New eBook on Restless Leg Syndrome!

I have been working off and on between job and family, for the last 2 years on an eBook about RLS. I have had so many people ask me questions about Restless Leg Syndrome that I just didn’t feel my blogging could adequately cover everything. So, I decided a couple of years ago to start putting down my thoughts on RLS along with the most recent research. I wanted a book that was easy to follow and not very long, only 70 pages. A reference book that I felt would address most peoples concerns and give them some different choices of treatment for their RLS. I know that one cure does not fit all, but I do think there are standard things that everyone should do that is afflicted with RLS. I am trying to work out all the technical stuff and sometimes that feels like looking through a glass darkly, but I hope to have it up and going on my website for your reading pleasure in the next couple of weeks. I also hope to have a system set up that will notify all my readers everytime I write a blog so that if you are interested you can check it out on my blogsite.

I welcome all your comments on my upcoming eBook.

Kris

Restorative Sleep

I found this on a forum group I visit and thought it was worth considering.


In treating FMS we found that our RLS was due to insufficient amounts of deep, restorative sleep.

Wearing an eye mask and ear plugs to bed (to block out ALL light and ALL sound – at the head) lets us get to deep restorative sleep in about 3 minutes and stay there all night.

Next morning, no RLS! Stays away as long as we get enough of the good sleep.

Kris

Cold Hands and Feet and Restless Legs?

I recently corresponded with a woman who’s husband had just out of the blue developed cold feet and was also starting to suffer from restless legs as well. She wanted to know if they were related. Not being a doctor I couldn’t say definitively that they were, but reading from the list of problems that are caused when our hormones are out of sync, I felt that low thyroid could be one of the underlying causes.Cold feet and restless legs have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, that is until I discovered Bio-identical Hormones. Since I have been on Bio-identical Hormones I very seldom get cold feet and my RLS has greatly diminished. The reason for that is my thyroid is now balanced. Common symptoms of having a low thyroid are: inability to lose weight (despite dieting and exercising), cold hands and feet, dry skin, mild depression, chronic tiredness (despite plenty of sleep), constipation, brittle finger nails, hair coming out when brushing, forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability and anxiety, to name a few. If you or someone you know is also suffering from these symptoms, maybe you should have your thyroid checked. If that isn’t the problem then the other possibility could be problems with your circulation. I have always felt that poor circulation can worsen symptoms of RLS. I also have a poor circulation, so I try to exercise regularly and wear non-restrictive clothing and shoes.

Good health is worth the time and effort that we spend on it.

Kris

Diet and Restless Legs?

Do diet and RLS have anything in common? It is an interesting question. I have long thought that our lower backs can directly effect our symptoms with RLS. Our bowels are located right by our lower backs, if things aren’t working right in that department can it put pressure and distress on our lower backs and can that in turn increase RLS symptoms? I don’t have the answer to that, but it sounds like a logical conclusion to me. What I do know is that what we eat does directly effect our health and maybe if we were more health conscious about what we put into our bodies we could help the severity of RLS or even stop some of the symptoms completely.

If when eating food, digestion or constipation are problems for you, you might be interested in a website I found. It presents a whole new idea on not only what we eat but how we combine foods. The website is www.GreatTasteNoPain.com. On one of it’s advertisements it states that:

“Chemically engineered boxed, bagged, bottled, canned and frozen foods have made us tired, fat and sick…..In addition, the way we combine food that doesn’t digest quickly and easily when eaten together saps energy, adds weight and creates pain, sickness and disease.”

It further states:

“Over 30% of Americans now use antacids and stomach medicines for pain on a regular basis; many need them after every single meal!”

I liked the concepts of this site and have purchased the eBooks and cookbook for myself. I have tried several of the recipes and really liked them. I am trying to slowly change the way I eat and what foods I combine together and it seems to help overall. It has made me eat more small meals so I can enjoy all the fruits I like but that fits right into what science and medicine has espoused for years and that is, we should be eating 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. There is no doubt that as a society we are more fat and less healthy, so maybe there is something to this great taste no pain diet. Let me know what you think.

Just some more ideas to chew on.

Kris

Chronic Constipation & RLS

Somehow, you would think that constipation has nothing to do with RLS, but may I suggest that it does? So many of the ailments of our bodies are interconnected, so much so that we can’t effectively treat one thing without treating other things as well. I have mentioned before that weaker lower backs can effect restless leg sufferers, what I also believe is that weaker backs can also effect our lower bowels and therefore the toxins that continue to build up in our bodies because of chronic constipation which can also make RLS worse. The constant build up of pressure in the abdominal area can also put more pressure on the lower back as well.

