RLS During Pregnancy

RLS During Pregnancy

RLS During PregnancyWe know so many mothers who began their RLS symptoms during their pregnancy, and many, that was when their nightmare had just begun. Often, symptoms will subside after childbirth, however, there are those mothers whose long journey of RLS began with their pregnancy.

Why is there such a correlation with pregnancy and RLS? There are a few theories, however, the one that stands out for many experts, including us, is that pregnant women often aren’t getting enough nutrition which usually leaves the mother getting depleted in certain vitamins/minerals.

One of the most important vitamins for pregnant women is folate. A developing fetus requires a huge amount of folate and if the mother isn’t supplementing with enough, she will be depleted by her fetus.

If you remember, folate is one of our 6 most important elements for ending RLS due to the critical job it folate for RLSplays in increasing ferritin iron protein levels in the body. Essentially, folate is largely responsible for assisting iron to cross the blood brain barrier where it can be properly utilized for dopamine production.

When this happens, in conjunction with the other factors mentioned, the body can display RLS symptoms in those predisposed to the condition. You see, not everyone will experience RLS because of low folate levels or malfunctioning dopamine receptors, just those who are predisposed to it.

The good news is that most women who develop RLS during pregnancy will only experience it for a few months, usually during the last 3 months, and will disappear after childbirth or within that same month. For women who already had RLS, it often gets worse during pregnancy.

What to do if you’re experiencing RLS during pregnancy:

– Supplement with folic acid, magnesium malate and probiotics
– Avoid the foods that trigger RLS symptoms
– Begin incorporating the 7 RLS fighting foods in your diet
– Avoid taking sleeping pills (OTC or prescription)
– Avoid most RLS approved drugs if you are pregnant
– Download our free eBook which outlines an action plan you can follow

Hopefully you’ve learned how important folate and magnesium malate is in the fight against RLS and why this condition is so prevalent during pregnancy for so many women.

What Causes RLS? Restless Leg Syndrome and the Dopamine Connection

What causes RLS

What Causes RLSDid you know that there is a crucial link between dopamine and restless leg syndrome? Most experts are now in agreement on this. I can almost hear you saying, “But what exactly does that mean? And please don’t confuse me with fancy medical terms.” There have been so many new discoveries just in the past couple of years on what causes RLS. Let’s dive into these latest findings.

To put it as direct as possible, experts are finding that people suffering from RLS have issues not with the amount of dopamine being produced, but with their dopamine receptors functioning properly. So no matter how much dopamine the body produces, it’s just not being utilized.

What Causes RLS

Dopamine and RLS

Dopamine is known as the “feel good chemical,” and is responsible for critical tasks such as combating   stress, relaxing the nerves, ensuring proper movement of the limbs, maintaining memory and restful sleep. So, you can see why it’s critical for RLS issues.

When the body is producing more dopamine (or you are taking dopamine enhancing drugs) and the receptors aren’t receiving it properly, a build-up of dopamine happens in the brain, causing nervous tics and, yes – you guessed it – RLS.

So, getting the body to produce more dopamine is not really the answer. It’s getting the body to ‘metabolize’ the dopamine so that it can get to where it needs to go in order to do its job. The next question then becomes, why is this dopamine not being properly metabolized in the body of RLS sufferers?

We then have to look at how iron plays a role in all of this. Iron is required for the healthy functioning of dopamine receptors. More specifically, brain iron is required for these receptors to communicate properly. If there is a lack of brain iron, it doesn’t matter how many neurotransmitters are being produced, there just isn’t going to be proper functioning of these receptors.

However, it’s important to note that just taking more iron isn’t going to solve the problem. In fact, it could end up causing RLS symptoms to flare up even more.

A majority of the recent studies being done on what causes RLS have found that an overwhelming number of people suffering from RLS have low ferritin iron storage protein levels in the brain1. It’s here, in the substantia nigra that iron is able to be utilized to assist in dopamine neurotransmitter activity.

Probiotics, such as the ones being used in Seratame for restless legs, are one of the keys to aiding the body in being able to utilize iron more effectively.

In the next part of our “Puzzle” series, we will be looking at why iron and probiotics are the next crucial pieces to the dopamine receptor issue. Although experts are still putting together the clues for what causes RLS, there is now more than enough evidence pointing to the dopamine connection that they now know they are going in the right direction. For more info on this and other tips on uprooting restless leg syndrome, have a look at our latest articles or download our free ebook.

 

 

REFERENCES:

1. Restless legs syndrome and low brain iron levels in patients with haemochromatosis J Haba-Rubio, L Staner, C Petiau, G Erb, T Schunck, J P Macher http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/76/7/1009.full

Recognizing Willis-Ekbom Disease

willis-ekbom disease

Willis-Ekbom DiseaseThere is a silent condition out there that is causing millions of people severe discomfort. It is called Willis-Ekbom Disease which is more popularly known as restless leg syndrome. It has been called a neurological disorder and it has been noted to affect more women than men.

