November 28, 2014

Practical Help To Relax Those Moving Legs!

Merton came in to my office complaining that he couldn’t sleep.  He was tired all day, falling asleep every time he sat down.  After some discussion, we found the reason for his sleeplessness:  his legs wouldn’t relax, he consistently felt he needed to get up and walk, or move around, all of which is known as Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).  Sometimes, this would wake him up in the middle of the night and he just had to get up and move.  The problem had gotten worse since he had quit smoking.  When he smoked, he found if he could just take one long drag and hold it in, then the feeling would go away.

We tried many remedies, including sleeping pills and natural sedatives, but nothing worked.  I was ready to throw in the towel and tell him to take up smoking again, until I thought that his problem might be related to something in the tobacco – nicotine!  Nicotine in tobacco can increase dopamine in the brain and “treat” some people with RLS.

Restless leg syndrome is not a disease; it’s merely a symptom.  There are multiple reasons for having this problem so there isn’t one cure for people with RLS.  Since most RLS seems to be an imbalance of dopamine in the brain, it has been treated as Parkinson’s disease with dopamine-like drugs such as L-dopa or Requip.  The problem with these is that they cause inflammation in the part of the brain that produces dopamine and, over time, can make the problem worse.  Before you consult a medical specialist I would recommend trying the following, one at a time:

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Diet and Foods That Affect Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) can affect anyone at any age. In fact, around one in ten people are liable to suffer from this unpleasant restless leg disorder at some point in their lives.

With symptoms ranging from mild to severe, sufferers experience an uncontrollable urge to move their legs to try and relieve the unpleasant tingling or aching sensations in their limbs. And while this in itself is not harmful, the effect of disrupted sleep can lead to excessive tiredness.

While there is no sure fire cure for restless leg syndrome, a diet high in folate and other essential nutrients can help manage the symptoms.

Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment and Dietary Needs

Obtaining relief from the RLS symptoms is the focus and that includes maintaining a proper restless leg treatment, diet and lifestyle.

  1. Change your diet to include an increased amount of foods high in folate such as asparagus and spinach. Dark green leafy vegetables are known to have high folate content.
  2. Diversify your breakfast menu with the use of whole grain products and various breakfast cereals. Read the labels to find the one you like with the highest level of folate.
  3. Increase your intake of eggs, unless contraindicated due to other dietary concerns such as high cholesterol. Eggs are a good source of folate and essential B vitamins
  4. Having an iron deficiency is known to increase RLS symptoms. Make sure that red meats and liver are included in your diet as these are great sources of iron. However, do not get all your iron sources from red meats. Resolving iron deficiency it is important to vary the source. Try

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All is Calm

Knowing that some who read this will still have their Christmas decorations up, it seems appropriate to take an inspirational approach and tie-in this month’s featured topic – restless leg syndrome – with the bigger story of this season of the year. What is manifesting in an increasing number of people’s legs – tingling, odd sensations, antsy, itching urges and discomfort – is a metaphor for a global anxiety and lack of peace. Churches and Cathedrals all over the globe just revisited the relevance of God sending one called “The Prince of Peace” to that Bethlehem manger on what became known as that Silent Night. Even to this day, to the degree we disregard Jesus, we forfeit the peace that could be ours. Jesus said,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27

About this peace, the Apostle Paul wrote that those who pray to Jesus discover a “peace that surpasses understanding.” In other words, circumstances can be such that we ought to be anything but peaceful; but though we can’t explain it, all is well with our souls. The reality of what I’m writing about will change your life and the waves of this supernatural peace can touch every area of your life including your relationships, and every part of your body, including your restless legs.

Break a Leg

In the Bible, the leg is a symbol of both strength and pride. Psalm 147:10 says God “takes no pleasure in the legs of man.” The muscular strength of the legs of a runner portrays his pride. In a variety of places in the Old Testament, we find passages connecting legs with strength and pride.  “His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold.” (Song of Solomon 5:15)  Of course, there are also King Nebuchadnezzar’s “legs of iron.”

In the New Testament, the only reference to legs is in John 19:31-33 in connection with the soldiers wanting to break the legs of Jesus on the cross. It was customary in crucifixion to break the legs of the one on the cross as additional punishment and shame, and to speed up death. Jesus’ legs were not broken which, unknowingly to the soldiers, fulfilled a centuries-old prophecy that none of his bones would be broken.

