Restless Leg Syndrome
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: CB
Posted on: January 2, 2004

My mother-in-law has restless leg syndrome and would like to take a natural approach to relieving the symptoms. Do you have any suggestions?

She has high blood pressure, inactive thyroid and is 60 years old. I don’t know what other info would be helpful. Let me know if there are any other factors to account for?

Restless leg syndrome, with symptoms of jumpy legs, pins and needles, numbness or the feeling of something crawling under the skin, can be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially folic acid, calcium and magnesium. Iron depletion can be a cause in older people. Have this checked by a medical professional: if iron is low, the cause must be determined.

Factors in restless leg syndrome include: smoking, which decreases blood circulation to the legs; nerve stimulation by caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate or soft drinks; minerals leached from the body by alcohol, coffee or white vinegar products (like salad dressings, pickles). This syndrome can be a sign of diabetes, thyroid disorder, kidney problems or arthritis.

Natural treatment includes: smoking and alcohol cessation, avoidance of all caffeine and white vinegar products (apple cider vinegar is okay), and supplementation with a good brand of multivitamin/multimineral daily. A calcium/magnesium supplement in the evening helps to calm the nerves and muscles. Herbs that can help are relaxing herbs: skullcap, German chamomile, valerian, linden flower or passionflower. Yarrow helps to circulate the blood to the legs.

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