top of page
Search

Restful Nights with Restless Legs Syndrom




Restless leg syndrome is a chronic syndrome that, in severe cases, has a very strong impact on the daily life of the person affected, causing chronic fatigue and exhaustion. Medicine's solution is lifelong medication with all its side effects. In this post, I will show how nutrition can alleviate the symptoms while making a qualitative difference to the life of the person concerned. A case with an initial severity of 37 points (the maximum is 40 points, the most severe case) becomes a 5-point case in a few weeks.



About restless legs syndrome


Restless Legs Syndrome, or RLS for short, has been known since the 17th century, but it is only in the last few years that medical science has begun to take a more serious look at it. The luck or misfortune of patients with RLS is that the disease has no visible symptoms like, say, obesity or eczema, cannot be fatal like cancer or heart attacks, cannot be diagnosed by laboratory tests or measurements like diabetes or hypertension, and is not known to the environment in any way other than by the patient's own account. RLS is a chronic disease affecting 2-15% of the population, and its more severe form requires lifelong medication.

What is RLS?

Restless leg syndrome is caused by a dysfunction of the nervous system. The most common symptom is a strange, vague feeling in the legs at night that only goes away when the person moves their legs, for example when walking. In 30% of patients, the arms are also affected. In more severe cases, the patient walks and moves around for hours at night, which in the long term leads to fatigue, exhaustion, depression and increased suicidal tendencies.


The severity of the problem is illustrated by the fact that RLS is the third most common cause of chronic sleep deprivation.


There are two forms of RLS: it can be a symptom of another condition or it can occur as a problem in its own right.


The cause of RLS

The cause of RLS is unknown. Women are affected twice as often as men. It accompanies many chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease, Chrohn's disease, celiac disease, etc. It occurs in almost a third of pregnancies, but symptoms usually disappear after pregnancy. It can also be caused by iron deficiency.

RLS can also be triggered or worsened by medication. Other risk factors include alcohol, nicotine and neurological problems.

Genetics

Genetic factors may play a role in the development of RLS, but genetics alone cannot explain the symptoms of RLS. Geneticists have been able to identify the genes responsible for RLS, but they have also found that many carriers do not get the disease. The genes are only inherited as a predisposition, but the factors that lead to the onset of the disease are currently unknown.


Diagnosis

Since a diagnosis of RLS can only be made through the subjective narrative of the patient, the person concerned must answer four questions to make a diagnosis. These four questions have been set by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group (IRLSSG) as an internationally accepted model for diagnosis. The person must answer yes to all four questions. This set of questions can then be supplemented with a personal interview and some additional tests to rule out other conditions that may be associated with similar symptoms.


Treatment

Medicine treats RLS mainly with medication. However, medication only relieves symptoms, it does not cure the disease, and therefore treatment with medication is lifelong.

Treatment is possible with several classes of drugs, such as dopamine agonists, antiepileptics, levodopa, benzodiazepines and opiates.

With some drugs, there is a phenomenon called augmentation, which means that after taking the drug for a certain period of time, the symptoms become more intense, occurring during the day and not only in the evening, and that they spread to other limbs (arms) and other parts of the body (abdomen, trunk, head) and become more intense.

At the same time, when taking medication, patients must also be aware of the side effects of the medication.


Alternative treatments for RLS

Several alternative methods of treating restless legs syndrome have been described, some of which can actually alleviate symptoms. However, I would like to emphasise the importance of nutritional therapy in particular, as nutritional therapy can help to completely relieve symptoms. It involves dietary restrictions, which in some cases need to be combined with lifestyle elements.

I have developed and used this method for several years in the treatment of patients with restless legs syndrome with very good results. The great advantage of the method over medication is that there are no drug side effects and no augmentation phenomenon. However, the patient's quality of life is radically changed: he or she can sleep peacefully, go to the theatre or cinema, regain the ability to work that was weakened or eliminated by chronic sleep deprivation, and possibly also have other health problems that are eliminated by "repairing" the diet.

The case history of a woman who suffered from RLS for over 20 years

I was contacted this summer by a woman in her 60s with the following letter:

"I have been suffering from this disease for over 20 years and it has now become very serious. I am being treated with medication, but unfortunately with no results. I am looking everywhere for alternatives to improve the symptoms of this disease. I have tried many alternative treatments, but unfortunately I have not achieved any results."

The patient's condition was so severe that she was classified as "very severe", receiving 37 points in the disease classification, compared to a maximum of 40 points.

We started therapy and working together in mid-September, and after a little over a month, at the end of October, I received the following letter from her. "There happened a miracle because my leg didn't hurt all day and night. I had no leg pain for a week. I feel very well, partly because my feet don't hurt and partly because I can sleep. I'm also about to lose 3 kg, which is a special joy for me. My bloating has also stopped. "


To complete the picture: my patient was very cooperative, she kept everything we agreed, we corresponded several times a week and any questions that arose were clarified almost immediately.

We finished the treatment after five months. At that time, she had a score of 5 on the RLS severity scale instead of the initial 37 (40 is the maximum!). The results show that even such a very serious condition can be managed with proper nutrition and lifestyle.

You can register for a consultation for RLS at this link.


4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page