In my work as a spiritual coach, I help people grow spiritually even as they struggle physically, mentally and emotionally.  The spiritual dimension of a person is hard-wired to these other more tangible dimensions of our being. When a person reports a physical problem, such as restless leg syndrome, my role has been to help them discern root causes, many of which are spiritual in nature. Knowing that the God who made us can make us well (and that He made the things that make us well, i.e. natural remedies) I encourage people to go to God first with their struggles. Skipping that important step means we go to the doctor first and that too often results in us taking meds to treat symptoms and not root causes.

No Leg To Stand On

With any of the tangible bodily manifestations of anxiety and restlessness, I start with something I’ve found to be true…

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Are Your Legs Restless from Running Through Your Mind All Night Long?

As you already know, another “syndrome” called Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or Wittmaack–Ekbom syndrome, is plaguing Americans of all ages. If you ask some of the victims of this mystery condition, they might call it restless body syndrome.

It’s a myth that the painful prickling, pins and needles sensation RLS victims suffer are limited to only their legs. Many people experience these symptoms non-stop, not only in their legs, but also in their hips, arms, neck and face muscles, as well.

Sometimes the RLS symptoms of this syndrome are so bad that people are unable to walk and have to take powerful pain-blocking drugs just to get through another day.

After reading dozens of testimonials posted on reputable medical websites, it becomes obvious that conventional medical treatment doesn’t have a clue what to do about RLS.

This isn’t something that appeared on the horizon just six months or a year ago when I first heard of it. It’s been around for decades, just not in the massive numbers we’re seeing today. Some adults report having suffered life-long RLS symptoms since childhood.

As with any syndrome, doctors just don’t know what the root cause is. The other challenge is that many other medical conditions have very similar symptoms, therefore making accurate diagnosis difficult.

Some possible misdiagnosis for RLS are:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Muscle disease
  • Joint conditions
  • Nerve cell problems
  • Circulation difficulties

It appears that exercising helps a lot of people stop the irritating and often debilitating RLS symptoms. On top of all the tingling and burning sensations, sudden involuntary jerking spasms are the most annoying and potentially dangerous part of the syndrome.

Imagine trying to drive a motor vehicle while dealing with unpredictable nervous seizures of muscle and limbs – not to mention the “phantom-limb” pains, severe sleep deprivation and adverse drug effects they often suffer.

Since the jury is still out on exactly what causes RLS, perhaps we should do our own due diligence and look into this together.

Let’s slip into our “health detective” shoes for a moment and do some medical investigation of our own; perhaps we can find some clues to the root cause.

It only makes common sense that before you can solve any problem, you first need to identify the “root cause.” So, let’s see what we can find out about RLS.

Here are some clues that may be associated with RLS:

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Grandma’s Bizarre Home Remedy: Magic Soap

If you tend to scatter your sheets and blankets, if your legs want to dance at exactly the time you want to settle down, and especially if your legs go “jumping” at night and wake you up, then you probably have Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Those who cope with restless leg syndrome know exactly what I’m talking about. My sister has had RLS since she was a child, probably inherited from my father who had Parkinson’s and RLS.  When we slept in the same room growing up, I would hear a familiar, “Swish…Swash…Swish…Swash …” of her feet moving back and forth under the sheets.  I remember she complained that she couldn’t stop her feet from moving. When the “swishing” sound rustling under the covers ceased, I could finally start getting a good night sleep!

Now, if you suffer from RLS, imagine how good it would feel to have a sound nights sleep with no prickly feeling running through your restless legs, forcing you to “twitch and itch.” Sleepless nights cause stress and that will only lead to more disease. I have discovered a Restless Leg Syndrome Home Remedy that costs practically nothing and it’s so easy to use. It is, without a doubt, worth a try.

Take a bar of plain unwrapped soap, nothing with deodorant or antibacterial in it. Put the bar of soap between your mattress pad and bottom sheet, somewhere between the waist and the knees. Then sleep with the soap there for a couple of nights.

Nobody can explain why this works. It’s a strange treatment and it sounds like nonsense. People won’t even try it thinking that they are being made a fool out of, but those that have tried this are amazed and within a few good night sleep they are free of RLS symptoms.