I read in my chiropractor’s newsletter the “Optimal Health University”, that one of the highlights for 2007 was that chiropractic care may help cure chronic constipation. A new case study published in January 2007 indicates that chiroparactic care may help correct chronic constipation, even if traditonal medical treatment has failed to work. THe study was of an 8-year-old boy that had the problem since birth. Allopathic treatment consisting of laxatives, high fluid intake, and high fiber intake had not been effective to date. They determined that he had misalignment of the bones in the hip and low-back area. Chiropractic adjustments were performed along with external massage of the abdomen. According to the study, the patient reported an immediate dramatic improvement in bowel function.

I have found other things as well that can help chronic constipation and that is Dr Christopher’s Lower bowel formula. All of Dr. Christopher’s products are wonderful, check out his website. I was also recently introduced to Sherry Brescia website www.greattastenopain.com. She has followed a food diet that she says has cured her chronic constipation permanently.

If you are bothered by chronic constipation and RLS, please take the time to study these various forms of help that I have suggested, you just might find the relief you have been unsuccessfully looking for until now.

Kris

Strengthening the Lower Back

I have often felt that part of the problem for those of us suffering with Restless Leg Syndrome had to do with a weaker lower back. Mainly, I have focused on exercises and stretches that would strengthen the back; or developing the habit of walking every evening to increase  strength and relieve some of the tensions of the day. However, recently I visited my chiropractor and we discussed more in detail the advantages of the pettibon system and inparticularly the folcrum exercises. These exercises consist of a series of exercises done on various foam folcrums designed to put the curve back into the spine. The reason was, I learned, that 70 to 80% of our bodies strength comes from the correct curve of the spine in the lower back and neck. So not only can weak muscles effect us but the actual curve of the spine. That explains why even after hitting the gym frequently or doing nightly stretches our lower back can still be weak and cause problems, because the real conundrum is without the right curve in our lower back and neck, exercises won’t be as effective and we will always be weaker than we should. Now I don’t advocate giving up on those exercises but maybe it’s time to ask your doctor about the pettibon system and how you can get the curve back in your spine.

Happy New Year to all of you.

 

Kris

How To Breathe The Right Way!

I decided that talking about breathing and knowing the right way to do it doesn’t always go hand in hand, so I decided I needed to research what are the common thoughts on breathing correctly. This is what I found.

Most of us breath incorrectly, we do something akin to the exact opposite of the way we really should. We suck in our tummies and raise our shoulders. This fast, shallow breathing expels carbon dioxide too quickly and has many bad effects on our physical and emotional health. Without sufficient oxygen, your body becomes more susceptible to health problems. One way to find out if you are a shallow breather, is to put your palms on your lower abdomen and take a big breath. If your abdomen expands when you inhale, you’re on the right track.

The right kind of breathing is done by expanding our diaphragm. This kind of deep abdominal breathing helps to massage and detoxify our inner organs, promote blood flow and peristalsis, and pump the lymph more efficiently through our lymphatic system. How often should we breathe six breaths per minute is considered optimal or as some say count to 5 or 6 when breathing in and then again when breathing out. You don’t have to work at breathing all the time, just start out by spending 20 or 30 minutes a day sensing and observing your breath. One suggestion was to do some correct breathing just before you go to bed or before you get out of bed in the morning. I am always for the most convenient because then I will do it. Some easy steps to remember are:

1. Have good posture.

2. Try breathing through your nose.

3. When breathing in fill the lower part of the lungs (expanding the abdomen) first and then the upper part of the lungs.

4. Breathe in slowly, maybe hold your breath and then breathe out slowly.

5. Relax your abdomen and shoulders.

I hope that gives you a good start to a very healthy habit.

Kris

Breathing Through Restless Legs

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I find myself reflecting at this time of year on all those things that I am thankful for; such as family and good health. Even though RLS can effect our lives dramatically, so many others have much worse circumstances to deal with that I am glad my worst health trial is only RLS.

