Restless Leg Syndrome Runs in the Family

I ran across this article by Donald Suanders, that I agree with, but find it interesting that it has taken so long for a study to be done on restless leg syndrome. Well, I’m grateful for the publicity on RLS, because now the medical profession seems to be taking it seriously, and that’s good for all of us that suffer with it. Here is just a portion of the article.
“The first element in the picture is that of a genetic basis for restless legs syndrome. It is now accepted that this condition runs in families with one study showing that as many of half of all cases show a family history. This is re-enforced by recent chromosome studies identifying a specific gene that is believed to play an important part in susceptibility to restless legs syndrome. Perhaps most significant of all however is a report published by the Mayo Clinic at the end of last year which showed that in a study of more than 500 children nearly three quarters of those with restless legs syndrome had a family history of the disorder.

The second element in the picture is that of an iron deficiency in sufferers. A number of studies by respected institutions, such as John Hopkins University, have shown that low levels of iron are common in cases of restless legs syndrome. It comes as no surprise therefore that more than eighty percent of the children in the Mayo Clinic study with restless legs syndrome also showed low iron levels.”

Copyright 2005 Donald Saunders �


Sleep Disorders, Alcohol, Caffiene and Nicotine!

Ran across some excellent thoughts on sleep that I wanted to share with everyone.

” Sleep disorders disrupt the sleep of millions of people all over the world. Until the 1950s, most people thought of sleep as a passive, dormant part of our daily lives. We now know that our brains are very active during sleep. Moreover, sleep affects our daily functioning and our physical and mental health in many ways that we are just beginning to recognize. Going to bed and waking up the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to altered sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for the lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning. I found very useful information on the web related to getting a Good Night’s Sleep. Exercise is great but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 5 or 6 hours before your bedtime. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only very lightly. In addition, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal. Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. You may think having an alcoholic “nightcap” will help you sleep, but alcohol robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause frequent awakenings to urinate. “

I agree. All very valid points. If we could just all have the willpower to take better care of ourselves we wouldn’t have the kind of health problems we do in this country. Good health takes work, just as everything else that is good in life.

Mercury Poisoning and Restless Leg Syndrome?

This letter was posted on a blog I visit and I felt it was worth mentioning. Is there a correlation or is it just a coincidence? Here is the log and my response.

I suffered from RLS as well until about 18 months ago. I also had other symptoms and searched the net for answers. All pointed to Mercury Poisoning. Not being in contact with mercury led to search possible sources. DENTAL AMALGUM POISONING (Silver Fillings) was the only contact I had. (So I) Had all my fillings removed, started herbal treatment to remove mercury from my system, and have not had RLS since then. Worth looking into as a possible solution.

It is interesting that you should bring that up. I just read an indepth article about
silver fillings in teeth and the mercury that is a part of that and the poison that could be leaking into our bodies as a result. It was very enlighting. My first thought was could RLS be related and bingo you write a log about it. It would be interesting to find out how many RLS sufferers have silver fillings. It would be fascinating to see if there is a link.

Restless legs – Depression – Bio-identical Hormones

Hi Everyone,
I decided to share a personal story with all of you that I believe is all connected in someway.
You have to forgive my prejudices, but I think anti-depressant drugs have created worse side effects than the depression many of us have suffered from in our lifetimes. It is interesting that for some odd reason (that someone might figure out eventually), many of us that suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome also experience depression, anxiety and panic. Yes, I know not sleeping can make one depressed, but did we have some symptoms of depression even before we had RLS? Did RLS create the depression or did the chemical imbalance of depression create RLS? I don’t truly know the answer to that, but it would be an interesting study.
I had quite severe depression in college many years ago, and had no idea, that that was what I was experiencing. It wasn’t talked about then. I just knew that when the black hole started to suck me in that I would be miserable, panicked, and scared that maybe this time I wouldn’t be able to climb out of the hole. I eventually found the will and the ability to cope with it and some steps to control it without medicine and spent most of my life happy with just intermittent times of anxiety and panic. Then I found Bio-identical hormones (Yes, these are for men and women) and realized I suffered all those years needlessly. Why this cure isn’t shouted from the house tops I don’t know, but it probably has to do with the huge Pharmaceuticals in this country, that make a fortune from our ignorance. They are so much cheaper than the drugs that are out there now. I just can’t tell you what a difference my quality of life is now that I am taking them and the greatest part is they are all natural and there are NO SIDE EFFECTS. The interesting thing is that now that my body is REALLY chemically balanced my RLS has diminished. Go figure?
I would love for everyone to know about Bio- identicals. To find a Doctor that prescribes them just get on the internet and search for a compounding pharmacy in your state and call them, and then ask for a Doctor in your area that works with Bio-identical Hormones. If I have convinced anyone to try them I would love to hear from you, because I know they will change your life around. They have for me. (There is a whole other letter I need to write about how Bio-identicals have helped me to lose weight, but I’ll save it for another time.)

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.

Does Caffeine Effect Your Restless Legs?

You think I would learn, but I am a little dense at times. I know what a great difference caffeine can make in the severity of my RLS at night, especially any coca cola products, but I forget about chocolate and the amount of caffeine it can have. I just need to satiate my cravings for chocolate with something else or at least be smart enough not to eat it late at night.

Early To Bed & RLS

I have been molling over the idea that the time we go to bed and rise in the morning can have an impact on the severity of our restless legs. The old saying of “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” has more truth in it than we give it credit. I read of a woman that had her hours at work changed to later in the day, so of course, she was going to bed later. She just mentioned in passing that her RLS had gotten worse. Coincidence?