Restless leg syndrome is quite common condition these days, yet one of the most curious ones, leaving people with little explanation regarding its cause. According to past studies on the topic, potential causes include: pregnancy, medications, inability to process dopamine properly, genetics, other chronic diseases, and iron deficiencies.
However, recent studies have looked more closely at the root causes of this condition. Given that it is typically linked to other chronic conditions like peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and chronic fatigue, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine decided to study the relationship between RLS and these conditions. Their findings were quite surprising, at the very least.
Their theory is the following: Given that most of these conditions are associated with immune disorders caused by inflammation, the chances are inflammation is the trigger for RLS too. As they examined this, they discovered 38 diseases and conditions related to restless leg syndrome. Up to 95% of these were associated with excessive inflammation in the body. They stated that inflammation plays a role in restless leg syndrome in 3 ways:
- Inflammation could trigger iron deficiencies that lead to RLS
- Immune responses to imbalanced bacteria levels in the intestines could trigger inflammation that lead to RLS
- Changed genetic host defense mechanisms could lead to excessive inflammation which could trigger RLS
Curing inflammation and RLS
With this being said, it becomes evident that those with restless leg syndrome can alleviate RLS episodes by keeping inflammation in check. This can be done in 3 ways:
1. Eliminating sources of inflammation from medications and food. It has been scientifically shown that a huge contributor to chronic inflammation comes from what we consume. In fact, you will find that most of the inflammatory foods already have place in your diet. They include refined carbohydrates, sugar, trans fats, omega-6 fats, processed foods, fried foods, refined flour, dairy, and artificial sweeteners.
2. Take anti-inflammatory supplements that reduce existing inflammation and minimize the inflammatory impact of newly eaten foods. The best supplements for this purpose include ginger, iron, curcumin, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fats, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
3. The last step is eating anti-inflammatory foods, which act as inflammation-fighters. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, berries, cherries, fatty fish, walnuts, and beets.
Control RLS with anti-inflammatory agents
Even though further research about the role of inflammation in restless leg syndrome is needed, there is mounting evidence suggesting that it might be a significant contributing factor for restless leg syndrome symptoms. If the researchers are right about this, studies of this kind could open up a new way to treat restless leg syndrome without the dangerous and detrimental medications which are currently used.
If you, your friend, or a family member suffers from restless leg syndrome, don’t hesitate to give this approach a try!