Bar Soap History – Here is what I found about this method

(from suite101.com)

“Whether using a bar of soap to prevent and treat leg cramps is a matter of folklore, accident or science is anyone’s guess. The success of the method was reported by advice columnist Ann Landers and garnered rave reviews from her readers several times during her long career. Peter H. Gott, MD, an internist who, according to the New York Times practices in Lakeville, CT, and authored a syndicated medical advice column that appeared in 400 newspapers, published the remedy. He admitted he had no idea why the treatment could be effective, but dozens from his audience wrote him to agree that it did indeed work for them as well. Today, scores of web sites and blogs report the efficacy of this unconventional and unexplained treatment. Apparently no reputable scientist will associate herself or himself with the method. Indeed, in 2005, a letter extolling the curative power of bar soap appeared in Advance, which bills itself as “the nation’s physical therapy news.”

RLS Natural Soap Remedy Details

  • Place one, two, three or even four bars of soap, unwrapped, under the fitted bed sheet.
  • Alternatively, slip the bar into a cheap nylon anklet or cut the foot off old panty hose.
  • Many individuals position the bar(s) at the foot of the bed. Others experience more success when the soap is nearer the afflicted muscle.
  • Others have tried putting it in their socks, but may overheat or find crumbles within the sock.  Even try holding onto the soap in your hand.
  • Replace the bar(s) every two or three months.
  • Large bath and small hotel-sized bars seem to work equally well.
  • Some report that plain soap like Ivory works better than Dove and Dial or scented bars, but there’s no clear consensus.

Fat and Gas

I know this may sound very weird or make little sense, but thank God for home remedies.  The only explanation I can muster is that soap is alkaline (with a pH value of 9,5), which removes oil and grease because they are acids (as in fatty acids!).

Soap also contains magnesium sulfate, i.e. Epsom salts. Since restless leg syndrome is related with mineral deficiency, the magnesium in soap may help calm muscle spasms.

I’m not sure why exactly all this works, but I’m sure it has to do with the “outgassing” of the soap chemicals, which you can smell. Or, it may have to do with the molecular structure of soap, and the energy those molecules put off and how they influence your muscles.

Incidentally, caffeine and other components of coffee and tea, as well as sugar, can rob your body of iron, folate, magnesium and other nutrients that play roles in restless legs syndrome. Dr. Oz calls it the 3 C’s – Cocktail, Caffeine and Chocolate that are harmful for RLS. So it might be worth your while to make sure you’re getting the Daily Value magnesium, which is 400 milligrams. In addition, slip a bar of soap between your mattress pad and sheet!  :)

Smelly Feet?

When I told my family about this home remedy, I admit I got a few chuckles.  However, after the first night with a bar of soap under her feet, my sister said her sheets were in the same place as when she went to bed. Usually, the sheets are untucked, pulled aside and bundled together, requiring a complete bed make over every morning.  Feet that smell like soap is a small price to pay for a good night sleep and hassle-free bed linens!

The risk is zero to place a bar of soap under the sheets and the cost is far less than prescription to help relieve the symptoms of RLS.  It may be one of Grandma’s weirdest remedies, but it is a beautiful, simple and a natural treatment for helping to cure a very uncomfortable syndrome.

For heavens sake, try it! Whose going to know you slipped a bar of soap between your mattress pad and sheet?  You can always use that bar of soap to bathe with if you grow impatient with this home remedy.

 

 

Grandma Barton is grandmother to Joe Barton, founder of Barton Publishing and Home Cures That Work. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with the help of Dr. Saunders and natural remedies. Grandma loves finding cures within the home to treat all sorts of ailments. With tips she’s learned on the farm and along the way, Grandma Barton brings a time-tested and trusted voice when it comes to home remedies. She really is an inspiration to us all.

 

Nutrient Overload

Can vitamin supplements really undo a poor diet? Many of us like to think so. Even the most intelligent, health conscious people believe that their one-a-day “miracle” vitamin will make up for a lack of fruits and vegetables. But, is it problematic to exceed the recommended upper intake level (UL) for any one nutrient?

In this fast paced lifestyle we lead, vitamin supplements seem like the obvious answer to ensure we meet our body’s vitamin and mineral needs. It is rare to exceed the UL for a nutrient from food sources but when taken in supplement form, especially when taking a variety of single nutrient vitamins, it’s easier to go over the UL.

If we look at calcium and vitamin D for example, we rarely hear anything about exceeding recommended intake. However, with so many new fortified foods, it’s far easier today to get more calcium and vitamin D than we need, than it was 20 years ago. “I do think calcium supplements and vitamin D are likely to be useful for women at risk for osteoporosis, especially if they don’t get enough from their diet. But overall, if people eat a healthy diet, they really shouldn’t need supplements,” say doctors at Harvard Medical School.

