5

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Restless Leg Syndrome

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM

My husband and I have been following low-carb for a couple of years, and near-Paleo for several months. He has suffered on and off for years with Restless Leg Syndrome. Does anyone know about this and perhaps a vitamin or mineral supplement that would work? He gets up to stretch his legs, and sometimes that works, but often it just interrupts his sleep and is miserable the next day. He is in his mid-50's, and we've heard that it gets worse with age. Anyone?? Thanks!

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 18, 2013
at 10:55 PM

>>>It's a neurological syndrome, so it's not really affected by your diet <<<<

Hmmmm.......

I'd put my money on diet before a bar of soap.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 18, 2012
at 09:43 AM

It is all fun and games until your roommate takes one of the drugs with those specific side effects and tackles the Christmas tree for reasons we'd rather not know.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 18, 2012
at 09:41 AM

Interesting note on the GABA there, I don't normally have RLS as long as I keep my magnesium up, but I think I gave it to myself briefly when I was testing GABA to see if it would help with my sleep and I kept waking myself up with a start when I would kick the wall next to my bed.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:04 AM

Adequate vitamin D3 intake (about 5000 IU/d, enough to get my level above 50 ng/mL or 125 nmol/L) fixed my tooth grinding for good. After suffering from it for most of my life, it was amazing to find the solution was so simple. Your mileage may vary, of course.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Calf cramps are different than restless leg syndrome- calf cramps are a muscle spasm (sharp pain) whereas restless leg syndrome is an ache and discomfort (dull, constant pain for most people).

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I'm a Seinfeld nut and have seen that episode at least 10 times. Can't believe I missed the reference. Damn, I miss that show.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 11:35 PM

"jimmy arms/legs" is from Seinfeld, Frank's wife Estelle has the "jimmy arms" so they sleep in separate beds so Frank can get a good night of sleep.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 11:33 PM

This is interesting reading: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/water.shtml. Please note this is not a PR campaign; when you're on to something you're on to something or on something.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Never heard of the "jimmy legs" but strangely apppropriate name, I think. I eat grassfed beef every day and have still be iron deficient for quite some time. I'm going to try your sodium prescription, as blood tests have indicated a slight deficiency there too.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 09:50 PM

You might also find that sodium will help with some of the stomach issues

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on May 29, 2010
at 04:18 PM

That was supposed to be "really" INTERESTING.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on May 29, 2010
at 04:17 PM

Oh, wow. Now I am wondering what "unusual" sexual urges might be engendered.....gambling, I don't care about, but the other sounds REALLY :-)

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17 Answers

4
2acab1c60fe533b0c651e36cc9e57a68

on May 31, 2010
at 05:15 PM

There is a link between Celiac's Disease and RLS. Most Celiac's have iron deficiencies, and inherent issues with malabsorption. I had RLS for a while, and noticed I could sleep if I had taken an anti-inflammatory pill. It appears that RLS is due to some sort inflammation, so strict Paleo Diet should ameliorate his symptoms.

If you have noticed him having chronic fatigue as well, I would suggest: testing him for Celiac's Disease have his ferritin stores checked follow the Paleo Diet for leaky-gut and autoimmune diseases.

Some doctors (sadly) do not check for the ferritin stores, or for Celiac's Disease unless you specifically ask for it. This was my case back home in Kansas City. Good luck!

-KP

2
1aeb2cfacf9bc03644bcda640ce459ba

(154)

on May 31, 2010
at 02:24 AM

anemia is probably the most common cause of RLS. DO NOT supplement w/o a lab result since too much iron can cause serious problems.

you could do some paleo supplementing w raw beef (raw jerky's good) and don't forget to use something w vitamin C....lemon, lime, orange, etc. as well.

2
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on May 30, 2010
at 04:43 PM

article linking RLS and celiac (iron and other vitamin deficiencies are common with celiac)

http://www.celiac.com/articles/22091/1/Restless-Leg-Syndrome-Common-in-Adults-with-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html

The Paleo diet does not contain gluten, but it is not gluten-free.

