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Real Remedies to Calm Restless Legs

Posted Oct 16 2008 7:58pm

If you're one of the 12 million Americans who suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS), you're probably not getting the sleep you need. That irresistible urge to move the lower limbs makes you feel like moving when you should be sleeping or relaxing.

For many, this condition is inherited and for others it's an underlying health problem. Either way, scientist believe that like Parkinson's disease RLS sufferers have poor dopamine metabolism.

This month's edition of Natural Solutions lists the top four natural remedies that may help calm those restless legs.

Iron
Given that iron deficiency is the most common medical condition associated with RLS, it's a good idea to have your doctor check your ferritin levels. Because your body stores iron in the form of ferritin, it is the best test for iron deficiency. This mineral has been linked to having an important influence on dopamine metabolism. Because too much iron can be harmful, doctors only recommend supplementation if tests reveal a deficiency. Iron levels should also be checked while supplementing.

Folic Acid
If RSL runs in the family, you may be deficient in folic acid, which is an important element of nerve health. Helpful dosages are quite high, starting at 5 mg daily compared to the recommended daily allowance of 300 to 600 mcg. Therefore, you should be supervised by a health care provider if you need to take high levels of this nutrient.

Magnesium
An electrolyte imbalance can also be to blame for RSL, which can be the result of an eating disorder or gastric bypass surgery. Supplementing with 200 to 800 mg of magnesium at bedtime can correct the problem while helping to promote muscle and nerve health.

L-theanine
While L-theanine, an amino acid known to induce deep relaxation, isn't directly linked with easing RLS, taking 200 mg of it about an hour before bedtime could help you settle down for a good night's rest.

Source: Natural Solutions (March 2008)
Photo Credit: Intimaj (Flickr)

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