I have tried endless things to find a solution to my RLS that I've had for over 20 years.... I came across some information on Wikipedia that poppy seeds are an effective treatment due to their codeine, morphine and paperverine (a smooth muscle relaxant) conent. I tried it and couldn't beleive how effective poppy seed tea is! I use about 60 ml of seeds (4 tablespoons) and add 200 ml of hot water and juice of a lemon and shake it then leave it for about 20 minutes.. Then I strain it and drink the liquid. I sleep right through the night for the first time in years and years. It's truly amazing.. although I am a little worried about the long term effects of the small amounts of opiods.
I have suffered from restless legs for 15 years (since I was started on an SSRI for depression). I could not go off the antidepressant because otherwise I would become unable to work. When I took hydrocodone for a pain condition, my restless legs went away. My doctor tried me on all sorts of medications for restless legs and nothing worked. When I told her that hydrocodone worked, she said "I cannot prescribe that for restless legs or I could lose my license." So, I did some research and found out that hydrocodone, like other opiates are made from poppy seeds. Now I take 1 pound of poppy seeds (you can get from bulk food stores) and mix with 16 ounces of fruit juice. Shake well for 20 minutes. Poke small holes in the top of the fruit juice bottle and drain out the juice. Drink approximately half cup of that juice every night and you will not have restless legs. At least, it works for me. You can use the poppy seeds twice and then toss.
EC: Just be careful about poppy seeds and employer drug screening tests!
Not sure if this passes for a "natural" remedy, but it's the first thing that I've known to help my particular RLS, so passing it on. Potassium Gluconate. It's sold in the vitamin/mineral section of the department or drug store, usually in 595 mg doses. I take one capsule before bed and it improves my condition. This would suggest that in my case a potassium deficiency might pertain to the RLS. Natural foods high in potassium include sweet potatoes and bananas. I also make certain not to go to bed cold (I find it advisable to keep warm, at least to start the night).
Guess what kids, one of the major causes of RLS, is anti depressants and over the counter cold/sinus meds. muscle relaxers too. You didn't hear much about RLS until everyone and their brother was on ANTI Ds. Also, a lot of sinus medications, cold and flu meds.
I noticed this as a child, I could not take over the counter or prescribed meds because of those side effects. I decided I would rather have the symptoms of the cold or allergies than the RLS they gave me, back in the 1960s, 70s,80s, they didnt have a name for it, you hardly ever heard of it. But once the whole world got in anti depressents you starting hear about it. Even Nyquil or Benedryl does it to me, flexeril, all that stuff.
So if you have RLS, you might start looking back on when it started and what meds you introduced into your life. I'm not saying you should go off your prescribed meds, but every once in awhile the insert of a medication will now list RLS as a side effect, but not often enough. I hope this info can help someone. Just a thought.
This remedy was given to me by a friend and my husband has used it with highly successful results. It's quinine. He takes it by drinking a well-known brand of Tonic Water (not all tonic waters containe quinine) - but I know you can't advertise. I understand you can buy quinine so could be worth a go. (Hmm think it is a natural substance??).
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
(Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa)
Could someone pls tell me what type of chair they find the best to prevent RLS, I have no problem at work but of an evening the minute I sit down on a chair or couch I feel RLS coming on. I find sitting on the floor does help, also putting my feet up and my back on the floor helps as well. Last night I took both Tonic Water and the mixture with BI-Carbsoda and thanks to all you great people I didnt get RLS, thanks heaps. I am an active person walking before work, I am 60 and enjoy my work as an Engineer, we eat a balanced diet and I drink 1 lite beer/night 4-5 times a week, a few more an weekends. So I agree with you all, that it is messages coming from the brain to the legs. It would be interesting to know if there is any tie up with MND (Motor Neuron Disease) I find if my legs are hot in bed this brings on RLS also if the weight of the Blankets doesnt help.
I am, like all of you have already posted here, going crazy with this RLS. I have read and read and read (and read) about some of the things that are helping you all. I have not tried any, but am now at the breaking point. I will try the apple cider vinegar or baking soda or maybe both. What I wanted to say here, is that I noticed a lot of people talking about how the irritation is coming directly from their legs. My experience is my lower back problems; I can feel it stemming from there, and working it's way down into my knees, mostly on the left side which is where the sciatic nerve is. I believe this has a lot to do with, at least my problem. I also get that nervous twinge in my upper back between my shoulder blades and then get the rls feeling in my arms. I don't know what all this is about, but like many, I am at the point where I'll try anything to get a good nights sleep. Thanks so much for all your posts.
(Kannapolis, Nc Usa)
Restless Leg Syndrome: I have a theory on this one, that this disease, RLS, exists in the animal world with a different name. WMD - White Muscle Disease.
Somebody on here with this disease will eventually get a blood test. I propose that someone with RLS tests for Selenium Deficiency.
(Douglasville, Georgia, USA)
Since I am seeing more posts about Restless Leg Syndrome, I thought I would share with all of you as a possible solution. I was telling a friend about the Earthclinic web site and she told me she once had restless leg syndrome. She said remembers how releatives used rubbing alcohol for horses legs. She thought, why not and rubbed her legs with it. The next day and to this day she has had no more symptoms. I don't have personal experience with this but I thought I would throw it into the mix to see if anyone else had tried it.
