While we specialize in helping people with digestive issues and autoimmunity, enough people have come to us who are also dealing with Restless Leg Syndrome that we’ve had to explore options to help them!
Yesterday we covered 4 natural ideas for the treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome.
Today I’d like to add two more ideas to the list.
The two primary ways RLS is treated are by working with dopamine (which were the strategies we talked about in the previous post) and by addressing GABA (a calming, relaxing neurotransmitter).
In this post, we’ll discuss
two THREE natural therapies that affect GABA.
Magnesium – From the comments I’m getting, a good number of people have found success using magnesium to control their RLS. And that makes sense. Magnesium is considered the ‘calming’ mineral and is often helpful in relaxing people. Magnesium is also a necessary nutrient for over 300+ different reactions in the body and while it’s not a direct nutrient needed in the production of dopamine, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear magnesium is needed somewhere in the process.
Since it’s cheap, often deficient in the American diet, and useful in so many other ways, it makes sense to try magnesium either by itself or in combination with the other ideas covered yesterday.
The one caution with magnesium is that it can cause loose stools and diarrhea. This is more likely with the cheap form of magnesium out there, magnesium oxide, which is going to be in your bargain bin, cheap drugstore and grocery store forms of magnesium.
Most people are probably going to need between 400-1600mg of magnesium to get significant benefit (start low and increase as needed).
Magnesium may do the trick for you, it certainly has for some, and if it does, awesome! The patients I’m working with who have RLS have found some benefit from magnesium, but not enough to consider their RLS managed, and the gentlemen sharing their stories at rlscure.com and rlcure.com both found magnesium insufficient to control their RLS. So, if you’ve tried magnesium and it’s not enough, check out yesterday’s article for more options.
Theanine – Theanine is an amino acid derived from tea. It works to make the GABA receptors in the brain more sensitive to GABA (it does not stimulate them directly like anti-anxiety medications and alcohol). It also seems to have some affect on dopamine as well.
I’ve found theanine to work exceptionally well for anxiety and anxiety induced insomnia, but have never used it for RLS.
I’m mentioning it here in response to one of the drugs used to manage RLS, gabapentin enacarbil, which is metabolized into GABA, stimulating the GABA receptors and calming down the nervous system. Theanine should work in a similar way, without the side effects. Theanine is non-narcotic (it doesn’t ‘drug’ you) and non-addictive.
After using it in a boatload of patients, I have yet to see any side effects (other than it simply doesn’t work for some people). Most people are probably going to need doses of at least 400mg, and more likely 800mg – 2000mg.
Theanine synergizes well with magnesium which some research suggests also stimulates GABA receptors, so I often recommend both be used together.
Cannabis – since marijuana has become fully legal in the state of Washington I’ve had many people tell me that either the full plant or extracts from it (like CBD), have been very helpful for their sleep and for RLS. Some people find relief with the CBD extract which has no intoxicating properties and will not test positive on a drug test. Others find the full plant more helpful. For more info on cannabis, listen to the 2 part series I did with medical marijuana expert and advocate Nikki Pickering. Part 1 HERE, Part 2 HERE.
So now you’re armed with
6 SEVEN natural ideas for the treatment of RLS. You may find help with just one or need to use some combination of all 7 to find relief.
If you try these ideas, please drop me a line and let me know how it worked for you, and if you find any better ideas, please let us know, we’re always looking to finding better solutions for people.
At Aspire Natural Health we are experts at helping people suffering with digestive issues and autoimmunity.
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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2yCa5Op
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