How to stop Restless Leg Syndrome

by West Conner · 5 comments

According to the National Institutes of Health, Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is “a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrolled urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings.”  Most people get these sensations in the evening, especially when trying to fall asleep.  The symptoms usually disappear by the morning.

The B vitamins are necessary for proper nerve function.  Because of this, those with RLS should supplement their diet with adequate amounts of the B vitamins.  Even if you are taking a multiple vitamin, I would recommend an addition B vitamin tablet, like a B-100, just to be sure you are getting enough.  These vitamins are water soluble and any extra will be removed from your body.  If you are taking extra vitamin B and are not getting relief, you may need to have weekly injections of Vitamin B12.  This must be prescribed by your doctor and should be used at a dose of about 2,000 mcg per week.

Some of my patients have noticed a decrease in their symptoms when taking additional magnesium at bedtime.  I recommend 800mg of magnesium oxide a couple hours before you retire.

Researchers are discovering a few telltale signs of a person with RLS.  Those with anemia or low iron are generally more at risk for developing RLS.  Generally, when the anemia is corrected with supplemental iron tablets, there is a reduction in symptoms.

Other medical conditions are known to lead to RLS.  Those with diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, or peripheral neuropathy have a higher incidence of RLS than others.  Once these disease are under control, the symptoms of RLS are reduced or eliminated.

If you are predisposed to having RLS, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine can make symptoms worse.  It is known that these substances deplete the body of many of the B vitamins.  Remember, soda has caffeine in it. If you are drinking Coke with your dinner, try Caffeine Free Coke.

Some suggestions that I’ve had from patients include a short walk around the house before bed; a warm, soothing bath; or relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.  One patient took 300mg of Valarian root before bed and swears that it relieved her RLS.

IF you feel you must go the prescription drug route, RLS can be controlled with a few different prescription medications.  Usually first line therapy is a drug called levodopa.  Levopoda is usually used for Parkinson’s disease but doctors and researchers have found that it is beneficial for those with RLS.  One of the drawbacks of levodopa is that the effectiveness of the drug wears off over time and the doctor must switch to another medication.  Once the levodopa stops working, other medications called “dopamine agonists” can be tried.  These medications include Permax (pergolide), Mirapex (pramipexole), or Requip (ropinirole).

If the RLS is severe, the physician may want to try narcotic pain killers like codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone.  Along with relieving pain, these medication cause sedation and help the body to relax.

Another medicinal approach is the use of anticonvulsants.  These medications include Neurontin (gabapentin), Tegretal (carbamazepine), or Lyrica (pregabalin).  These medications can be useful for the person who has the urge to move the legs but the legs are not painful.

The benzodiazepines are a class of medication that should only be used as a last resort for RLS.  These include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).  “Benzoes” can cause daytime sedation and may aggravate sleep apnea.

There is no one medication that is useful for everyone when it comes to RLS.  If you suffer from this condition, just be aware that the first, or even the second, medication that you try may not be effective for you.  With this condition, it takes a little trial and error to find a solution.

Perhaps that strangest “remedy” is the bar of soap under the sheet trick.  There is absolutely no scientific way to prove the effectiveness but many people have found relief from this technique.  They have placed a bar of soap under the bed sheet where their feet rest.  I have no idea why or how this works (or even could work) but those who suffer say that it does.  I’ll let you be the judge on that one.

How to stop Restless Leg Syndrome

According to the National Institutes of Health, Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS, is “a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrolled urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings.” Most people get these sensations in the evening, especially when trying to fall asleep. The symptoms usually disappear by the morning.

RLS can be controlled with a few different prescription medications. Usually first line therapy is a drug called levodopa. Levopoda is usually used for Parkinson’s disease but doctors and researchers have found that it is beneficial for those with RLS. One of the drawbacks of levodopa is that the effectiveness of the drug wears off over time and the doctor must switch to another medication. Once the levodopa stops working, other medications called “dopamine agonists” can be tried. These medications include Permax (pergolide), Mirapex (pramipexole), or Requip (ropinirole).

If the RLS is severe, the physician may want to try narcotic pain killers like codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone. Along with relieving pain, these medication cause sedation and help the body to relax.

Another medicinal approach is the use of anticonvulsants. These medications include Neurontin (gabapentin), Tegretal (carbamazepine), or Lyrica (pregabalin). These medications can be useful for the person who has the urge to move the legs but the legs are not painful.

The benzodiazepines are a class of medication that should only be used as a last resort for RLS. These include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam). “Benzoes” can cause daytime sedation and may aggravate sleep apnea.

