Restless Leg Syndrome, Parkinsons and Dopamine!

If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, it might be your legs causing the troubles. University of Cincinnati Sleep Center experts say a syndrome that tends to run in families may be to blame and it often affects those who are pregnant or have diabetes.

If you toss and turn while lying in bed, you could have restless leg syndrome. “Restless leg syndrome is basically the sensation that you can’t get your legs comfortable and you have to keep moving your legs,” said Dr. James Knepler. “It usually happens when you are lying still and most frequently when you are entering bed trying to fall asleep.” The thought is that this may happen due to changes in the brain from something called dopamine. That is a similar problem in Parkinson’s disease, so researchers have now started using medications used in Parkinson’s to treat RLS. Parkinson’s is a disease that causes tremors and sporadic movement. Sleep medicine expert Dr. Knepler says that is sort of what’s happening in restless leg syndrome, which is why Parkinson’s medications such as Mirapex and Requip may work to reduce RLS symptoms. “It’s not that this is a precursor to Parkinson’s, (it’s) just that these medications work on the dopamine receptor in your brain, which for Parkinson’s works with the tremor and for this works with the restless legs.

A sleep study is the best way to find out if you have RLS. In addition to medications, symptoms can be reduced by getting proper treatment if you have low iron levels in your blood and by staying physically active throughout the day. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol tend to aggravate this condition. A sleep study is usually covered by medical insurance if it is recommended by your primary care doctor.

Posted by: Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Acupuncture

Has anyone looked into acupuncture for restless legs? We in the west have only just begun to use what the east has known for centuries. A family member of mine had very severe TMJ, headaches etc., thought it had cleared up and then had their tonsils out and begun having all kinds of trouble swallowing, breathing, headaches. They tried acupuncture, (actually on the advice of the regular MD, hooray for him) and have found great relief from all the problems. Maybe our energy flow is disrupted with RLS and therefore we have this residual pain. Just a thought.

RLS – Natural vs. Pharmaceutical Remedies

I don’t have all the answers but for me going the natural way is so much healthier and smarter. The natural way takes longer but it doesn’t cost as much. Look at what you take into your body and what kind of an exercise regiment you have. Most people don’t want to go this route because it takes work and a longer time, but you avoid the high costs of drugs and all the side effects.

Traveling With Restless Legs

Traveling is always a painful experience, but I have found some things that help, so I thought I would share them with you. If I stretch just before I travel I seem to have fewer symptoms. Also, if I take off my shoes and wear comfortable socks I have less pain. If I wear loose fitting clothes that do not restrict the flow of blood in my legs I also experience fewer symptoms.