Restless Leg Syndrome

Approximately 12 million Americans suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome.  According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings. RLS sensations are often described by people as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs. Often called paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations), the sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.”

Many people have been able to reduce their symptoms or completely eliminate their Restless Leg Syndrome by implementing the following recommendations:

  • Identify any underlying nutritional deficiencies that may be present and taking whole food supplements to resolve the deficiency.  Deficiencies in iron and in the fat soluble B vitamins are particularly common in patients experiencing Restless Leg Syndrome.  It is important to take supplements that are in a whole food form that the body is more able to break down and utilize.  We recommend Ferrofood from Standard Process for iron and supporting blood quality.  For fat soluble B vitamins we recommend Cataplex G from Standard Process.  Other nutritional deficiencies or imbalances may be present as well.  It is best to do a Comprehensive Health Assessment to learn what may be at the root of your symptoms.
  • Take a look at the medications you are taking.  According to the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation, many medications can make Restless Leg Syndrome worse.  These include: Antihistamines (found in cold, allergy and sleeping pills), anti-dizziness and anti-nausea medications (such as Meclizine, Compazine, Phenergan and Reglan), anti-depressants (such as Elavil, Prozac, Lexapro, and Effexor), psychiatric medications (such as haloperidol and phenothiazines) and others.  Never discontinue a prescription medication without talking to your medical doctor first.
  • Try acupuncture.  We have found acupuncture to be helpful in reducing or eliminating Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms.
  • Avoid caffeine, tobacco and alcohol which are known contributors to Restless Leg Syndrome.  This includes avoiding coffee, chocolate, tea, and soda as well as tobacco products and alcohol.  We recommend avoiding sugar as well.
  • Exercise has been shown to reduce Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms on a short term basis.

Stop suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome!  Take action today!

© 2009 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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