For years, doctors thought the problem was in their head. But sufferers of Restless Leg Syndrome knew better. And now scientists have proven them correct. Unfortunately, no one is offering real solutions. But I am.
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes uncontrollable twitching in the legs. It can lead to insomnia and other serious problems. And earlier this year, scientists discovered one of the causes of RLS. According to their report, RLS is caused by a common gene variation. This discovery proves the condition is real and needs to be treated as a serious medical condition. Not as a mental problem.
Unfortunately, the discovery doesn?t answer all of our questions about RLS. That?s because not all cases of RLS are genetically based. Many cases are the result of nutrient deficiencies. In fact, I?ve seen most cases of RLS respond to treatment with two specific nutrients.
First, your RLS could be caused by an iron deficiency -- even if you don?t have iron-deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency in the brain is a well-established factor in RLS patients. Have your doctor run a ferritin blood test. If your levels are less than 50 mcg/l, your RLS could respond to iron supplementation.
But your RLS might also be caused by insufficient magnesium. In a number of studies, both oral and intravenous magnesium effectively treated RLS. Magnesium deficiency is common, and difficult to identify. Blood level magnesium tests aren?t accurate. Because magnesium is depleted with stress, and RLS is a stressful condition, I give all of my RLS patients magnesium before anything else. I?ve seen it work time after time. If taking more magnesium causes diarrhea or loose stools, try magnesium glycinate or magnesium amino acid chelate. Both are better tolerated than magnesium oxide. Take magnesium to bowel tolerance and see how much it helps you.
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There are other factors and solutions to RLS, and I?ll be talking about them in an expanded review of this condition in an upcoming issue of Women?s Health Letter
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Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Allen RP, Earley CJ, "The role of iron in restless leg syndrome", Movement Disorder, June 12, 2007.
Hornyak, M, et al, "Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study," Sleep, Aug 1998.
New England Journal of Medicine, July 18, 2007.