For those of us who are getting adequate amounts of calcium through our diet, calcium and vitamin D supplements taken in excess can actually do more harm than good. According to a commentary appearing in  the Journal of the American Society Nephrology, so-called calcium-alkali syndrome is growing because of widespread use of over-the-counter calcium and vitamin D supplements. Calcium-alkali syndrome refers to dangerously high levels of calcium in the blood, which could cause high blood pressure and even kidney failure. Science Daily reports that Postmenopausal women, pregnant women, transplant recipients, patients with bulimia, and individuals who are on dialysis are at highest risk of developing this syndrome.

So how does the calcium we receive from our diet compare to calcium supplements? A study done by Purdue University found that calcium provided by dairy has an advantage over calcium carbonate (calcium supplements) in promoting bone growth and strength. A study of 300 rats revealed that the rats that were given dairy forms of calcium had stronger, longer, heavier and more dense bones, compared to the rats that were fed calcium carbonate. This is an excellent example of how dietary nutrients are preferable over supplemental forms.

Folate is another example of a nutrient that when taken in excess can impact how our body processes other vitamins. “In adults, supplemental folic acid should not exceed the UL to prevent folic acid from triggering symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. It is important to recognize that the UL refers to the amount of synthetic folate (i.e. folic acid) being consumed per day from fortified foods and/or supplements.” says The National Institutes of Health. Most interestingly, there is NO health risk, and NO UL, for natural sources of folate found in food.

To conclude, it is far healthier to obtain our recommended intake of vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat. When this becomes difficult, taking a multivitamin or vitamin supplement is the safest way to ensure we keep nutrient intake at a desirable level. When taken as directed, most multivitamins don’t contain enough of any one vitamin to exceed UL’s.

Roger Asmus entered a fitness competition and won the Mr. Teenage Colorado in 1991. He was later named Mr. Mile High in 1996 and achieved his dream when he was proudly awarded the title of Mr. Natural Colorado in 1998. Roger has been highly sought after as a model and authority in the fitness world, appearing in national news and magazines sources. Roger is currently one of the top personal trainers in the country and is president of Core Health Innovations™.

Calm Restless Legs Naturally

If you have restless leg syndrome (RLS), you are not alone. Up to 8% of the US population may have this neurological condition. RLS severely affects the lives of millions of individuals.

Magnesium not only helps your muscles to relax, but also aids sleep and allows for a more calm & balanced state of mind. Low levels of this mineral make nearly every disease worse, whether you are dealing with Restless Leg Syndrome, depression or cardiovascular disease.

If the massive amounts of body magnesium are low, you can have restless legs,f cramps of the uterus and other muscles, migraines, and other problems. It is an essential mineral critical in 300 enzyme reactions in the body.

Magnesium deficiency can make muscles go into spasms easily. When you’re short on magnesium, the waste products of metabolism, such as lactic acid, are harder to flush out, so you may get tired, burning, sore RLS muscles.

Here are the things Natural Calm can help with:

  • Sleep— Basically cures occasional insomnia, and gives a deep restful sleep every night.
  • Stress– Feel spectacularly relaxed. Increased you ability to deal with difficult “crisis” situations.
  • Mood— Be generally happier.
  • Decreases muscle cramping and soreness.
  • Improves gums and teeth.
  • Decreases hair loss.
  • Improves digestion and transit time.

Sleep like a baby with Natural Calm and enjoy a peaceful rest.  Try the award-winning Natural Calm, which is the best-selling ionic magnesium supplement in the natural products market. It was developed by nutritional researcher Peter Gillham for superior absorption and maximum benefit. FORGET THE DRUGS. Easy to use: just mix the powder with water or juice, and drink. We believe you’ll find it to be most effective among restless leg syndrome natural remedies.

 

Taylor Lautner

Taylor Lautner, the heartthrob for many teenage girls made famous by the “Twilight” series, has confessed to constantly bouncing his knees.  An unconscious force keeps him from forcing his restless legs to stop moving all of the time.  The severity would even rock a car while driving!  That, my friends, is called Restless Leg Syndrome!