Most of the time restless legs syndrome goes under diagnosed or passed off for other diseases. Some may be more serious and some less serious which is nerve wracking to the patient. Here we will discuss restless leg syndrome, and treatment options as well as similar types of restless leg syndrome disorders so you can have a clearer path to the right diagnosis.

What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Look Like?
What makes RLS so frustrating and hard to diagnose is that the RLS symptoms are so different from person to person. It can be quite elusive to both patient and physician. It can also look like other disorders and even more serious conditions in the way the symptoms can appear. We will show you what that looks like later.

Symptoms of Willis-Ekbom Disease:
1. Inability to stay still
2. Severe urge to move arms and legs when at rest
3. Disrupted sleep
4. Weird and sometimes indescribable crawly or tingly sensations in the limbs which some sufferers describe it as a ticklish feeling or an urge to move or stretch the limb without a real reason for doing so.
5. Symptoms will either appear at night or later in the day or will get worse at night or later in the day.

This can get to an urgent level when one is diagnosed with idiopathic RLS. This condition gets worse over time and the disruption of life can be akin to Parkinson’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.
What does the medical community think Willis-Ekbom disease is attributed to?

Though unproven, the medical community holds the belief that Willis Ekbom disease is from a dopamine deficiency in the central nervous system. This may explain why it occurs more often in females than males. Women lose magnesium and folic acid, especially during pregnancy, and have fluctuations in dopamine because they menstruate. During menopause, the symptoms reportedly get worse in some people.

So how does one treat Willis-Ekbom or RLS?
This is the tricky part. Because the underlying cause is still unknown, a lot of guesswork is being done in relation to treatment options. People with mild RLS can normally relieve RLS symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes with special focus on rebuilding magnesium stores safely and stress reduction, as well as exercise and the cessation of negative habits—such as the consumption of alcohol and smoking which could have an adverse effect on both the nervous system and the body’s ability to absorb magnesium properly.

There are a lot of folks we speak with who have had success avoiding certain foods that tend to be major triggers for restless leg syndrome. Here are the major food triggers that seem to cause symptoms to become more severe:
–    Dairy
–    Wheat
–    Salty foods
–    Soy
–    Cured meats
–    Monosodium glutamate

People with Moderate to Severe Willis-Ekbom Disease:
People with moderate to severe Willis Ekbom disease have been prescribed pharmacological treatments Willis-Ekbom Diseasefor this condition with special focus on the central nervous system and the dopamine receptors to the brain.
What are the medications they use to treat people with moderate to severe RLS?

We will place these in order from most harmful to least. Yet, we must note that multiple studies have shown that oral medications such as these are beyond the scope of what this article is able to discuss due to regulatory laws.

1. Opiates: These are a HIGHLY addictive form of treatment and we strongly suggest only taking these after a few opinions from several doctors including a neurologist or two. It is well worth the time and energy. If you become addicted to opiates—you may be opening a whole new world for you that you may have some real trouble climbing out of.

2. Dopamine Agonists: From what we know from speaking with RLS patients, and according to Web MD and Mayo Clinic—these are the first and most widely prescribed medications used for Willis Ekbom disease and moderate to severe RLS.

3. Sedatives: Benzodiazepines such as Xanax is prescribed just to get you through the night.

4. Anticonvulsives and Alpha 2 Agonists: These are meant to stop the involuntary motion at night while you sleep. The Alpha 2’s are actually affecting your brain stem and will power-down the part of the brain that controls involuntary muscle movements.

Some of the Side Effects from Least to Worst:
Nausea and Dizziness
Vertigo
Daytime Sleepiness and feeling lightheaded
Confusion
Headache
Dry Mouth
Loss of Appetite
Loss of Libido
Lethargy
Spontaneous Convulsions
Addiction

Brand Names of Some of the Above Drugs:
Dopamine Agonists:
Mirapex
Neupro
Requip
Dopaminergic Agents:
Sinemet
Carbidopa
Benzodiazepines:
Levodopa
Restoril
Klonopin
Xanax

Opiates:
Vicodin
Anticonvulsants:
Neurontin
Horizant
Alpha 2 Agonists:
Catapres
rls doctorsConclusion for Willis-Ekbom Disease:
Though we are not in a position to give medical advice, it would be wise to consult a trusted physician and seek another opinion with a specialist or neurologist or two before going on to any medication that can potentially harm you or bring another condition on that can be detrimental.

Feel free to print this information and take it with you so that when your physician suggests a medication you can ask them if it is one on the list so you can better research the drug and the side-effects and interactions.

Our eBook, entitled, How to End RLS Naturally, is a great companion to the Seratame supplement and goes into detail on exactly what foods are likely to be aggravating your symptoms and keeping you in the cycle of restless legs. Willis Ekbom disease is something that many people have been able to minimize in their lives by adjusting their diet and supplementing with Seratame for restless legs.