There is no one medication that is useful for everyone when it comes to RLS. If you suffer from this condition, just be aware that the first, or even the second, medication that you try may not be effective for you. With this condition, it takes a little trial and error to find a solution.

The B vitamins are necessary for proper nerve function. Because of this, those with RLS should supplement their diet with adequate amounts of the B vitamins. Even if you are taking a multiple vitamin, I would recommend an addition B vitamin tablet, like a B-100, just to be sure you are getting enough. These vitamins are water soluble and any extra will be removed from your body. If you are taking extra vitamin B and are not getting relief, you may need to have weekly injections of Vitamin B12. This must be prescribed by your doctor and should be used at a dose of about 2,000 mcg per week.

Some of my patients have noticed a decrease in their symptoms when taking additional magnesium at bedtime. I recommend 800mg of magnesium oxide a couple hours before you retire.

Researchers are discovering a few telltale signs of a person with RLS. Those with anemia or low iron are generally more at risk for developing RLS. Generally, when the anemia is corrected with supplemental iron tablets, there is a reduction in symptoms.

Other medical conditions are known to lead to RLS. Those with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or peripheral neuropathy have a higher incidence of RLS than others. Once these diseases are under control, the symptoms of RLS are reduced or eliminated.

If you are predisposed to having RLS, alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine can make symptoms worse. It is known that these substances deplete the body of many of the B vitamins. Remember, soda has caffeine in it. If you are drinking Coke with your dinner, try Caffeine Free Coke.

Some suggestions that I’ve had from patients include a short walk around the house before bed; a warm, soothing bath; or relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. One patient took 300mg of Valarian root before bed and swears that it relieved her RLS.

Perhaps that strangest “remedy” is the bar of soap under the sheet trick. There is absolutely no scientific way to prove the effectiveness but many people have found relief from this technique. They have placed a bar of soap under the bed sheet where their feet rest. I have no idea why or how this works (or even could work) but those who suffer say that it does. I’ll let you be the judge on that one.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

MarkW July 9, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I was taking magnesium before bed for the last 3 mos. for bowel issues. When I ran out 3 days ago, the RLS began. Picking up some more Magnesium tonight. So, what you said about magnesium before bed may be the answer and may help others also. Thanks.

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ann weiner January 12, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Last nite at 3:00AM I was desperate for relief from the RLS that was keeping me up since 10:00PM. I went to Google for help and found your site. I laughed at the last bit of advise about the bar of soap….but since I had no other resources at that time of the night, I unwrapped a bar of ivory soap and put it under the sheet in the area between my knees and ankles. It was bizarre…..The RLS ceased completely. I kid you not. I felt ( for the first time ever ) some tingling sensations like slight pins and needles running up and down my legs but absolutely no RLS. I feel asleep soon after and woke this morning still incredulous.
I’ll try it again tonight if the RLS reappears.
WOW! That was not to be believed.
Ann

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Tiffany November 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Thank you for the information! I have had issues with RLS for the last few years now. I am 7 months pregnant and the extra weight and circulation issues have made it much worse. I wanted to add that there is an over the counter medicine called “restful legs.” I have found it both at CVS pharmacy and Wal-mart. It is supposed to be all natural and I have found it to be helpful most of the time. It can take 30-45 minutes to stop the symptoms but it has been a big relief. Hope that helps some of you :)

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Nicole June 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Hello,

Thank you for all your information on this site. I have a few questions though.

My mom has had RLS ever since she was a kid until now (53 years old). She is very healthy and her blood work is always perfect. She is over weight (about 230 pounds) but she tries to swim or walk around to get some exercise. I am an undergrad nutrition major, so I am trying to help her with her diet. She use to drink coke all the time, but I made her slowly stop; she drinks it every now and then though. She also likes to drink iced tea, especially in the summer and she adds a lot of sugar. I told her to stop putting sugar but it’s hard for her. Anyways, my mom told me she gets RLS when she’s driving home from work, sleeping, when she’s hot.. etc. She gets it a lot, everyday. She takes medication for it, but she is also on a lot of other medication for other things and I want her to take less medication because I feel that it is making her gain even more weight. She has a thyroid issue too which makes her gain weight. We are going on a trip in a few weeks and she is really worried because she feels like she won’t be comfortable and I am very worried about her and I just need to know what’s going on and how we can help her.

Please let me know if you can help in anyway. Thanks

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Nootropic March 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I like your insightful site. brilliant stuff

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