I am also grateful for the ability to breathe deeply. I had asthma as a child and sometimes taking a single breath was an excruciating exerience. I remember the panic of not being able to take a deep breath and feeling as if I was going to suffocate. Sometimes those feelings of panic return when I think I am not going to be able to sleep through the night again for the millionth time, and as the panic sets in I begin to breathe much more shallow and I feel that tightness around my chest. That sets me thinking. Poor circulation has been associated with RLS, not only in making it worse but as a possibly cause. Circulation is increased when the blood is high in oxygen and there are no restrictions. Could the answer to helping our RLS be as simple as our ability to breathe deeply? Think about it for a minute. Panic, stress and pain have never helped anyone to breathe deeply quite the contrary and the more shallow we breathe the less oxygen is absorbed by the blood stream, thus decreasing the quality of our blood and it’s ability to deliver the nutrients to the major organs of the body let alone our extremities. Maybe what we need to do is breathe through the pain with long slow deep breaths over and over again. If nothing seems to change right away, I will bet you notice less stress. You might find you can think more clearly. Your heart will thank you and you might even improve the antioxidant status in your blood. Seems a win win situation to me and  you just might find yourself sleeping more peacefully through the night.

Just an interesting idea, that might be worth trying.

Kris

Stretching, Exercise and Chiropractic Care, Cont.

I was going to write about the new Chiropractic system another time but felt I really hadn’t finished all I had wanted to say on exercise and chiropractic care, so this is a continuation of the first installment about the magic pill. I guess I lump exercise and chiropractic care together only because they both work on the muscles and spine and I don’t think one is effective without the other.

This new chiropractic system is called the Pettibon System. I am sure you can google Pettibon and read all about it, so I will give a brief nuts and bolts description. This new system focuses on trying to completely heal the body not just adjust it for a time. The premise is that simple adjustments without strengthening the weaker muscles will just throw the body back out of alignment. They have exercises and weights that you need to use the rest of your life. When the spine  doesn’t have it’s curve the whole body is weaker. So how does all this relate to RLS? Since the spine houses the nerves for our body and if our spine is compacting on the nerves we are not getting a healthy flow through our nervous system or with our flow of energy.  If our back is out of alignment that can directly effects our legs. I have also felt that weak lower backs can have a strong impact our ability to sleep at night. Are they related? I will let you find that out for yourselves, but for me I have noticed a signficant improvement in my RLS.

Again no magic pill, just hard work, but isn’t it better to make a lasting difference with our RLS instead of a temporary one?

More things to think about.

Kris

Stretching, Exercise and Chiropractic Care!

Here is the first of my 3 installments on the magic pill.

One of those things that seems to be the hardest for all of us to do is maintain a good exercise routine. Yet that is one of those things I firmly believe can have great benefits to sufferers of RLS, again no magic pill, just good old fashioned hard work. I have mentioned before that a light walk before bedtime can release some of the tension in our muscles and help us sleep better, but I think stretching can also have a big impact on our symptoms. I subscribe to a chiropractic newsletter “To your Health”, that has wonderful “stuff” in it. In the latest newsletter was this short article on stretching that I feel has great value to all of us, that is why I mention Chiropractic care in the title of this blog, but also I am going to address a revolutionary approach in chiropractic care that I have been on for the last 6 months that has really helped with my RLS. I will talk more on that new approach on another blog. Back to Stretching, here is the article.

“Stretching the Limits

A surprising number of people believe stretching is a waste of time. Stretching exercises relieve muscle tension, flush lactic acid out of your muscles (lactic acid accumulates during high-intensity exercise, creating that “burning sensation,” and can contribute to suboptimal muscle performance), and increase your range of motion for longer strides and better athletic performance.

Contrary to popular belief, stretching shouldn’t be the first thing you do when you are about to work out or play a sport. In fact, stretching cold muscles can result in pulls and injuries. Your best bet is to start with a five-minute warm-up, consisting of a shorter, less intense version of whatever activity you’re about to engage in.

After your warm-up, take a few minutes to stretch your major muscle groups, with a particular focus on the areas you are about to train. Each stretch should last about 30 seconds. In general, there is little benefit to stretches that last as long as 60 seconds.

Every workout should end with a brief cooldown and stretching routine. Research indicates that if you only have time to stretch once, you should make time after your workout, when your muscles are warm and responsive to stretching. If you’ve done your workout right, your heart rate will be at its peak and you’ll feel warm and tired. The cooldown lets your heart transition to its normal rate and lets your muscles adjust out of their contracted state, which can help prevent strain and soreness.

Now that you know the benefits of warming up, cooling down and regular stretching, never again underestimate the importance of the first and last few minutes of your workout.”
 

More things to think about.

Kris