• Just Ask Terry-May 17, 2013

    Q. Dear Terry, “I have restless leg syndrome. What do you recommend? It really is affecting my sleep and I would like to stay with something natural.” — Jenny T., Honolulu, HI

    A. Dear Jenny, Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition where people experience uncomfortable sensations in their legs (while not as common, these sensations can also occur in the arms). The unpleasant feelings are described as creeping, crawling, pulling, itching, tingling, burning, aching, or electric shocks. Individuals with RLS feel an irresistible urge to move their legs in an attempt to relieve the sensations.

    Making good decisions regarding exercise, food choices, and proven natural medicines can have a tremendous impact in reducing your RLS symptoms.

    If you are not already doing so, I’d encourage you to add some moderate exercise to your daily regimen. However, one of the problems with RLS is that too little OR too much exercise tends to make symptoms worse, so try and find a comfortable middle ground. Taking a few short walks throughout the day (but not close to bed time) would be best. Try and reduce the amount of stimulants (such as caffeine) in your diet. If you like to drink coffee or tea, try not to drink any past noon. Also be on the lookout for hidden stimulants. For example, some over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants can contain ingredients (pseudoephedrine and synepherine) that act as stimulants, which can further aggravate RLS symptoms. You might want to try taking a warm shower or bath in the evening. If you don’t have dairy issues, you can drink some warm milk (I prefer goat’s milk) or eat a small piece of cheese. The protein will help keep your blood sugar levels stable as you sleep, and the calcium will help to relax your muscles.

    I also recommend taking vitamin B6, blended with a highly absorbable magnesium, like magnesium glycinate chelate. In addition to optimizing vitamin B6 metabolism, magnesium in the glycinate form delivers a good dose of magnesium to help with muscle relaxation and resistance to nerve excitability, and is much less likely to cause loose stools. Look for a formula that contains the active form of B6 – pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). Many people (some estimate up to 30% of the population) cannot fully utilize B-vitamins from food and supplements, because these forms of B-vitamins must be converted into the active form before they will function. By using the form of vitamin B6 that is identical to the kind your body utilizes, you bypass this problem entirely. Take two capsules of this formula twice daily.

    Integrative health expert Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum has also found that there is often a mild to moderate iron deficiency associated with RLS. Therefore, I recommend adding a mineral complex (iron, along with magnesium, copper, and zinc) to your daily regimen. When looking for a supplement, I strongly recommend choosing a mineral complex that features amino-acid chelated forms of iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. A “chelate” is a bond between a mineral (often called “inorganic”) and a molecule structure, called a “ligand” that helps the body absorb the mineral during digestion. The amino acid glycine, in particular, makes an excellent molecule to help shepherd minerals through the intestinal wall because it is so small that it can be transported directly into the cells of the body, so it can get to work right away. I recommend taking 1-2 tablets of this blend daily.

    While you may realize results earlier, please give this protocol at least 30 days before evaluating your progress. Good luck – let me know how it works.

    Healthy Regards!

    Terry . . . Naturally

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  • Just Ask Terry-April 12, 2013

    Q. Dear Terry, “I am so sleep deprived. I never fall asleep easily – I just lay awake thinking. I am quite desperate. Hoping you have some suggestions.”  — Nancy P., Rockford, IL

    A. Dear Nancy, Nothing is more frustrating than lying awake, not being able to fall or stay asleep. While I do have some recommendations, I think it would be wise to first make an appointment with your healthcare practitioner just to rule out any possible underlying conditions that could be affecting your sleep.

    If you find you have a hard time falling asleep because you just can’t seem to turn your brain “off”, I believe you would benefit greatly from taking a unique echinacea extract derived from Echinacea angustifolia. This specialized extract is very different from the echinacea you see in stores that is sold for immune health and helping to overcome colds and the flu. Researchers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences discovered that when grown under the right conditions, harvested and processed in a particular way, and taken at the right dosage level, compounds in this plant can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. The unique compounds in this particular echinacea extract have been shown to attach to certain brain receptors, which help to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. The formula I recommend is a very low dose—about 20 mg. In fact, research has shown that higher doses are actually less effective. Taken before bedtime, this extract will help calm your mind so it can listen to your body’s own natural sleep signals. I suggest taking 2-3 tablets an hour before bedtime.

    You may also want to try and make your surroundings more conducive to sleeping. Suggestions that might be helpful include keeping your room cool, dark, and quiet. Most people sleep best in a slightly cool room – a bedroom that is too hot or too cold can interfere with quality sleep. When it comes to sleeping, the darker and quieter your bedroom is, the better. Cover electrical displays, use heavy curtains or shades to block light from windows, or try a sleep mask to cover your eyes. You also want to try to eliminate noise from barking dogs, neighbors, city traffic, or other people in your household by masking it with a fan, recordings of soothing sounds, or white noise.

    Healthy Regards!

    Terry . . . Naturally

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