I am a neuroscientist and I suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome. I've racked my brain trying to figure out why it works, but it does. About 6 months ago my wife started putting 3 bars of Irish Spring soap under the sheets next to my legs and my RLS has subsided about 90% (Ivory sop didn't work). I think the effect may be olfactory - the soap has to be strong smelling), but I haven't tested it (putting the soap next to my head instead of my legs). I am the world's biggest skeptic and I'm flabbergasted, but really, it works.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is often thought of as an inexplicable movement of the legs at night. In fact, it is a neurological disorder characterized primarily by unpleasant sensations, particularly below the knees, that result in the movements. There are many different descriptions of the sensations, among them are: a crawling feeling; a creeping inside the calves; aches and pains in the legs; or pins and needles, a prickly feeling. These sensations are accompanied by an urge, often irresistible, to move the legs in order to provide relief from the discomfort. In other words, the distressing feelings include within them a sense that movement will alleviate them; movement usually does help. Since the restless legs condition occurs most often during inactivity, particularly at night, the best relief-getting up and walking around-disrupts sleep. But, so does the movement of the legs while in bed, which prevents easily falling asleep (or falling back to sleep after wakening). Restless legs syndrome is commonly discussed in the field of sleep disorders (1,2).
The syndrome was first mentioned by an English doctor, Thomas Willis, in 1672. In 1861, a German doctor, Theodor Wittmaack, described it as Anxietas tibiarum (literally anxiety of the lower leg muscles: the tibialis). The Swedish doctor Karl Ekbom in 1945 reported his observations in 34 persons with the condition and used the term "restless legs;" later, he observed 70 additional typical cases. Ekborn founded the department of clinical neurology of Uppsala University in 1956, continuing his studies of restless legs, which was known for some time as Ekbom's Syndrome or Wittmaack-Ekbom Syndrome. Much progress in understanding the disorder has been made recently as new study techniques have been developed.
Restless Legs Syndrome may have a genetic component (especially when onset is before age 50), and it is partly related to dopamine activity in the brain affecting function of the cerebral cortex; this is the same neurotransmitter involved in Parkinson's disease. Dopamine agonists (drugs that stimulate the dopamine receptors in the same way dopamine does) and dopamine itself (e.g., l-dopa) are often effective in treating the condition. However, studies suggest that the specific dopamine systems in the brain differ in Restless Legs Syndrome versus Parkinson's disease; the two disorders can coexist when dopamine levels are quite low.
Restless Legs Syndrome mainly occurs past age 50, and affects about 10% of those in that age group; it is particularly common in women. Poor circulation in the legs-which may result from history of smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, and other factors-contributes to the development of the condition. Nutritional deficiency, particularly lack of bound iron, is known to exacerbate the disorder. The syndrome may also occur temporarily during late pregnancy, possibly as the result of reduced circulation in the legs and lower levels of folate (a B vitamin, B9).
Tests have suggested that serum levels of both ferretin and folate are involved in nutritional aspects of Restless Legs Syndrome (3-5). The levels of these nutrients within cells may not be relevant, nor, apparently, are levels of hemoglobin or free iron. Administration of iron and folate in deficiency cases can provide some relief and sometimes resolve the problem entirely. Folate deficiencies can result from genetic defects, low absorption, or dietary insufficiency (recommended intake for adults is 400 ?g/day). The following table displays good sources of folate (see the article Iron Deficiency Anemia for good dietary sources of iron; suggested daily iron intake is 7 mg for men; 12-16 mg for women). Some foods are rich sources of both folate and iron, especially liver (and, to a lesser extent, other meats), spinach (and, to a lesser extent, most green leafy vegetables), and several legumes (beans and peas). Fortified foods, such as breads and cereals, are also good sources of these nutrients. Folate was named for leaves (foliage) that were noted to be a significant source; the supplement form is called folic acid. Current recommendations suggest limiting intake of supplements with folic acid to 1,000 ?g (= 1 mg) per day, but the concern for high doses is eliminated when vitamin B12 is also administered.
Soap etc didn't work for my RLS, but drinking 6-8 ounces of tonic water does work. May have read it on EC but been doing it so long I forget. I buy diet tonic water with "real quinine" listed in the ingredients. Good luck and sleep tight!
RLS: I drink tonic water with quinine. I have never found it without quinine. I like it so I sip on it all day and into the evening. If I'm not home all day, I sip on it all evening. My doctor suggested 12 oz. in the evening. That amount worked initially but sipping on it all evening is a must now. Every once in a while it will act up despite the tonic water. I don't just have the creepy crawlies that make me need to stretch my legs with no relief. I also have uncontrollable movement of one or both of my legs. I used to have it in my arms also. They would flail on their own during the night. Jerking up. Typically the left arm. When it acts up I chug the tonic water. Glass after glass. On the rare occasion it takes longer to take effect.
I've had RLS for quite awhile and have started using Trigger Point Therapy for the last couple of years. I sometimes have to work at it a little while, but I eventually find the trigger Point that is causing the symptoms in that particular leg. After I have massaged it the RLS symptoms slowly go away and my leg quits twitching. I know I have found the right spot because it will trigger the twitch in my leg untill it is massaged. I seem to mostly find the trigger points are in my hips and/or lower back. You can find the books and videos online that can show you how. Hope this helps it sure has me.
HI, I've suffered with the same restless leg syndrome (rls) for ages, and the pain was unbearable and took co codamol just to sleep for years.... doc said pain in body could be lack of vit d....
So one night last week I took 10 x 400 IU of vit d3, and 2 x 500mg tabs of magnesium and calcium... Then soaked my feet in a hot bowl of water with a cup of Epsom salts... did this every night.
I haven't taken my painkillers in over a week! ... The throbbing is still there and the joint pain and swelling... But seems to be responding to the daily vit d3 and magnesium... Although my joint pain and swelling is most definitely brought on by eating wheat! ... the rls may be a severe deficiency in calcium, magnesium and d3....
D3 ive read can be taken in therapeutic doses of 50,000 IU daily for 6 weeks then 1000 IU daily thereafter.