Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs, but can affect the arms, torso, head, and even phantom limbs. Moving the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary relief. Almost half the cases of RLS, patients have a family history of the disorder. It is also associated with a number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes,Parkinson’s disease, and kidney failure. RLS can appear or get worse during pregnancy, yet it can strike people without those problems too.
In most cases, doctors do not know the cause of restless legs syndrome; however, they suspect that genes play a role. Nearly half of people with RLS also have a family member with the condition. Even low Iron levels
In a study published in 2009, scientists discovered that obesity and excess abdominal fat may raise restless leg syndrome risk. Past research also suggests that abnormalities in levels of the brain chemical dopamine may be linked to restless leg syndrome.
Because restless leg syndrome frequently disrupts rest, patients often experience sleep deprivation and insomnia, which in turn can contribute to a host of other physical and mental-health problems (including cardiovascular disease).
Movement usually brings immediate relief, although temporary and partial. Walking is most common; however, stretching, yoga, biking, or other physical activity may relieve the symptoms. Continuous, fast up-and-down movements of the leg, and/or rapidly moving the legs toward then away from each other, may keep sensations at bay without having to walk. Specific movements may be unique to each person.
Sitting or lying down (reading, plane ride, watching TV) can trigger the sensations and urge to move. Severity depends on the severity of the person’s RLS, the degree of restfulness, duration of the inactivity, etc.
“Variability over the course of the day-night cycle, with symptoms worse in the evening and early in the night.”
Individuals with RLS have higher rates of depression and anxiety disorders.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
So far, scientific support for the use of natural remedies for restless leg syndrome is lacking.
1) ADOPT HEALTHY HABITS
Since caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco can trigger symptoms, avoiding all three substances could bring restless leg syndrome relief.
Fatigue can also aggravate restless leg syndrome, so keep up a healthy sleep regimen (by sticking with a regular bedtime and wake time, for instance). Exercise may benefit restless leg syndrome patients as well, but remember that working out within a few hours of your bedtime may get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
2) HOT AND COLD THERAPY
Applying a warm or cold compress to the affected area, or alternating hot and cold therapy, may soothe restless leg syndrome symptoms. For further relief, try taking a warm bath and gently massaging your leg muscles.
3) RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Managing your stress may help stave off restless leg syndrome symptoms, so make sure to include a stress-reducing practice (such as deep breathing or meditation) in your everyday routine.
Since maintaining sufficient levels of calcium and magnesium helps keep your muscles and nerves functioning properly, taking a daily multivitamin/multimineral may tame restless leg syndrome symptoms.
In some cases, low levels of iron can result in restless leg syndrome. However, since too much iron can be toxic to your system, you should never use iron supplements without first consulting with your doctor.
To boost your iron intake through foods, look to sources like beans, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
5) ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES
Research indicates that the needle-based traditional Chinese therapy known as acupuncture may help relieve restless leg syndrome. And in a 2007 study, scientists found that receiving massage therapy that targets the lower body could help ward off restless leg syndrome symptoms for several weeks.
Medications may be helpful as RLS treatments, but the same drugs are not helpful for everyone. In fact, a drug that relieves symptoms in one person may worsen them in another. In other cases, a drug that works for a while may lose its effectiveness over time.
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS SOAP BAR METHOD BEFORE?
Dr. Julian Whitaker confirms that patients of his swear by this method — placing a bar of soap in your bed at night will help relieve the symptoms in a significant manner. Derek H. Page from The People’s Pharmacy writes about the process: While it has not yet been determined in a completely conclusive manner, Page theorizes that the scent molecules in the soap are capable of evaporating and depositing on your leg, where they’ll then be absorbed into your muscles and affect your blood supply.
Let us know if you know of any natural remedies in the comments section and share this information with your friends.