A More Natural Form of Iron!

OK, so here is some more on iron. We know that RLS and low iron go hand in hand; too much research on the matter to deny it. My question is why is there not more information and dialogue on the types of iron? You have to go to a health food store or browse on the internet to learn that there are different kinds of iron and do’s and don’ts in taking them. The pharmaceuticals and unwittingly the doctors would have us believe there are only 2 major kinds of iron that work thus the debate on which is absorbed better, ferrous gluconate versus ferrous sulfate.
 “Ferrous salt preparations (ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous fumarate) are equally tolerable. Controlled-release iron preparations cause less nausea and epigastric pain than conventional ferrous sulfate, although the discontinuation rates between the 2 iron formulations were similar. Ferrous sulfate remains the standard first-line treatment of iron-deficiency anemia given its general tolerability, effectiveness, and low cost.”
I too was as uninformed as the general public as to the different kinds of iron until my hormone doctor found out I was so low in iron and recommended a more natural form of iron so I wouldn’t have induced iron-related digestive distress or free-radical problems that come with the salt related irons. I started to research on the internet and found some interesting information, in particularly from eHow and wellnessresource.com.
I am sure that my doctor was aware of the recent study that….. “identified iron as a key nutrient in cells that enables thyroid/ zinc gene signals to function in metabolic pathways. A lack of iron inside cells may reduce up to 80 different gene signals that would otherwise be following “thyroid instructions.” A lack of iron may handicap metabolism and cause metabolic fatigue”…… “Adequate iron is vital for properly oxygenated blood, muscle function, thyroid function, and growth.”
So, if iron is that important to not only the function of the blood, muscle and thyroid function and growth, as well as Restless Leg Syndrome, then why not more readily assessable information on it and some natural alternatives? I have found two that I think are worth mentioning; Ferrofood by Standard Process Inc. that is sold through Health Care Professionals and Blood Builder on Wellnessresource.com. If anyone out there has any other good natural forms of iron, I would love to post the information.
One last point; I found these great tips on eHow, that give you several steps that can help you maximize your iron absorption with whatever type of iron you are currently taking.
Step One  
 Take iron and vitamin C together. The presence of vitamin C can increase iron’s absorption by as much as 30 percent. 


Step Two 
Avoid taking an antacid at the same time you take iron. Stomach acid is needed to properly absorb iron. 

Step Three  
Take iron at the same time as copper, manganese and molybdenum. They are needed for complete iron absorption. 

Step Four  
Avoid using excessive amounts of zinc and vitamin E, which can interfere with iron absorption.  
 Step Five  
Take vitamin A and B complex at the same time as iron. They are also needed for complete iron absorption. 

Also, if you have milk allergies your body might not be able to process the iron at all, so that might be something to check out.
Hope you have found this helpful.

Amino Acids and Iron Level Power

In an article I read in Aternative Medicine by Kristin Bjornsen, she mentions that evidence has been found pointing to the importance of balanced amino acids , the building blocks for dopamine and other neurotransmitters and iron levels. The article goes on to say that:

“One amino acid in particular seemed to play a starring role: L-theanine…….taking 100 mg three times a day has improved (RLS) symptoms tremendously. L-theanine is found in green tea and is available as a supplement at health stores. RLS sufferers should opt for the supplement form, rather than the caf­feine-laden tea. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, director of The Annapolis Center for Effective CFS/Fibromyalgia Therapies and author of Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw Hill, 2006), “L-­theanine is one of the single best nutri­ents for inducing deep sleep, [which is vital for RLS sufferers], although it doesn’t necessarily target Restless Legs Syndrome specifically.” He suggests try­ing 1,000 mg of tyrosine (a precursor of dopamine) in the morning as another source of relief. Sufferers can also opt to have a doc­tor analyze their blood and urine to de­tect possible amino-acid deficiencies and tailor a specific treatment to restore proper levels. Although L-theanine has worked well …………a primary frontline defense for RLS is iron-and iron levels should be the first thing checked if some­one exhibits RLS symptoms. “Low iron is a potent trigger because the part of the brain that makes dopamine is iron ­dependent,” Jacob Teitelbaum, says, about 25 percent of RLS sufferers have low iron levels, so supplementing with iron is “one of the most effective treatments for eliminating the underlying condition.” According to Teitelbaum, a blood ferritin level below 40 or an iron percent saturation below 22 percent warrants supplementing with 70 mg of iron plus 150 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for three to six months. Take them on an empty stomach for maximum absorption. “

I believe strongly that what we take into our bodies effects our health, and that when we are not eating a healthy diet, we are inviting disease and life long problems. As we age it is also harder to maintain a healthly chemical balance in our bodies and therefore it is important that we get blood tests that can indicate which essential chemicals, minerals, etc., are low. So if you haven’t had your blood tested in a long time may I suggest that you consider getting it done as soon as possible?

More things to think about.


RLS Less Severe with Activity?

We all know how mind consuming RLS can be. In fact it is hard to think about anything else when it is in its worse stages, but can that be changed? Some people think so, you decide.

I ran across this on the internet and thought it was worth noting.

Behavioral Therapy: Distraction Techniques
Individuals with RLS often find that it is helpful to distract the mind when an RLS attack occurs. The idea is to occupy the mind on some other activity, and in the process reduce the attack or even make it go away completely. There are numerous techniques: music, dance, stretching, computers, games, food, hand work like knitting etc., candy to suck on, massage, herbal teas etc.. And there are visualization and relaxation techniques: breathing exercises, guided imagery etc..

One name for this distraction approach is “BOTA”, which stands for “Bag of Tricks”. BOTA involves a combination of behavior modification approaches and was developed by RLSer Jill Gunzel. The idea is to develop a set of techniques that work to stop an RLS attack as quickly as possible. These techniques, or “tricks”, are applied systematically and repeated over and over again until eventually behavior modification is accomplished. Not only do the tricks work to quiet or prevent the RLS attacks at the moment, but they eventually have a positive effect on future tendencies and experiences with RLS.

Without hope we would never find answers. So don’t stop looking for help.



Drugs verses Iron Supplements

 I ran across this letter on one of the forums I visit  and decided to share it with my readers. I love real life stories and successes, that information is the most valuable, because it is real people and situations. One persons success can help hundreds of others. It is important that we continue to share what we have learned with each other. 

“After having r.l.s. for over 26 years and only for the last 5 years having known what was wrong with me , I’ve been on sinemet. along with ultram, 1 pill each at night , usually works o.k. but many nights I just twitch my self to sleep, recently my wife found some info on r.l.s. that showed that even with a normal iron level, r.l.s. patients could still be low on iron and that may cause a worstening condition. Well about a week ago I started taking a once a day iron supplement, within the 2nd day I am sleeping great , no daytime r.l.s. symptoms, at night I fall asleep witout any twitching at all and sleep thru the night without any problems . Also for the last 3 nights I’ve only been taking a half dose of the sinamet and still am going all night , and day with no problems. All I can hope is that this info will help others as much as it has helped me,It’s almost like I don’t have r.l.s. anymore, Im energized from sleeping well, and I feel that a big piece of my life has been returned to me . How simple of a fix this turned out to be, ( my doctor treats many patients with r.l.s. and always said I was the worst case of it he ever saw, 2 stanford sleep studies, they agreed that I was a 8 to 9 on a 10 scale. There is hope if we all just communicate to each other, we are the testers, thru knowledge is power over this terrible condition. Im getting my life back I hope this will help others get theirs back also. Best of luck to all that read this in their quest for a life returned.”

More things to think about.