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Restless Legs Syndrome Causes and Treatments

Published on March 14, 2015

The specific causes of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are not known. That is what most doctors say and it is certainly what WebMD says. “Disease in the blood vessels of the legs or in the nerves in the legs that control leg movement and sensation was once thought to cause RLS, but both of these suggestions have been rejected.” Restless leg syndrome affects millions of people. If you peruse the internet, you will quickly find that the disorder is not understood very well at all.

Though WebMD tells us what it isn’t we read that restless leg syndrome is one of the most common nerve syndromes. The tingling, prickling and numbness in the legs occur mainly in the evening or at night when the body is resting and can only be eased by moving or walking around. People with the condition suffer sleeping disorders and thus tiredness and general fatigue. In extreme cases it can lead to depression. The chances of developing restless leg syndrome increase with age. Around one in 10 people over the age of 65 is a sufferer.

However, it can also strike children. The condition was first described in 1945 by Swedish nerve specialist Karl-Axel Ekbom. It is thought to be linked to an imbalance of the brain’s ‘reward’ chemical messenger dopamine. Women are more likely to be affected than men with many developing restless legs in the last few weeks of pregnancy. In children, the condition can be wrongly diagnosed as ‘growing pains’. The symptoms usually worsen as people get older.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a chronic, disruptive disorder where one feels an urge to move their legs to stop an unpleasant sensation such as pain, aching, itching or tickling in the muscles while lying down or trying to sleep. Many cases of RLS can be mild but in more severe cases the symptoms can often be intolerable.

Having a sleepless night now and then can be annoying. However, when you have restless legs syndrome (RLS), going without sleep night after night can make life miserable. You may be so tired that you just feel like crying.

Getting to the Heart of RLS

restless leg syndrome symptoms

People with RLS can realize relief quite quickly with the use of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, (also available in hardcopy through either magnesium oil or magnesium gel that is applied directly to the legs. RLS can actually be explained quite simply enough and effective treatment prescribed. The condition is a symptom of severe magnesium deficiency. A quick look at the science of magnesium deficiency and the effect such deficiency has on muscles, nerves and the blood vessels easily sustains this medical view. For pregnant women with RLS, safer pregnancy and easier birth are realized with magnesium baths, which are highly recommended.

So many people suffer from this syndrome because they are seriously depleted in magnesium. Is that too hard for doctors to understand? Are they so captured by the pharmaceutical paradigm that they cannot see the easy answer?

There is nothing rare at all about magnesium deficiencies. According to government data, 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended intake of magnesium and 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the recommended intake. Yet sites like Healthline misinforms the public saying, “It’s rare to have a true magnesium deficiency, but certain conditions such as gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, and pancreatitis can upset the body’s magnesium balance.”

Most of the population has magnesium deficiency and the problem has only been getting worse as nutritional content in foods continue to drop and. In addition, all white foods, white rice, white bread, white sugar, white salt and white spaghetti have all the magnesium taken out.

Dr. Carolyn Dean says, “The best treatment is with any form of magnesium because magnesium relaxes muscles and nerves. Furthermore, calcium causes contraction in skeletal muscle fibers, and magnesium causes relaxation. When there is too much calcium and insufficient magnesium inside a cell, you can get sustained muscle contraction: twitches, spasms, and even convulsions.

“I have had restless legs every night for the past 45 years. The severity has gradually increased over the years and has led to several visits to the doctor. I have been on 4 different medications, none of which helped. On a whim, I bought a bottle of magnesium spray oil from the chemist and have been using this twice a day on knees and calves. I have also started taking a magnesium supplement. My RLS symptoms have almost completely disappeared. I still feel twinges in the evenings but they do not last more than a few minutes. I apply the oil as needed. It stings a bit and dries the skin but the disappearance of this wretched condition more than makes up for any temporary discomfort.”

According to Dean, “A hundred years ago we enjoyed a diet high in magnesium with a daily intake of 500 mg. Today we are lucky to get 200 mg. However, calcium in the diet has never been higher. This high-calcium, low-magnesium diet, when coupled with calcium supplementation, can give a calcium to magnesium imbalance of 10:1 or even higher — which constitutes a walking time bomb of impaired bone health and heart disease.”

Restless Leg Syndrome and Inflammation

Restless leg syndrome is obviously an inflammation but we never will read this fact from the mainstream medical media and it ties in perfectly with the observation that RLS is a magnesium deficiency disorder. Magnesium puts the chill on inflammation and that is why it is the perfect RLS medicine as it is for all disease (inflammations) of the nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Magnesium deficiencies feed the fires of inflammation and pain in the legs and that is why applying magnesium directly to the legs at night and during the day works so well to cool the restlessness. Magnesium deficiency in general also leads to sleep disorders to it works not only on the legs but the entire nervous system helping to relax us and reset our nervous system to a less anxious and depressed tone.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

Doctors cannot specifically diagnose restless Leg Syndrome because they are not trained to look at or diagnosis anything on the fundamental level of cause. On some sites, you will read that there is no cure for Restless Leg Syndrome; however, once diagnosed, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan to decrease symptoms, few of which will help.

Restless leg syndrome symptoms and anxiety are related to each other and result in severe sleep disorders. Magnesium deficiency often results in symptoms of anxiety, restless leg syndrome, sleep disorders, nausea, fatigue and depression.  Even a mild deficiency of magnesium can cause increased sensitivity to noise, nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching, trembling, apprehension, and insomnia.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a major role in the functioning of the musculoskeletal system. Magnesium allows the muscles to relax providing a calming effect that allows for deeper relaxation and better sleep.

The rationale for using FIR (Far Infrared) is that the heating gently increases blood flow by expanding capillary blood flow, increasing oxygenation and regeneration of the blood and detoxifying the blood to improve overall health. Use an infrared Biomat to relieve pain, swelling and inflammation in the knees and legs. It works particularly well for restless legs and weak knee conditions, and can be used for varicose veins.

The following medications are the most widely prescribed to treat RLS, none of which should be given because they are toxic, have numerous side effects and in general will further drive down magnesium levels.

Dopamine agonists

Dopaminergic agents




Alpha2 agonists

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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