ability to properly absorb the vitamin. This self-perpetuating feedback inhibition loop can only be broken when folic acid is injected directly into the body.
The presence of an underlying and hidden food allergy could be the reason for restless leg syndrome in some people. The human immune system reacts to certain foods and foreign or toxic compounds violently, resulting in a food allergy, these allergies may be hidden and could be manifested through other disorders in the body. Many common foods and substances used on a daily basis such as cereals like wheat and corn, dairy products including milk and many other common foods can cause allergic reaction that are often masked or delayed in their appearance in the body. Identification of such allergens is hard as symptomatic trails are very hard to detect and because these allergens are so completely included in the dietary foods that discovering them or avoiding them is very hard and almost impossible.
Supplements and herbs
In order to effectively combat the manifestations of the condition, supplements of the antioxidant vitamin E, is highly advised. This vitamin is effective in dealing with problems like cramps in the legs that may set in as side symptoms during the severe manifestation of the syndrome. The supply of oxygen to the tissues and the nerves and general circulation within the body is boosted and eased to a great extent. Along with the vitamin B complex that you will use for promoting health and in those used during supplementation, include some folic acid for a more effective supplement package. The B complex vitamins can alleviate the tension in the muscular and nervous tissues. It is also important to use all the vitamins that make up the B complex, since they have a very beneficial role in the promotion of a healthy and functional nervous system. Additional supplements using the mineral magnesium can suppress spasmodic motions in the body. This mineral also promotes sleep if taken at night, and as such make an excellent supplement for a healthy body.
All the herbal remedies given below can help in various ways, and where tension and restlessness are symptoms, these herbs can effectively reduce them or minimize their effects.
Nervous tissue is greatly aided and promoted by the St. John's wort herb taken as a supplement. Prepare a tea from the herb by steeping a tsp. The herbal blossoms in a cup of boiling water, the strained liquid can be drunken 3 cups daily as an herbal tea or alternately a cup of the tea can be used to promote sleep at night. Sleep and relaxation and a restfulness are also promoted by herbs like the valerian, the hops plant and flowers like the passionflower, these herbs have natural sedative effects that can calm the person using them as a supplement. Add a single tsp. of the combination of these herbs in a cup of boiling water and let the herbs steep for about fifteen minutes, the resulting tea can be strained and drink used as a sleep promoter or relaxant before lying down for the night.
The symptoms of the condition can be alleviated to a great extent by using the homeopathic remedies given below as supplements. Consult a homeopathic professional who has long years of experience to suggest a holistic or full body constitutional treatment regimen, such a remedy may be able to get the body into shape and eliminate imbalances created in the body by the syndrome.
Aconitum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome in whom psychological symptoms are very evident, and the person may have panic attacks and suffer from anxiety, this substance will be able to relax him or her emotionally and restore mental balance and processes. Other physical symptoms include sudden shooting pains and tingling sensations that arise in the region of the legs, additionally the nervous system of the afflicted individual may be disturbed and reactive. Emotional distress in the person may exhibit themselves through the presence of fearful dreams when asleep and as a consequence sleep deprivation may result in the patient. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the use of Aconitum as a homeopathic remedy.
Arsenicum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals with restless leg syndrome, where the symptoms include tremors and trembling in the legs person, the person may be restless, but is quickly exhausted at the same time even under minor exertion, sensations include physical weakness and heaviness in the body of the person. The person may in addition experience burning and cramping sensations in the body. Psychological symptoms include feelings of insecurity and displays of anxiety to an extreme degree. The symptoms in the patient may be greatly alleviated by warmth and the person as such feels cold at most times of the day and the night. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy.
Causticum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome where the symptomatic complaints include burning and aching sensations in the legs at all times, additionally the legs and the feet may be prone to have cramps and this may cause a lot of discomfort to the person. Warm applications and warm clothing can improve the symptoms, which tends to worsen in the night-time. There are also physical and chronic disorders in the muscles and the tendons, moreover muscle weakness and problems in contracting muscular tissue may be present in such people. Psychologically such individuals are prone to nervous stress and feel a lot of insecurity regarding other people. The presence of any of these symptoms in the affected individual requires the immediate use of Causticum as a homeopathic remedy to treat the syndrome.
