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Altostrata

Non-drug treatments for restless legs

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Altostrata

Apparently the quinine in tonic water can work for restless legs:

http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2010/10/11/is-quinine-in-tonic-water-safe/

 

Caution: If you have tinnitus, quinine can aggravate it. Is there enough in tonic water to cause a problem? I don't know.

 

Discussion of various home remedies for RLS http://www.myhomeremedies.com/topic.cgi?topicid=319

 

More home remedies

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-restless-legs-syndrome.htm

 

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/restless_legs.html

 

(Restless legs can also be a symptom of akathisia, see discussion Akathisia or agitation?

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Altostrata

I had pretty good success with making "magnesium oil" (magnesium dissolved in water) and rubbing it on my legs.

 

Magnesium helps relax muscles. You can also absorb it in an Epsom salts bath.

 

I opened magnesium citrate capsules and mixed the powder in body lotion. It caused the water to separate out of the body lotion but otherwise worked fine.

 

Here's a how-to: http://www.ehow.com/way_5965390_homemade-magnesium-oil.html

 

You can use any kind of powdered magnesium, or Epsom salts (mag sulfate).

 

Next time I make it (soon), I'm going to put water in a bottle, microwave it to boiling, and throw some mag citrate (or a cheaper kind) in and shake. Let cool and slather on.

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InNeedOfHope

This is going to sound weird, but I came across an old wives remedy that involves putting a bar of soap under the sheet at the bottom of the bed. It is something to do with the alkali properties. Some people reported it helped (and they could not believe it!) others not. Wonder if anyone else had heard of this?

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Skyler

Alto, the post by harryt is err, curious? See what you think of the links? ~S

 

InNeed, that surely is an alternative treatment. Thanks for your interest.

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jr1985

I used tonic water when I had RLS on mirtazapine and it worked wonders! I decided to try it again, since its flared up recently, and within 15-20 minutes my legs relaxed and I was able to sleep. The stuff tastes vile but it's worth it.

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jr1985

According to this guy http://www.rlcure.com/ RLS is caused by inflammation, and can therefore be treated by taking a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs/food and avoiding those which cause inflammation.

 

He has a huge list of herbs, supplements, etc, to take, but suggests you "test" his theory by starting off with Ginger Root, Curcumin, Cayenne and carrot juice.

 

He provides scientific studies to back up his claims and he doesn't seem to be trying to sell anything (he doesn't actually sell any herbs). ANyway, I'm gonna try it and see if it works.

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Rhiannon

I think I posted somewhere else about weighted blankets. One of the things people use them for is restless legs.

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Altostrata

See Weighted blankets

 

jr, everything is attributed to inflammation these days. I'd take that theory with the usual grain or two.

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jr1985

This is interesting -

 

Restless legs syndrome e Theoretical roles of inflammatory and immune mechanisms

 

Theories for restless legs syndrome (RLS) pathogenesis include iron deficiency, dopamine dysregulation and peripheral neuropathy. Increased prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in controlled studies in RLS and case reports of post-infectious RLS suggest potential roles for inflammation and immunological alterations.

 

A literature search for all conditions associated with RLS was performed. These included secondary RLS disorders and factors that may exacerbate RLS. All of these conditions were reviewed with respect to potential pathogenesis including reports of iron deficiency, neuropathy, SIBO, inflammation and immune changes. A condition was defined as highly-associated if there was a prevalence study that utilized an appropriate control group. Small case reports were recorded but not included as definite RLS-associated conditions.

 

Fifty four diseases, syndromes and conditions have been reported to cause and/or exacerbate RLS. Of these, 38 have been reported to have a higher prevalence than age-matched controls, 9 have adequate sized reports and have general acceptance as RLS-associated conditions and 7 have been reported in case report form. Overall, 42 of the 47 RLS-associated conditions (89%) have also been associated with inflammatory and/or immune changes. In addition, 43% have been associated with peripheral iron deficiency, 40% with peripheral neuropathy and 32% with SIBO. Most of the remaining conditions have yet to be studied for these factors.

