Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: QUESTION FROM READER - RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 12, Issue 5)
Q-I suffer from acute cramps in the feet and legs, and am anxious to find a source of a magnetic product to wear, preferably on the feet. Do you know of a company that I could apply to for advice? Or have you any suggestion as to how else I might fin

A-It sounds as though you are suffering from what is usually called restless legs syndrome. There are two types of RLS. The first is the variety you experience, with shooting pain in your lower limbs and often numbness. The other variety only affects motor control, with no cramping or pain, but the legs go into periodic spasms and sometimes seem to have a life of their own. The cramping variety is often worse at night, and is alleviated by massage or movement. The other strange feature of RLS is that it doesn't always affect the legs. Patients can experience problems with the lower back, the upper thighs or even the hands.

WDDTY is not a fan of so called magic bullets single substances or devices which claim to offer a magical cure. Although magnetotherapy has tremendous success in treating a variety of problems, there are many simpler solutions to your problem.

RLS is usually due to a biochemical imbalance something you're eating that you shouldn't be or a vital nutrient that you're not getting.

A classic cause is a folic acid deficiency (Botez MI, Reynolds EH, eds. Folic Acid in Neurology, Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, New York: Raven Press, 1979). The first area to investigate is whether any drugs you are taking are interfering with your levels of this vital nutrient, as many do deplete levels of folic acid. These include stomach drugs like H2-blockers, bile acid type drugs like cholestyramine and colestipol, oral contraceptives, certain antibiotics, steroids, and even painkillers and anti inflammatories like indomethacin, suphasalazine or common aspirin (see Alternatives, p 6-7). So, if you are taking aspirin or another painkiller to alleviate the pain of your leg cramps, you could be making the problem worse.

In a case report of three women with mild RLS and decreased sensation in the legs, all three recovered after treatment with folic acid. A similar result was seen in another three women with RLS and general muscle pain in response to folic acid treatment (Can Med Assoc J, 1976; 15: 217-22).

Although the optimal dose of folic acid is ordinarily between 400-800 mcg, in your case, WDDTY panel member Dr Melvyn Werbach warns, you may need to take doses as high as 5 mg three times per day. Such high dose levels should only be taken under medical supervision from an experienced qualified nutritionist.

Another classic cause of RLS as well as a related problem sponta neous leg cramps (SLC) is reactive hypoglycaemia, indicative of poor sugar control. In one study of more than 350 patients with RLS, SLC, or both, almost all had other symptoms of low blood sugar and tested positively for hypoglycaemia on glucose tolerance testing. During the test, the researchers also found that the low blood sugar brought on an episode of RLS pain.

In the study, the participants were put on a sugar free, high protein diet with small frequent meals and one small meal at night. Shortly after this, all symptoms were cleared or strikingly alleviated in the vast majority of patients. Recurrences of the problem were usually traced back to cheating on the diet within the past 12 hours (J Fla Med Assoc, 1973; 60: 29-31).

In light of these results, it's worth having yourself tested for hypoglycaemia (London's Biolab do such a test; tel: 002 7636 5959). If the glucose tolerance test shows that you have the condition, you may wish to work with a nutritionist, who will devise an appropriate diet and eating plan.

It's also a good idea to avoid caffeine and xanthine derivatives of any variety, which includes coffee, tea, all cocoa products and cola. One study of patients with RLS found that their symptoms improved markedly once they eliminated all caffeine products from their diet (J Clin Psych, 1978; Sept: 693-8).

Dr Werbach has evidence that RLS may also be caused by a deficiency of iron or an abnormal iron metabolism. In one study, one quarter of patients with RLS were shown to have low blood levels of iron (Neurology, 1960; 10: 868-73). In another study, simple iron supplementation resolved the problem (Acta Med Scand, 1953; 145: 453. Again, you need to make sure that any drugs you're taking aren't interfering with your iron intake these include cholestyramine, tetracycline, indomethacin and aspirin.

 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Transcending, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar