MY PERSONAL SOLUTION TO RELIEVING RLS
I can now sleep the entire night undisturbed.
I have had RLS for at least 50 years. My mother had it, some of my siblings have it and some of my adult children have it. Over the years I’ve used several of the prescription meds – Sinamet, Parlodel, Neurontin, and Requip. They all had side effects that I couldn’t tolerate. So I decided to look for my own solutions. I have been retired for several years, so I have the time to do my own research.
Here’s what I learned. There is a category of food additives called neurotoxins or excitotoxins. They are glutamates that affect the nervous system. The most well known excitotoxin is MSG (monosodium glutamate), Other additives are converted by processing into glutamates. All excitotoxins should be eliminated from the diet. We need to eat unprocessed foods only. Even tiny amounts of excitotoxins will aggravate RLS. In addition to RLS, excitotoxins are involved in some of today’s maladies that we never heard of years ago, such as fibromyalgia. Also some conditions were around but not as prevalent, i.e. migraine headaches, joint pains, etc.
Read all food labels. Do not buy anything with the following additives. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Give it a try for a month. When I first eliminated all these additives, I slept soundly for seven straight hours on the second night.
Other Names for MSG
Caseinate (sodium or calcium)
Yeast extract or nutrient
Commercial soup or sauce base
Soy, wheat, whey protein
Soy, fish, or bean sauces
Malted barley flour
Corn byproducts: corn syrup, dextrose,
cornstarch, citric acid
Commercial processes used today to manufacture MSG weren’t in use until the 1960s. There’s nothing “natural” about the MSG in wide use today. Aspartame (NutraSweet®) is another widely used excitotoxin.
Keep in mind, though. It’s almost impossible to avoid additives 100 percent. Sometimes we eat out, and don’t know what’s in the food. Some items, like deli foods, are wrapped on the spot, so you don’t know what’s in them. In those cases, if I’ve been good the rest of the day, I might experience some minor twitches toward morning. On occasions when I’m tempted by something really yummy, and I ignore the additive content, I can count on a really bad night.
Oh, BTW, in addition to the above, I isolated a couple of other surefire triggers of RLS, namely, acid foods such as lemons, raspberries, tomatoes, etc. milk, too. Also, if I need to go to the bathroom and ignore the call, it will trigger my RLS. Because of that, any time I go to the theater, I go to the washroom at intermission, whether I need to or not. Otherwise my legs will go crazy for the second half of the play.
I go through the entire day with no episodes. I used to have a siege every night between suppertime and bedtime. My nights are now relatively undisturbed. I might get small twitches a couple times each night, but it's not unusual to sleep 4-5 hours with nary a twitch. The twitches are shortlived, and usually if I get up and go to the bathroom I can return to bed and after a short wakeful period I can return to sleep for a couple of hours. It feels so weird to have my legs completely at peace. Usually even when they were'nt 'active', I could still feel a very slight tingle.
Every now and then when I succumb to temptation, I pay. Last week I had a little can of V-8. A little while later my legs started up. Lasted about 1/2 hour. The culprit? Listed among the ingredients was 'natural flavors', which is an alias for MSG.
Since anybody on this forum is probably computer literate, you can do your own research by Googling the words ‘excitotoxins’or ‘neurotoxins'. Better to use the designation ‘excitotoxins’, because the links will bring up food additives. The word ‘neurotoxin’ also brings up a lot of info on mercury and lead poisoning and other environmental toxins. Read some of the links that come up and you’ll be shocked.
If you're really interested in this, don't go out and buy a lot of new foods. Instead, for a couple of days try just having natural proteins that you already have at home, like eggs, meat, fish, fowl, plus cooked fresh veggies and salad with just oil and vinegar. Maybe some bread and butter or peanut butter, but check the ingredients first. Keep it as pure and fresh as you can. That should be sufficient to test the theory. If your RLS abates, then you'll know excitotoxins affect you. If not, it didn't cost you anything.
So, in summary….don’t eat anything with excitotoxin additives, watch out for acidic fruits/foods, and don’t ignore nature’s call.
MY PERSONAL SOLUTION TO RELIEVING RLS
I've been reading through all the remedys that everyone has posted. Some are interesting and some are strange, I will definatly try what I have not yet tried. This is my situation;
I'm 35, I've had RLS since I can remember. As a kid (8ish) I can remember laying in bed crying for all I was worth because my legs were crawling and I interpreted it as pain. When I was pregnant it was horribe through all three of my pregnancys. Seems like the older we get the worse it gets, with everyone who suffers from this horrible disease. I can go weeks and even months without symptoms, them BAM, Hell reborn on my feet, legs, arms, and hands. I'm on my 15th day of little to no sleep. I've tried Miripex, Requip, Lyrica,and Gabapentin (neurontin). I've been on Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, an trazadone. I've tried Ambien, Seroquil and Lunestia. I've tried hot and I've tried cold. I have had my thyriod removed, cold hurts way to much and hot isn't much better. I've tried massage and wraps. I've tried vitamins and supplaments.I've been on Vicodin, Ultram, Percocet, Morphine and methadone. Nothing has helped very much for very long. Miripex has actually, after some limited success, exhaserbated my condition. I've tried lotions and rubs. I'm at a point where nothing works. Walking helps until my legs hurt so bad I don't want to move. Then were back to square one. My Grandfather, Mother, Sister and both Brothers have RLS, Two of my Three children have also had symptoms. It runs in my family like hair or eye color does. Recently I've been having muscles swell and hurt, it's insane. Also a pattern. I have the swollen muscles for about a week, when the swelling and pain subside, I have a RLS episode for however long. I am going to make an appointment to get my iron and vitamin levels checked. But, I've had so much blood work trying to find out why I'm having the sudden swelling. I'm at a loss and I'm frustrated. It's 2am here im Michigan and sleep does not seem like it's going to visit me anytime soon. I haven't had a true night's sleep in IDK how long. I'm exhausted. I pray every single night that some remedy will be found and soon, because, I'm at a point I do not know how much longer I can handle this. I do know that my inflamatory markers are through the roof,and that my WBC is also higher than is good.I've been tried on antibiotics to try to remedy that situation and also no success. Someway, somehow all this is linked. I pray that I will soon find a doctor that actually will listen to me for once and not think that I'm drug seeking. I just want to sleep and feel normal. I don't think that's to much to ask. Sometimes smoking Pot helps, but, that's limited as I don't like the way it makes me feel. I'm not sure what else I can try.
I'm always avalible to talk or open to some suggestions. You may email me at email@example.com
Thanks for at least letting me vent. I wish that I did have a suggestion that turned out to be a miracle for someone and aliveate them of this awful disease. Ginny
i've suffered since my early 20's (i'm in my 40's now) with RLS. I've taken so many medications... Klonopin, Requip, Hydroxyzine, Ropinerole, Neurontin... nothing has helped. This will sound bizarre, but poppy seed tea has helped me. I've spent so much money on drugs that didn't help, poppy seed tea does sound more natural, but careful, it's basically ingesting small amounts of opium oils, but it's relatively weak not unlike narcotics. usually 1 part seeds to 2 parts water (plus couple tbsp. lemon juice) (ie 1 cup seeds to 2 cups water) a couple hours before bedtime.
you can find seeds online, just google it (instructions are online too). buy in 50 lb bulk bags, and watch those creepy crawlies/herky jerkies subside and finally get some sleep.
I read through all 22 pages looking for any info that could help, and I've found something, and I'm grateful, and I wanted to share... hope it helps someone else! The calcium/magnesium/zinc tablets are working! I haven't had a problem in two weeks, and for me that's a freakin' miracle... thank you so much to everyone that gave me ideas to try!
To stop restless legs start drinking decaffinated tea and coffee, did the trick for me very quickly, I went to Australia, very long flight and relaxed the whole journey also have gone to the theatre without dreading those irritable legs twitching all the time, try it.
I've had RLS since my teens and now I'm in my 50s. My condition was getting worse and quite annoying until recently when I have started 3 things that have removed the leg sensations. 1) drinking 4 full glasses of the 24oz Starbucks clear plastic water container a day 2) eating a very low carb diet and 3) I'm using a few drops on my lower spine of Natures Inventory for Restless Leg. If these turn out to not be enough at some point I will add taking 1 regular aspirin and having a bar of soap at my knees in bed.
RLS is truly a curse. I have had it for 10 years. I have no idea how or why it started.
I dont think the doctors really want to cure it. I think they just want to throw medicine at it. I take Requip at night and it works great. I have no side effects and I get a good night of sleep every night. I allows me to live a normal life.
Last year, I went to get my private pilots license. When I went in for the medical examination, I found out that Requip is a nonstarter. I was denied a medical certificate even to fly a Cessna 150 because of this medication.
The FAA does not publish thier ever-expanding list of prohibited medications, therefore, they dont give the reasons either. I finally learned that they believe it can make people fall asleep during daytime activities. That has not been a problem for me in 7 years of taking it, but they listen to the applicants.
The medical standards for flying are extremely high. What gets me is the federal govt (FDA) is approving thousands of new drugs every year while another federal agency is holding them against us.
I suspect that someday state driver's license agencies will starting following this model. We may start seeing medical standards for driver's license....and you will get to pay for it. It will be some grandstanding politician or bureacrat that will decide to push it. All medication takers will be riding bicycles.
We need to understand why some people have dopamine deficient brains which is the root cause of RLS. I have always believed it is diet related, but I cannot pin point a specific food or vitamin that works.
I do know that alcohol and caffiene are major contributors. For me, potatoes are big trouble too and so is any restuarant food with MSGs. I cut out all this stuff and it helped, but did not eliminate it.
Hi Folks. I am a 47 yr w/f and have had RLS for all of my adult life and periodically since childhood. I thought I would share what I have learned after years of suffering.
1. I have heard that RLS mostly starts in childhood, but gets worse the older you get. For me this seems to be true.
2. Exercise will probably vary from person to person, but from my own personal experience, light exercise like walking for 5 mins before bed helps. 2 hours of hard aerobic exercise and or weight lifting will probably make it worse much worse. No matter what time of day you do it.
3. Alcohol seems to make it worse.
4. Acidic juices like orange and grapefruit juice may make it worse. the same with soda and coffee.
5. This one may seem strange but sometimes having my legs and feet massaged, actually brings it on.
The only thing I know that relieves it 100% of the time is:
AN ORGASM! Yup, thats right. While I have no idea why it works,(increased circulation???)it does... everytime. (works for period cramps too)
Warm or hot water baths work for me too, but sometimes if i don't fall asleep quickly enough, it will come back.
I take Ropinerole 1 hr before bed which helps a lot, but is not 100%. One side effect is sleepiness, so for those of you who suffer from daytime RLS (you have my sympathy, I mostly get it at night but occasionally during the day and don't know how anyone can stand to have it all the time).
Just a quick note to say that Vicks VapoRub (or Ben Gay...same thing) works wonders. Literally just put it on the backs of my calves where it's the worst, and I can feel it working already. I'd totally recommend it, although I will say that my RLS isn't that severe.
Vitamin B-12 has been the remedy that works best for me. I didn't like Mirapex because it upset my stomach and I kept having to increase the dosage. Tonic water worked for a while but seemed to lose its effectiveness.
I take two 2,000 mg B-12 tablets when I'm ready to go to sleep, and so far this has worked wonderfully. I've taken it for 3 or 4 weeks and haven't had RLS at all during this time. If you need to take more it's okay because B-12 is a water soluble vitamin and anything your body doesn't use washes out in your urine.