Ignatia is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of afflicted individuals where the symptoms are mostly of the psychological and mental kind, thus sensitive and nervous individuals or people tend to be the patients. Physical symptoms include the presence of spasmodic and twitching sensations in the muscular tissues. The condition of the person when he or she is asleep is extremely light and wakefulness is a problem, physical signs such as the sudden jerking motions of the legs and the arms during sleep may be present in the person. Emotional signs are sudden bouts of unexplained laughter or tears and the person is given to sighing and yawning at all times of the day and night. Where the presence of grief or some form of emotional stress has caused the appearance of the disease, Ignatia can be used, moreover the presence of the other signs requires the use of Ignatia as a homeopathic remedy.
- Rhus tox.
Rhus tox. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome in whom symptoms include the presence of extreme restlessness, and a constant need to keep changing positions, the person is also extremely fidgety and keeps waking up to pace around the room at night-time. Sleeping is very difficult as the person keeps waking up and is affected by apprehensions and other emotional turmoil. The region of the joints and many of the muscles are affected by stiffness and ache badly. These symptoms can be relieved through the application of warm compresses and on movement in the affected areas. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the utilization of Rhus tox. as a homeopathic remedy in such individuals.
Sulphur is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome in whom symptoms include restlessness and burning sensations in the legs and the person in addition feels constricted in the legs with muscles that keep contracted or tight around the legs. Other physical signs include constant motion in the legs as the legs are heated up and the person dislikes being under covers in the bed, as the warmth is irritating to him or her. The legs may also display twitching and jerking motions and the person suffers additionally from wakefulness and keeps talking while asleep. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the use of Sulphur as a homeopathic remedy in the afflicted individual.
- Zincum met.
Zincum met. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome in which symptoms include extreme restlessness in the legs, which can be very irritating and persistent. Other sensations are a constant need to keep moving the legs about at all times, this need to move the legs about may spread to the arms and they may need to be moved about as well, the restlessness in the legs usually worsen at night-time. The person is disturbed by sudden jerks and movements while asleep, and may wake up regularly during the night. Psychologically the symptoms excite the person is given to talking a lot and is very energetic, this however overindulges the nervous system and can lead to gradual and utter exhaustion in the person, it is at this stage that emotional problems like depression sets in. The symptoms of the disease can be aggravated and increased if the person consumes alcohol, and wine in particular. The appearance of any of these symptoms requires the use of Zincum met. as a homeopathic remedy in the person.
Additional things you may do
It is important not to aggravate or worsen the symptoms, and the presence of emotional troubles like long term stress and other psychological problems can lead to an increase in the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. To induce a peaceful and restful sleep, insert your feet in a bucket of cold water to cool them just before lying down, keep them in the water for two to five minutes, this will calm you and can induce better sleep at night. As far as possible, use clothing made from natural fibers and avoid using synthetics. This is because the use of underwear, socks or pantyhose made form synthetic material can aggravate the symptoms and lead to more discomfort.
- Vitamin B complex, 100 mg
- Vitamin E (with tocopherols) 400 IU
- Magnesium, 200 mg
- Folic acid, 400 mcg
Other beneficial herbs
- From Passionflower - Feb-12-2014
- I have more leg cramps than RLS but have experienced RLS a few times. The leg cramps are severe and every night. Have tried many things. I do consume dairy cheese and butter. I eat mostly vegan and am gluten free.
This is what is working for me 100% of the time, unless I eat sugar. Very small amount is OK once in a while; maybe two cookies. Even this amount can give me a few minor foot cramps.... But worth it once in a while.
As to proportions, I weigh about 150 pounds.
Vitamin E, 800mg in the morning and 400mg at dinner time.
Calcium, 600mg in the morning and 600mg at dinner.
Potassium, 400mg in the morning and 400mg at night.
Magnesium, 400 mg in the morning and 200mg at dinner.
My life is ever so sweet without the cramps.
- From MJD - Jan-15-2014
- The main components that cause RLS/ PLMD are: 1) dehydration - people just don't drink enough water (not coffee, soda, etc.); 2) poor iron (transferrin) uptake; 3) Magnesium and potassium deficiency; also, one needs vitamin C and to avoid calcium in diet and supplement. Tyrosine, in food particularly, helps relax the synapse at the dopamine receptors at the blood-brain barrier (this is what carbidopa for Parkinson's does - and those who take this drug should avoid large amounts of tyrosine in foods - which helps iron and oxygen to hit the brain.