Whether Taylor Lautner recognizes this or not, the repetitive and uncontrollable urge to bounce your legs can be categorizes as RLS.  Thankfully, it appears his work does not suffer from this condition, nor does it interfere with his ability to date or distract from the likes of Taylor Swift!  If you can’t sit still, and not a result of nervous energy, then you can safely bet it might be early onset of restless leg syndrome.

Even for the cover of the “New Moon” Twilight edition, fans hoped to catch a glimpse of Lautner’s leg.  Would his “twitch” be evident or set in a stationary position?  It is hard to tell.  Taylor Lautner’s legs are covered by another character or mystified by forest smog.  Now, if we could all hide our flaws behind someone else – RLS, or not!

Whac-A-Mole

Did you ever play Whac-A-Mole?

You know, that’s the game where “moles” keep popping up through holes in a board, and the purpose is to whack them on the head with a mallet as fast as you can. The only problem is, no sooner do you whack one, that another pops up from another hole. You can work yourself into a frenzy trying to keep up.

This really ages me, but Whac-A-Mole reminds me of a famous skit from the “I Love Lucy” show. It must have been televised about 50 years ago. Lucy (Lucille Ball) was working on an assembly line in a candy factory. She was standing behind a conveyor belt, and her job was to package the individual pieces of chocolate as they were delivered to her station.

The only problem was, no matter how fast she put them in boxes, they would come a little faster. Pretty soon, she started popping some in her mouth to keep up the pace. But they came faster still, faster than she could package them and eat them. So her cheeks started filling up until she looked like an overly ambitious chipmunk. It was hilarious to me as a child. But it’s even funnier now that I can appreciate the “I love Lucy” skit’s reflection of real life.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, kind of like Lucy?

Maybe your job or business throws you problems faster than you can solve them. Or by the time you answer three emails, five more pop into your inbox. Or do you manage to lose ten pounds, only to gain back eleven? No sooner do you pay your bills then you have another stack. You clean your house, your car, your clothes, yourself, and they get dirty all over again. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it?

And the very technologies that are designed to make life easier often make it more frantic.

All this leads to chronic stress, and chronic stress shortens your life.

Resist a Reaction

Since my purpose is to extend your life, I’d like to identify a common thread that runs through Whac-A-Mole, the “I Love Lucy” episode and all the overwhelming items I mentioned that lead to stress. In one word, it’s “reaction.”

If you want to bring sanity to your life, one of the most anti-aging habits you can adopt is pro-action. Quit reacting to everything around you, and take control, one day at a time.

Outsource or delegate all the stressful and endless repetitive tasks to someone better equipped to handle them. Identify what activities give you the most satisfaction, and spend your time on those. You’ll not only boost your health and longevity, but you’ll marvel at how quickly you recharge and how rapidly you prosper as well.

Iron Supplement Review

A number of studies have linked Restless Leg Syndrome to deficiencies of dopamine and iron. Injections of large doses of iron also sometimes relieve symptoms, even in people who don’t have an iron deficiency. The amount of iron in RLS brains is extremely low, and there are few receptors for transferrin, a protein that binds to iron and transports it into cells. Levels of several other proteins linked to iron storage and transport were also low in RLS patients.

The lack of iron in the cells may cause them to malfunction, leading to the symptoms of RLS. The results do not mean that people with RLS have an iron deficiency. Instead, the iron in their bodies is not being delivered to specific brain cells in an effective way. The findings help to confirm that restless legs syndrome is a neurological problem.

People shouldn’t start taking iron supplements without a physician’s advice. Most studies that have found a benefit from iron supplementation have used very large doses of iron, administered intravenously. Taking too much iron can lead to problems such as dizziness, headaches, low blood pressure, coma, and even death.

However, one theory holds that mild iron deficiency may cause restless leg syndrome by decreasing the amount of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This theory is supported by findings that conventional drugs, which increase dopamine activity (such as the Parkinson’s disease medication) can also alleviate RLS.

The bottom line: Iron supplements might be useful for people with RLS who are also deficient in iron, but this has not been proven. Still, if you’re deficient in iron, then it is worth correcting. Note that tests for anemia won’t necessarily pick up the low-grade iron deficiency that is linked to RLS. For that purpose, you’ll need tests that specifically evaluate iron levels, such as ferritin, serum iron, and total iron-binding capacity.

Independent lab testing iron supplementation showed that two products DID NOT pass due to lead contamination or for not containing the claimed amount of iron:

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