Restless Leg Syndrom (RLS)
Just what it sounds like, RLS is a condition where sufferers experience cramps, spasms, twitches, or simply a build-up of restless energy in their legs. Usually experienced at night in a manner that serves to disrupt sleep, it will occasionally also flare up during the day during long periods of sitting.
Sometimes associated with TMJ-like symptoms.
Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies
Niacin Iron Magnesium Potassium
Lifestyle changes. Iron. Anti-seizure drugs. Dopaminergic agents. Opioids. Benzodiazepines. Source: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Restless-Legs-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet
Any physical exertion that tires out the leg muscles can help to calm RLS. Warning: for some sufferer, excessive exercise can actually exacerbate symptoms.
- Limit intake of stimulants
Caffeine, nicotine, and most other stimulants can cause RLS or make it worse.
- Deep Tissue Massage
- Compression Clothing
- Started taking 3x500mg / day of Niacin. Real ("flush", "immediate release") niacin, not the easier to take ones (hexanicotinate inositol, nicotinamide). Symptoms disappeared, along with the improvement of many other health issues. WARNING: This is a lot, and should not be done for a long time without medical supervision.
Is Niacin Dangerous? Probably not. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/nutrients/niacin/
RAW MATERIAL Ben Greenfield Fitness #273: There’s a ton of docs out there who basically just prescribed what are called dopaminergic medicines where there are just subscribing or prescribing people who have restless legs syndrome with the same stuff you’d prescribed to somebody who has depression or schizophrenia or something like that. The idea is that there are couple different types of restless legs syndrome and really it kinda depends on what you come after like there’s 2 different types: there’s primary and secondary. Now, primary restless leg syndrome is more peripheral nervous system related so it is akin to usually an issue with the neuro-transmitter dopamine which helps to facilitate uniform and control movements and low dopamine or alterations on dopamine signalling can be an issue when it comes to primary restless leg syndrome. And of course, there are a bunch of different dopamine enhancing drugs. You know, they’re called dopamine agonist that can be use for something like that. Unfortunately most are rift with side effects that really have some pretty serious addictive potential and some other side effects as well. So, you gotta be kinda careful with some of these pharmacological treatments for dopamine. For something like a peripheral nervous system issue or dopamine issue and that is a cause for restless leg syndrome, I would first look in to massage and acupuncture and there have been some studies that have shown those to be fairly efficacious for restless leg syndrome and to provide some benefit and exercise can help as well. Just because engaging in physical activity helps to eliminate some of that restlessness that occurs in the legs but also strengthens the peripheral nervous system. It has been found that exercise shortly before going to bed actually exacerbate restless leg syndrome but if you exercise earlier in the day and you have like this primary form of restless leg syndrome it can help. There is one form of dopamine called L-dopa that you can look into and you can get that, I believe over the counter (or protect your computer and go to the silk road and get it). L-dopa is something that gets converted into dopamine with the aid of vitamin b6 so you use it like an L-dopa supplement combine with vitamin b6 can technically help with restless legs and if there’s a dopamine issue, but you need to be careful with that because anytime you’re putting higher levels of neuro-transmitter in your body you risk creating an imbalance between serotonin and dopamine. So, I would not really recommend that you do anything like that without working with a practitioner who is well-versed in measuring your urinary levels of neuro-transmitters. I’d look in to the Kalish system, there’s a guy who lives in California named Dr. Dan Kalish and there are people out who are certified Kalish practitioners who are really good at addressing neuro-transmitter deficits and ensuring that testing is done in conjunction with supplementation. You also get secondary restless leg syndrome and there are literally a couple of dozen medical conditions that can cause secondary restless leg syndrome. A lot of times it can be an issue with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, it can be an issue with low levels of antioxidants, low levels of magnesium, low levels of iron and there are a lot more kinda new nutritional guns that you can pull out against something like secondary restless leg syndrome if that’s the issue. Some of the things that have been shown to help with secondary restless legs syndrome if it is an issue one would be making sure that you get adequate ferritin in your diet and ferritin is an iron storage protein probably the top supplement that I like for increasing your levels of iron or ferritin is one called Floradix and I’ll link to that in the show notes but it’s basically a ferritin pyrophosphate type of supplement. Another thing that is really been shown to help out is vitamin C and vitamin E. Now, the issue with that is I’m not a big fan of high doses of synthetic vitamin C and vitamin E because those have also been shown to increase risk of stroke. So, I’m a bigger fan of using just like a good full spectrum antioxidant something like the Lifeshotz which I’ve recommended before in the show. My personal naturopathic physician Dr. Todd, he invented the stuff which would I take on a daily basis to mitigate a lot of the effects of me getting exposed to everything from chlorine to solar radiation from flying, etc. That’s a really really strong antioxidant that’s one that I’d look into. From a blood sugar standpoint, since this restless leg syndrome can definitely be an issue with glucose tolerance I would ensure that your evening carbohydrate intake is controlled (that you watched it), that you also consider getting on one of these supplements that can help with insulin sensitivity and glucose stabilization. My favourite one for that is bitter melon extract and there’s a supplement called MPX 100, it’s the same thing I take when I stuffed my face and I ate too much food and you know, it’s kinda like my “oh crap” fall back supplement when I over-eat but it’s called MPX 100,and it lowers your blood glucose so you don’t get as much of an insulin response and spike in blood glucose. Few other things when it comes to restless leg syndrome, valerian root which is a great herb anyways to help you sleep.
Valerian root in studies has been shown to result an improvement in restless leg syndrome symptoms. More in women than in men but that’s another one you could into is valerian root extract and that’s something that you can get pretty much anywhere. You can grab that off at amazon or whatever, it’s pretty easy to find. Another thing that I would look into and again I’m just listing off the natural supplement that have shown to have an effect on restless leg syndrome, folic acid would be another one. Folic acid or folate deficiencies may play a role in the development of restless leg syndrome and folic acid supplementation can help to treat a lot of different disorders in your peripheral nervous system but restless leg syndrome in particular is one that’s been shown to be effective. And then the last one would be magnesium and in this case I’d be a big fan of actually using a transdermal magnesium delivery like putting it on your legs and I’m not….. have you used the magnesium oil before Brock before you go to bed at night?
I think it’s annoying. So, what I do now is there’s this magnesium lotion, it’s the same company that makes the magnesium spray that I used to use more. Now, I use the magnesium lotion before I go to bed and I’ll put it on my legs after like a hard workout day and it gets absorbed super quickly and it doesn’t gather on the skin, it just rubs right in, it’s combined with msm which means it absorbs really quickly into your skin but it’s basically made by ancient minerals it’s called ancient minerals magnesium lotion and it doesn’t result in the same type of issues you don’t get like, stinging, you don’t get the flaking, it doesn’t make the sheet feel weird against your skin. So, that’s the one that I’d recommend. I know it’s a lot of stuff but those are all the things that I’d recommend you look into. When it comes to the thyroid issue and you know, whether or not there’s kind of a link between thyroid and restless leg syndrome, there’s some evidence that high amounts of estrogen in both men and women can be associated with low thyroid and high amounts of estrogen because your liver is essentially turning over or metabolizing estrogen at a faster phase can result in a deficiency in vitamin B and a deficiency in magnesium from that increase in estrogen turnover. And so by adding magnesium into the diet, by getting some folic acid into your diet, by using for example that antioxidant Lifeshotz that I recommended that also has a full spectrum of vitamin B in it, you’d be addressing some of those issues as well. So, that’s the skinny on restless leg syndrome and what I do about it.