I have been dealing with Restless Legs for years, and just can’t figure out what I could be lacking in my diet and supplements.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have been dealing with Restless Legs for years, and just can’t figure out what I could be lacking in my diet and supplements. I am nearing 83 years old, and have taken pretty good care of myself. What could be the cause?” — Joanne E., Appleton, WI
A. Dear Joanne, If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to add some moderate exercise to your daily regimen. However, one of the problems with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is that too little or too much exercise tends to make symptoms worse, so try and find a comfortable middle ground. Also, try and reduce the amount of stimulants (such as caffeine) in your diet. For example, some of the 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 to keep your blood sugar levels stable as you sleep, and the calcium will help to relax the muscles.
In addition to diet and lifestyle choices, there are two natural ingredients that I think could be very beneficial. Vitamin B6 and magnesium are nutrients you may want to consider adding to your daily regimen. When looking for products, I strongly recommend choosing one that features vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phospate (P-5-P) and magnesium in the form of magnesium glycinate.
P-5-P is the biologically active form of vitamin B6. Many people (some estimate up to 30% - 50% 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. 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. I would take vitamin B6 (as P-5-P) and magnesium (as magnesium glycinate) twice daily.
Terry . . . Naturally