What is Restless Leg Syndrome, and How can Magnesium help?
The human body is a strange and extraordinary thing. Capable of many sensations and reflexes, and sometimes we don’t quite understand them. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is one of those interesting conditions that leave their patients and doctors, with many unanswered questions. Patients come to doctors describing “these creepy crawlies” or “tingling” sensations that makes them want to move about, there can be a stress on their daily life. They have trouble relaxing, staying still, and even sleeping.
What Can We Do?
Modern medicine hasn’t even been too successful helping people with Restless Leg Syndrome or even Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep (PLMS). There are new medications available, but many come with undesirable side effects. Also, these movements and twitches are reported twice as often in women than men, but we do know we can take a naturalist approach to the issue.
Symptoms of RLS can be quite staggering. It is described as an “electric-current” sensation streaming through the legs, and even the arms in few cases. “Pulling from the inside” and necessitating any movement for a sense of immediate relief. This is especially prevalent at night, causing sleep loss for the afflicted and even their partner. Patients experience unusual urges to toss and turn, a need to move around, get out of bed, or rub their legs. The symptoms often increase while at rest. RLS diagnostic criteria is as follows:
- Pins and Needles sensation urging movement
- Worsening sensation at nighttime
- Symptoms come on or increase with rest
- Movement causes immediate relief
RLS has another symptom for many patients; sleep disturbance. Due to this, RLS is actually classified as a sleep disorder, causing many patients to seek treatment. There are noticeable patterns of movement in many cases, repetitive leg movement every 30 seconds or more, lasting a couple of seconds, and is referred to as periodic limb movements in sleep. Sometimes people even wake themselves up.
Other Issues With RLS
A 2003 survey conducted at a sleep disorder clinic revealed some unsettling results. More than 50 percent of patients with RLS, PLMS, and other chronic sleep disorders, also suffered from depression. What is even more unsettling, is that antidepressants, including the family of medications known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), can aggravate PLMS even more, making it a vicious cycle.
A Possible Cure
Magnesium is important for proper conduction of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. The relationship between RLS and Magnesium levels have recently been discovered by researchers. Studies show that magnesium may be too quickly transported from the blood to the cerebrospinal fluid. It may also be interacting with the iron transport system and dopamine receptors affecting RLS symptoms. Success has been found with patients who have added magnesium through food, although that is a difficult task in modern times. Trans-dermal Magnesium application has been proven time and time again to help increase Magnesium levels the fastest and most effectively.
When the body works with things naturally, safe and effective techniques such as nutritional supplementation can help correct imbalances. Conditions like restless legs syndrome can significantly interrupt daily life, but we can work to figure out what our body needs, and provide that in a course of treatment. When we use our body’s own wisdom to heal, we can rest more than our legs, we can rest our minds and our spirits. And that is definitely worth the effort.