EIGHT Common Myths About Restless Legs Syndrome by David Wimble

 In Blog

MYTH #1: RLS is Genetic
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FACT: The “tendencies” that cause RLS are passed down from parent to child. These tendencies are VERY changeable. They are not hard-coded.

Science now knows with absolute certainty that genetics play a much smaller role than previously thought.

Genetics determine certain traits that are passed on to children, such as hair color, the shape of the nose etc. (as we all learned in school) but beliefs, tendencies and conditions that are passed on are passed through what is called “epigenetics.” These are the SWITCHES that determine how our genes are going to act.

In the case of RLS, the inflammatory switches could be ON because of a poor diet, toxic environment, and in a lot of cases, stress.

Through relaxation as well as a healthy diet & lifestyle, the inflammatory switches can be turned OFF.

In other words, you’re not STUCK with RLS.

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MYTH #2: There are “Two” Types of RLS – Primary and Secondary
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FACT: There is only ONE type of RLS. RLS is ALWAYS caused by inflammation, not by another condition.

Having chronic inflammation in your body is like spilling a coffee on your keyboard. Something unpleasant is going to happen, you’re just not sure what.

When it comes to chronic inflammation, if you’re lucky, the first indication that there’s a problem will be your restless legs. It buys you some time to take preventative action against the manifestation of a more life-threatening condition.

In the now famous 2012 study by Dr. Leonard Weinstock titled “Restless Legs Syndrome: Theoretical Roles of Inflammatory and Immune Mechanisms” it was shown that 36 of the 41 RLS-associated conditions (88%) have been associated with inflammatory and/or immune changes.

According to the study “The fact that the majority of highly RLS associated conditions are also associated with inflammatory/immune changes suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms.”

Parkinson’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, Cancer or any of the other secondary conditions the study refers to do not cause RLS.

Inflammation is causing BOTH the RLS and the secondary condition.

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MYTH #3: Iron Deficiency is a Primary Cause of RLS
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FACT: The inflammation causing the RLS also affects iron levels.

It is well known in the scientific community that inflammation can affect iron levels (Chiari et al. 1995).

Although low iron appears to be one of the guilty parties when it comes to RLS symptoms, it is the INFLAMMATION causing the low iron levels that is the true perpetrator.

Pumping up iron levels in order to lessen RLS is treating the symptom, not the cause. Until the inflammation is dealt with, the iron levels will never truly stabilize.

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MYTH #4: RLS IS Caused by an Imbalance in Dopamine Levels
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FACT: The dopamine imbalance and the Restless Legs are BOTH caused by INFLAMMATION.

There are many scientific studies that show that a dopamine imbalance can be due to either low iron levels or caused directly from inflammation (Mizuno et al. 2004; Jellena et al. 2013; Bianco1 et al. 2008; Hunter et al. 2007; Liu et al. 2000).

As was the case with low iron levels in RLS sufferers, pumping up the dopamine levels helps with the symptoms, but does not deal with the actual cause. The inflammation that is causing the dopamine imbalance must be dealt with directly if the levels are ever to stabilize.

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MYTH #5: Restless Legs Syndrome is a Disease
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FACT: RLS is a BIOMARKER indicating that your body is dangerously INFLAMED and that ACTIONS must be taken to prevent further damage.

The body is an incredibly complex machine and one of its survival mechanisms is its ability to send our WARNING SIGNALS when something is not right underneath the hood.

For example, frequent headaches indicate that something beneath the surface needs to be attended to, whether it be stress, guilt, lifestyle, diet, a tumor, inflammation or something else.

In the case of RLS, your body is telling you that you have chronic inflammation and that it must be dealt with. If no changes are made, the inflammation will continue to increase, eventually resulting in the manifestation of additional conditions.

A nationally-recognized sleep expert has published an editorial describing Restless Legs Syndrome as a possible biomarker for underlying disease. The editorial appears in the March 5, 2014 issue of “Neurology” the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and was authored by Boston Medical Center neurologist Sanford H. Auerbach, MD.

Dr. Auerbach suggests that “restless leg syndrome is a meaningful biomarker for serious disease, and that RLS screening may become more common as a tool for primary care providers to identify patients at risk.”

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MYTH #6: RLS is Often Caused by Pregnancy
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FACT: The RLS is caused by the HIGHER presence of INFLAMMATION in pregnant women.

Many scientific studies show that RLS symptoms are at their worst in the third trimester of pregnancy (Balendran et al. 2011; Neau et al. 2010; Lee et al. 2001).

Studies also show that inflammation levels tend to be higher in pregnant women, especially the third trimester (Gilbert et al. 2003; Denison et al. 2008).

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MYTH #7: Aging Tends to Cause RLS
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FACT: The RLS is caused by the HIGHER presence of INFLAMMATION in elderly people.

It is common knowledge that RLS has a higher prevalence in the elderly population (Dantas et al. 2008; O’Keeffe et al. 1993).

Inflammation levels also tend to be higher in the elderly population (Jenny 2012; Capuron et al. 2011; Van Kirk et al. 2011).

This information seems to always be presented in a way that indicates that the higher levels of RLS and inflammation are an unavoidable by-product of the aging process.

However, the truth is that it’s NEVER too late to change your diet and lifestyle. All you need is a strong will and a willingness to let go of your old habits.

Age really doesn’t matter. All that matters is your willingness to change.

Once you set your mind to making the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle, the healing process begins. As a result, both your inflammation levels and RLS will lessen.

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MYTH #8: THERE IS NO CURE FOR RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME
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FACT: There IS a cure for Restless Legs Syndrome.

There are THOUSANDS of people, including myself, that offer living proof that a cure exists.

The cure varies for each individual, but the approach is always the same.

If you follow a strict anti-inflammatory diet, and are able to eliminate the main sources of your chronic inflammation (whether it be stress, alcohol, environmental factors, food intolerance etc.) you too will eventually become free of your RLS. There are no exceptions to this simple rule.

It doesn’t matter how BAD you think you have it, there exists a permanent way to calm your legs.

Finding out what is causing the inflammation in your body could be tricky. There are thousands of possible sources.

Once you are able to determine what is causing the inflammation in your body, and deal with it by making the appropriate changes to lessen that inflammation, then by definition (according to four of the world’s most popular dictionaries) that indicates that you have found a “cure” for your RLS.

THE DEFINITION OF “CURE”

Oxford Dictionary
“Relieve a person or animal of the symptoms of a disease or condition.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“Something that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again.”

Cambridge Dictionary
“To make someone healthy again, or to cause an illness to go away.”

Scrabble Dictionary
“Restore to health.”

At some point in time the Medical Community hijacked the word “cure” and made it their own. In their minds the only TRUE cure is one that eliminates a condition or disease through PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS.

This rigid interpretation of the word is NOT accurate. As the definitions above state, ANY way that you are able to eliminate your condition, is considered a cure.

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David Wimble hosts a free information website for people suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome www.rlcure.com. David suffered from severe RLS for over 20 years until he discovered that by following an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, RLS symptoms could be lessened, and eventually disappear. David also hosts a blog and Facebook page and is always looking for RLS success stories to publish. You can contact him at david@rlcure.com

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