Restless Leg Syndrome

If you are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, diet may be the answer!

RLS leads to sensations in the lower legs between the knee and ankle. The feeling makes you uncomfortable unless you move your legs. These sensations:

  • Usually occur at night when you lie down, or sometimes during the day when you sit for long periods of time
  • May be described as creeping, crawling, aching, pulling, searing, tingling, bubbling, or crawling
  • May last for 1 hour or longer
  • Sometimes also occur in the upper leg, feet, or arms

You will feel an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs, which almost always relieves the discomfort.

Most patients have rhythmic leg movements during sleep hours, called periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).

All of these symptoms often disturb sleep. Symptoms can make it difficult to sit during air or car travel, or through classes or meetings.

Symptoms may be worse during stress or emotional upset.

A 2010 study in the journal in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences looked at patients with Celiac Disease and revealed that 50% of those patients had improved RLS symptoms after a gluten-free diet.

It has been my clinical experience that a diet free of both gluten and dairy and low in processed foods can be very effective for Restless Legs.  This may be due in part to improved digestion of iron and it’s co-factors, as iron deficiency is common in this population.

Suspected causes of RLS include:

RLS may occur more often in patients with:

•Chronic kidney disease

•Diabetes

•Iron deficiency

•Parkinson’s disease

•Peripheral neuropathy

•Pregnancy

•Use of certain medications such as caffeine, calcium channel blockers, lithium, or neuroleptics

•Withdrawal from sedatives

 

Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Volume 55, Number 6 (2010), 1667-1673, DOI: 10.1007/s10620-009-0943-9

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