2
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on May 30, 2010
at 02:10 PM

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to RLS, as well as a host of other problems. Personally, I had suffered from RLS for years. About a year and a half ago, I removed gluten from my diet and started supplementing with Vitamin D3. I was terribly deficient (32) and my doctor recommended 10,000 IU per day until my levels came up over the next year (70). I could tell an improvement in RLS, migraines, body aches, joint pain, and energy within just a few weeks. Other friends of mine have also noticed a big change in their RLS with Vit D3 and the gluten free diet.

PS. Do not take GABA in the evening. Nighttime doses make my RLS return until it wears off.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 18, 2012
at 09:41 AM

Interesting note on the GABA there, I don't normally have RLS as long as I keep my magnesium up, but I think I gave it to myself briefly when I was testing GABA to see if it would help with my sleep and I kept waking myself up with a start when I would kick the wall next to my bed.

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 07, 2011
at 06:39 PM

RLS syndrome is a sleep disorder.....and its tied to metabolism by the several factors. Fixing the leaky gut is critical. First screening sign is a lower than normal HDL and chronically elevated cortisol that is often out of synch with circadian rhythms.

1
D54290f91bd8c2ff9fdf2f519933bf3e

(1231)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:43 PM

i would try magnesium. work up to 400-600mg a day of mag citrate.

1
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 09:47 PM

If you are having RLS i.e. the jimmy legs, "hot legs", and swelling or warmth is present, it doesn't have to be a lot of swelling, there is a good chance your not getting enough sodium. If I get the jimmy legs at night I automatically drink about 500ml of water with a 1/2 to 1 TEAspoon of sea salt (sometimes I drink it all sometime about half I just drink to "feel"), the symptoms go away fairly quickly. More than likely unless your very active I highly doubt it is a iron deficiency. I've had an iron deficiency before during very heavy training and the symptoms of that don't remind me of the jimmy legs at all. Try the salt you might be surprised.

If you are concerned about iron deficiency you should also try eating red meat separate from things like milk and eggs which can inhibit absorption. Things like orange juice will enhance absorption. Don't know for sure if this is common knowledge in the paleo world but these details are very well known in the elite running.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 11:33 PM

This is interesting reading: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/water.shtml. Please note this is not a PR campaign; when you're on to something you're on to something or on something.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 09:50 PM

You might also find that sodium will help with some of the stomach issues

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on March 31, 2011
at 11:35 PM

"jimmy arms/legs" is from Seinfeld, Frank's wife Estelle has the "jimmy arms" so they sleep in separate beds so Frank can get a good night of sleep.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Never heard of the "jimmy legs" but strangely apppropriate name, I think. I eat grassfed beef every day and have still be iron deficient for quite some time. I'm going to try your sodium prescription, as blood tests have indicated a slight deficiency there too.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 01, 2011
at 02:04 AM

I'm a Seinfeld nut and have seen that episode at least 10 times. Can't believe I missed the reference. Damn, I miss that show.

1
B00fb3a3a8f29b381a0c3b606bcc4765

(270)

on May 28, 2010
at 05:45 PM

My doctor also mentioned that low iron can be a problem. Also, is your husband taking any allergy meds? When I was taking Claritin some years ago, I wore holes in 2 bottom sheets from the RLS. (Talk about miserable!) I didn't make the connection for a while, then on a hunch, googled RLS & allergy medications. Sure enough, it got much better when I quit taking the meds.

I've had occasional bouts of RLS my whole life, but every time I hear an ad for the prescription drugs for it, and their warnings about "any unusual sexual or gambling urges", I'm more convinced that I can live with the RLS!

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on May 29, 2010
at 04:18 PM

That was supposed to be "really" INTERESTING.

145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

(1932)

on May 29, 2010
at 04:17 PM

Oh, wow. Now I am wondering what "unusual" sexual urges might be engendered.....gambling, I don't care about, but the other sounds REALLY :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on March 18, 2012
at 09:43 AM

It is all fun and games until your roommate takes one of the drugs with those specific side effects and tackles the Christmas tree for reasons we'd rather not know.

1
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on May 28, 2010
at 05:33 PM

Iron!

I went to a sleep dr recently (a neurologist, actually), for suspicion of sleep apnea. I also mentioned to him that 1-2 times a month, I get restless legs.

From his note:

"Patient did have mild symptoms of restless leg syndrome occurring several times per month. While this did not appear to be problematic, followup serum testing for ferritin levels would be reasonable. If her ferritin levels are less than 50 she may respond well to supplemental iron."

Good luck!

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on September 18, 2013
at 05:35 PM

I've had RLS for a long time. Initially, I went the iron route, that didn't help. Next came Mg, that might have actually helped. B vitamins, might have helped. Melatonin, helps if I fall asleep, otherwise, it's there. Any sort of antihistamine and I get RLS worse than ever. A little organic cannabis on top (probably not the best option), but, I sleep like a baby. Insomnia is probably the biggest detriment to my health. I'd check out Iron, Mg, and B. See what those do. Try an OTC, see what that does. Then, go herbal if you need to.

0
B0ed4c193b06655e38ae632438e154c5

on September 18, 2013
at 12:33 AM

I suffer from RLS. This sounds crazy, but it works. It's a neurological syndrome, so it's not really affected by your diet...but this works. Put a bar of soap under your fitted sheet near your feet...for some reason it works.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 18, 2013
at 10:55 PM

>>>It's a neurological syndrome, so it's not really affected by your diet <<<<

Hmmmm.......

I'd put my money on diet before a bar of soap.

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:07 AM

If it does turn out you are deficient look into "Bob's Iron Formula", I think you can probably get your pharmacy to order it if they don't already have it. My mom and myself had to use it on and off, and it was the only iron supplement that caused absolutely no stomach pain. It's a good one.

0
9b2e3130786c8c33ae0ec7439c277e0f

on August 07, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I've had RLS and teeth grinding for all my life. I'm not sure that Paleo has really improved my symptoms. All my research has suggested that it is neurological but is made worse if you have deficiencies or use certain medications (allergy medications). I'm sure that maintaining a healthy diet and continuing to regularly exercise is still better than trying some chronic medication to cover up the symptoms.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:04 AM

Adequate vitamin D3 intake (about 5000 IU/d, enough to get my level above 50 ng/mL or 125 nmol/L) fixed my tooth grinding for good. After suffering from it for most of my life, it was amazing to find the solution was so simple. Your mileage may vary, of course.

0
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on March 31, 2011
at 09:19 PM

jem is correct. DO NOT supplement with iron until you have had a blood test to confirm an iron deficiency. I have battled iron deficiency for almost two years, and because oral iron can be very difficult to digest, I have resorted a couple of times to iron injections. It's not a great process but not terrible. It is relatively expensive, even with good insurance (if such a thing exists).

I have not been diagnosed as having RLS, but do experience a burning in my legs that I have always attributed to possible overtraining in the gym. It doesn't really bother me at night, except I will often wake up with knee pain. I have found if I sleep with very straight legs and not curled up in a ball, things feel better in the morning. I haven't gone back for a blood test in about 6 months but have one planned soon. My stomach issues are improving on a paleo diet, so I expect my iron levels to be recovering as well. That said, I still have "hot legs" quite often.

Very interested in this post. Thanks.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 29, 2010
at 12:57 AM

Get a calcium magnesium potassium supplement. I have one from blue bonnet. 2 in the morning and 2 at night has cured my really night time calf cramps 100%

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Calf cramps are different than restless leg syndrome- calf cramps are a muscle spasm (sharp pain) whereas restless leg syndrome is an ache and discomfort (dull, constant pain for most people).

0
15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on May 28, 2010
at 05:47 PM

Iron is the first thing to try, assuming you are a pre-menopausal women. If you are not such a woman, I would be cautious with iron. Magnesium and certain B vitamins also seem to be related to RLS.

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