 

The fact that 95% of the 38 highly-associated RLS conditions are also associated with inflammatory/ immune changes suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms. Inflammation can be responsible for iron deficiency and hypothetically could cause central nervous system iron deficiency-induced RLS. Alternatively, an immune reaction to gastrointestinal bacteria or other antigens may hypothetically cause RLS by a direct immunological attack on the central or peripheral nervous system.

Is it possible withdrawal could trigger an inflammatory response?

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Altostrata

Personally, I doubt it. In withdrawal, it's more likely transient nervous system dysregulation.

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starlitegirlx

Does the sensation of vibrations in the legs fall into RLS? I've been curious about this as I've seen it as yes and no. I have the vibrating legs thing and it was one of the reasons I realized I needed to taper off my ADs. I later discovered that ADs particularly the one I was taking can cause this, but I'm not certain if the vibrations I feel (they last for the day or days and then I'll have a day or two off before they return) are RLS, but I feel they are just not falling into the usual jerking legs that you can't sleep issue. I had that years ago here and there. Very rare but I did have it. I think taking the imipramine for 16 years caused a change in how it occurs. Like it's deeper in the CNS due to the long term use of an AD. Klonopin helps calm it to some degree and it seems that it has improved a bit as my time off the AD continues. But are vibrations, nonstop throughout the day basically RLS with just a different experience of it? I'm fairly certain it is since I don't think RLS can be put into a specific experience in a specific way but more likely a wider range like most CNS stuff.

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Altostrata

There seems to be a lot of overlap between RLS and akathisia. Akathisia is strictly a drug-related symptom, it doesn't exist except as an adverse effect.

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starlitegirlx

There seems to be a lot of overlap between RLS and akathisia. Akathisia is strictly a drug-related symptom, it doesn't exist except as an adverse effect.

 

They seem to classify it the same though without making much distinction. Yet, I'm certain mine is the result of the Imipramine. I just hope it goes away at some point in time like after the withdrawal has run its course since it was the main reason I went off the drug. I've gotten used to it and it seems to have calmed to a degree in its intensity, but I still have it for a few days or even several then get a day or two off. Klonopin seems to help as does some exercise to a degree though I haven't really been able to test the exercise part of it as I'm still working through withdrawal and exercise is a challenge right now. If this is permanent, that would suck. Truly.

 

I'm curious about tonic water - to see if it would help, but it's stated that it interacts with tegretol. So I avoid it and after what I've gone through, I'm not sure I would even want to risk tapering the tegretol at any time in my future. Same with klonopin. I'm content to stick with my 1mg at night of klonopin rather than go through some major hell down the line. Imipramine was the worst and the highest dosage. Not sure 300mg of tegretol or 1mg of klonopin (which I aim to return to after all this withdrawal stuff is over since I'm currently hovering around 4-6 mg but was once at 8-12 on really bad days).

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Graffe

I know that this is on old thread, but I've just registered and find this thread very very pertinent! I have decided to come off paroxetine totally because of restless leg syndrome, having read that restless leg syndrome is now believed to be caused by low dopamine levels, and there is a correlation between use of ssri's, low dopamine levels (ssri's encourage serotonin to stay in the synapse for longer, "elbowing out" dopamine, hence low dopamine) and restless legs. Ironically, many sites report one of the symptoms of paroxetine withdrawal to be - restless legs! Apparently this is due to the disruption of brain chemistry due to the reduction of serotonin in the synapses. I guess whether or not the sensations I am experiencing due to withdrawal can be classed as rls is down to semantics (or maybe there is a very specific definition?) and perhaps the difference for me is that prior to withdrawal the rls was only disruptive at night (due to natural dopamine cycles) - stopping me from sleeping - but the sensations I am feeling now come and go in waves, but when the waves come the sensation is there all the time for hours or even days (i.e. doesn't go away during the day).

