Understanding Restless Leg Syndrome

In my Reflexology practice I often encounter people with RLS - Restless Leg Syndrome.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move one's legs. There is often an unpleasant feeling in the legs that improves somewhat with moving them. Occasionally the arms may also be affected. The feelings generally happen when at rest and therefore can make it hard to sleep. Due to the disturbance in sleep, people with RLS may have daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood. Additionally, many have limb twitching during sleep. [Wikipedia]

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released new guidelines for restless legs syndrome (RLS). Some evidence shows that iron deficiency is associated with RLS. The AAN now recommends iron 325 mg along with vitamin C 100 mg twice daily for RLS patients with low blood ferritin levels (<75 mcg/L). Iron can also be given intravenously as two doses of ferric carboxymaltose 500 mg, 5 days apart. This has been shown to improve RLS symptoms regardless of serum ferritin levels. 


My comments: You need to know, that vitamin C enhances the uptake of Iron among many other important functions. Bleeding can cause iron loss. Gastrointestinal bleeding can be caused by aspirin, ibuprofen, or arthritis medicines used for a long period of time. Before resorting to supplements, I want you to reach for foods rich in Iron and vitamin C. Eggs, fish, leafy vegetables - my favorite are beet leaves. Yes, you can sauté them with garlic and onions as a side dish to meat and liver - also rich in Iron. A good online shopping source is Vital Choice - make sure to use this coupon for 10% off.

On a very personal note, I came to inherit “anemic “ genes. My late aunt and my mom historically suffer from anemia, my own ferritin levels are always on a low side. You bet I supplement generously with vit.C and Iron in addition to eating abundantly healthy. Just last week my mom was given her first of two IV Iron transfusion in Stamford Hospital. The results are so immediately evident. My 91 y.o. lady became herself again: perky, positive, smiley, eager to dive into her new book on tape.