A common complaint that is pretty easy to remedy is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Amazingly the medications available on the market are less or equal to my simple and natural recommendations for RLS. I do have to admit that sometimes identifying the underlying cause of the RLS and thus choosing the right remedy is a bit tricky but the remedies themselves are quickly evident on what is effective. I've listed what I would do in order of preference.
- Get tested for anemia. Have both iron and ferritin (ferritin below 20 can cause RLS) as well as a Complete Blood Count checked for iron deficiency anemia. This is one of the common underlying causes. If you don't feel like going to the doctor to get tested then try taking an iron supplement for a week and see how your RLS feels. If better, then go get tested for the anemia as you will need to know how long to keep on the iron. No, you should not just take iron if it is not indicated for long periods of time.
- Magnesium supplement. This is my favorite and easiest to do remedy. Take 200-400 mg of Magnesium citrate at bedtime and see how your legs feel. This will work amazingly well for leg cramps and Charley horse's in the middle of the night as well.
- Cal/Mg supplements. A calcium and magnesium supplement can work well together, usually twice the calcium to the magnesium. Make sure you take an absorbable form like citrate, aspartate or glycinate. You will know in a few days if this is the solution. Don't take calcium alone, alway couple with magnesium as we discussed previously about heart attacks and calcium supplementation
- Folic Acid. I use high doses here. Usually in milligrams. Check with your doctor about this because too much folic acid will lead to depletion of vitamin B12 and B6. Foods high in folic acid like dark leafy greens help here.
- Zinc/copper. Usually 50mg of zinc with about 5mg of copper. Relief can happen be seen in a few days. Foods high in zinc are even better like pumpkin seeds.
- Soap in the bed. Are you doing a double take here? I don't know why this works. I have patients that swear this works for RLS but not always for leg cramps. What's the harm in trying this? It's cheap, you don't have to take any pills and it is a temporary fix in a pinch...like while traveling. Don't get a soap with fragrance in it, won't work. Ivory or some other natural brand. The only bummer about this is that there is a soap in the bed. Keep it by your knees while you sleep. Understand that this does not get to the bottom of the problem.
Let me know which of these remedies work for you. One usually does. Be patient and try each one methodically, one is bound to work. Just remember that for leg cramps, usually the magnesium will get rid of both RLS and cramping. Here's to your good night sleep!Share on Facebook