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Altostrata

There is no specific definition for Restless Leg Syndrome. It's another problem that used to be very rare but has been promoted for the purpose of selling drugs that happen to be dopaminergic. Dopamine may or may not have anything to do with the sensation, that's another manifestation of a "chemical imbalance" theory.

 

Quite often, the symptoms of restless legs are related to insufficient magnesium, potassium, or vitamin B12, or lack of exercise.

 

It's entirely possible taking Paxil or other psychiatric drugs might trigger restless legs, among other symptoms, as they are hormonal disruptors that affect the entire body. They often cause jaw clenching (bruxism) and other muscle tension, too. Also, symptoms of low B12 might cause someone to think he or she needs an antidepressant.

 

Stomach acid blockers (PPIs) such as Zantac or Pepcid also block the absorption of B12. Over time, this can result in a fairly serious deficiency. Strict vegetarianism can also lead to B12 deficiency, as B12 is found only in animal products. Vegetarians need to take a B12 supplement to compensate.

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Jemima

I know that this is on old thread, but I've just registered and find this thread very very pertinent! I have decided to come off paroxetine totally because of restless leg syndrome, having read that restless leg syndrome is now believed to be caused by low dopamine levels, and there is a correlation between use of ssri's, low dopamine levels (ssri's encourage serotonin to stay in the synapse for longer, "elbowing out" dopamine, hence low dopamine) and restless legs. Ironically, many sites report one of the symptoms of paroxetine withdrawal to be - restless legs! Apparently this is due to the disruption of brain chemistry due to the reduction of serotonin in the synapses. I guess whether or not the sensations I am experiencing due to withdrawal can be classed as rls is down to semantics (or maybe there is a very specific definition?) and perhaps the difference for me is that prior to withdrawal the rls was only disruptive at night (due to natural dopamine cycles) - stopping me from sleeping - but the sensations I am feeling now come and go in waves, but when the waves come the sensation is there all the time for hours or even days (i.e. doesn't go away during the day).

 

When you have a chance, please post about yourself in the 'Introductions and updates' discussion.

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downtongirl

Personally, I doubt it. In withdrawal, it's more likely transient nervous system dysregulation.

 

Alto, is it your belief that akathisia is a medication side effect and not a withdrawal symptom?  So, I guess what I am asking is do you think akathisia can occur once all medication has been withdrawn from?

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retexan599

This is going to sound weird, but I came across an old wives remedy that involves putting a bar of soap under the sheet at the bottom of the bed. It is something to do with the alkali properties. Some people reported it helped (and they could not believe it!) others not. Wonder if anyone else had heard of this?

I posted this elsewhere, but repeating here.   I have had a kind of restless leg problem for some time.  For me it manifests itself as a cramping of the arches in my feet.  I have used foot straps to help with this, and they help a little, but not completely. 

 

I had read the anecdotes elsewhere about using a bar of soap and decided to try it.  I took a bar of Irish Spring (have also used Dove) and used a knife to slice it into several pieces.  I put the pieces in an old sock and made a knot in the end of the sock to keep the soap pieces in. I am placing this between my feet in the bed at night.  So far it seems to be working very well.  I have much less tendency to move my feet, and am sleeping better.  

 

The theory is that the volatile oils which give the soap its fragrance will permeate the skin and 'relax' the arch.  I also read that it loses its effect after a while and the soap needs to be renewed (or perhaps re broken).  So, I have replaced the soap pieces a couple of times.  

 

I have been using this for about two weeks and so far so good.  Just one person's experience.  Will try to update this after more time has passed to see if it continues to work.  I like it.  

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AnaTheCat

I also had leg problem. I used to wake up and wave my legs, because they felt like empty from knee below. It also happened during the day, and kept me heavily distracted. It wasn't painful but so akward it made me furious. The remedy for me was... water. Yeah, water with a litlle amount of himalayan salt. I started dringing 2 litres of water a day and leg problem vanished. I recommend book "Your body many cries for water" by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD.

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