- From Priscilla - Dec-24-2012
- I used to suffer with restless leg syndrome at night in bed. The urge to move was so strong I would have to hop out of bed and walk around. I would wind up in the kitchen and have a glass of milk or something to eat, go back to bed and have the symptoms still. Rigorous movement until the muscles were burning and fatigued would help calm it down. But about a year ago I eliminated most dairy from my diet for weight loss reasons and a happy side effect was that I realized I don't suffer with restless leg syndrome anymore unless I forget and have some milk or a piece of cheese very near bedtime. Then the symptoms return immediately upon getting into bed. The connection is so direct I am determined to keep dairy at a minimum and avoid it all together at night.
- From Found Relief - Apr-15-2012
- I have restless leg syndrome since last 20 years. Very recently I found one trick which gave me some relief. Soak a long cotton piece of cloth (about 2 meters x 1.5 ft) in water (not freezing cold or warm, just room temperature). Spread this dripping piece of cloth on the bed where you place your leg. While you lie down on bed, place your leg (from toe to little above ankle) and wrap your both feet in this piece of cloth. Provide good aeration to your feet wrapped in dripping wet cloth. Make sure you keep comfortable distance between each of your feet. This works for me 99%. Any body can try it.
- From Lacey Velvet - Jan-08-2012
- I don't know if this will help anyone, but I have found that when the restless leg syndrome ache starts to occur, I ask my very patient husband to rub the bottoms of my feet. It seems to work best if he massages right in the middle of the foot. I have no idea why it helps, but it does. When the attacks come in the middle of the night, though, I just get up and walk a little, stand on my tip toes, stretch, etc. No sense in both of us losing a night's sleep.
- From Johanna - Dec-15-2011
- I started having restless leg syndrome about 2 yrs. ago. I thought I was nuts when I tried to tell people about it. I thought I was the only person with this problem. I was very ill last year and besides other medications I now have to take, Tramadol worked incredible for me. I take it only at bed time as the effects seem to last till the next night. I noticed the effects of Tramadol by pure accident. Bless this medication.
- From Sarah - Sep-28-2011
- I have had restless leg syndrome for 30 years now and the only thing I have found that helped, other than prescribed medicine which does work, is to cream my feet before I go to bed as this cools them down and if it happens in the night, jump up, go to the loo and jump back into bed again. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles that for sure, I am taking a vitamin B complex but that doesn't seem to do much. I'm interested in the fact that some people have said that dairy products irritate it. I must try that.
- From Dodie - Feb-19-2011
- I have suffered from restless leg syndrome for several years, I have partial sleep apnea and take Parkinson's medicaments for that condition. The restless leg syndrome seems to happen when I have dairy products, so I have eliminated them for the most part. As long as I stay dairy-free, I am OK.
- From Bruce Dubin - 2010
- My restless leg syndrome comes and goes. It used to be in both legs, starting at the bottom of the foot and moving up like an electrical current. I have found that using Lidoderm lidocaine patch 5% has at often times been very helpful.
- From Una A - 2010
- I've had Restless Leg Syndrome for about 40 years, and had had it for decades before I discovered it was a recognized disorder. I haven't found a cure, but if get up at night, once the cramps and jerking starts and rub deep heat (muscle relaxant) on my calves and massage it in, I can often then go back to bed and get a decent night's sleep. It doesn't always work and sometimes I have to repeat it, or soak in a hot bath. It isn't always in that order. But usually one or other will help.
- From Cathy Hayes - 2010
- I had restless leg syndrome for at least 15 years. It was caused by my body's "intolerant" reaction to eating any dairy product or any wheat product. I have removed all dairy and wheat from my diet and only suffer from it when I have some contaminated food.
- From SweetPea - 2010
- I have severe restless leg syndrome, which worsened after gastric bypass surgery. I have assumed this is due to issues of malabsorption. I have had extensive blood work, and know that I am deficient in iron and vitamin B12. I do notice that, when I take large doses of iron, that my restless leg syndrome symptoms are alleviated substantially. I don't take the increased doses of iron for an extended period, however, as I already suffer from chronic constipation and the increased iron exacerbates the constipation.
- From Amanda Rees - 2010
- Has anyone tried the homeopathic remedies, as there are three, I'm unsure about which to consider. Tonic water I've been told is good for this too when you get an attack, I tried it last night and slept a bit longer.