Restless Legs Syndrome
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Mental Health

I've been re reading many of the posts on here over the last few days and I did notice that along with the rls there are quite a few people who, like me, have or have had a mental health issue at some point. 

It may be that having rls makes you so miserable that you end up having serious depression and also the lack of sleep will of course not help! But mine wasn't due to that as the rls was very mild back then and not causing me any real problems. 

So I googled Iron deficiency and mental health. There's a lot of stuff on it quoting studies that have concluded that there can be and often is a link.

One of the things that jumped out at me was the possibility of a link to Autism and Aspergers syndrome. Many studies show that people who suffered with these also had low iron levels/ anaemia Well that was a surprise! 

 I have a great nephew who has just been diagnosed with autism, hence my interest. Two of my brothers and one niece have mild Aspergers and another niece has mental health issues from not being able to get help for the 'growing pains' she suffered with since a baby. 

I don't know how this can help my brothers as neither suffers with rls but my niece is only 35 and I would guess she has a chance of showing symptoms in a couple of years when she will be the age when I started to suffer. 

This is a bit rambling as I'm really just thinking on paper, so would be interested on others take on this? 

8 Replies

Now that is food for thought ,,,my grandson is Aspergers ,and very bright ,I remember when he was about 8 he had a few weeks of  (snakes going through his legs. ) but only for a few weeks ,(. so far ). And that was 10 years ago ,I have a cousin who which in this day would be called Aspergist but he would be late sixties now so there wouldn't of been a name back then ,,DIFFERENT is what everything was as for iron there is a lot of talk and a lot of us do agree it helps as do certain magnesium tabs , and I have been on depression tabs for nearly as long as I've had RLS don't know if this is any help


My nephew is Autistic, now is 26 yrs old, and also Asperger's. has been quite a challenge. have looked into the iron thing over the years for this mental health subject, again, same answer as to other questions. It is an interesting theory,  more studies need to be done, and that is not tops on their Autism research right now. And, my nephew has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals, one of the best, and he has been studied up and down. He has had it kinda hard, but his meds now seem to be evening out pretty well for the last year. Will not go into all of that, but I have been there every step of the way and nothing has shown up about iron in his case at all or many others. Autism is more of a mystery than RLS is, as with many diseases. I have not seen any big studies on this, or new ones. if you know of any Tuckerpoo, can you provide a link? Cheers!


If you asked me this y/day I might have disagreed, but today at work (I work in a secondary sch in SEN dept) we all took quiz just see see how and what questions etc it asked, I came 2nd highest score in the dept which  showed moderate to severe for aspergers! I was gobsmacked as It never crossed my mind I would be anywhere that high ( and slightly mortified lol) ....the SENCo scored higher than me lol. I have Bipolar disorder so that's another one with mental health issues and suffers from RLS!


It's strange isn't it about how we think we are and how that may differ from how we actually are. I hate the term 'mental health issues' even though I use it myself. It's that picture that it conjures up of people not quite all there! 

I dont know of any studies that link it to an iron deficiency Nightprancer, I was just thinking out loud. Sometimes people get so engrossed with one theory that they become blind to others. Even when it's obvious. I'm the sort of person who questions and pokes at things to see what happens. If you don't question what hasn't been proven, there's a possibility that a piece of the puzzle may get missed. 


The latest greatest for autism is fecal transplant.  Results of several year clinical trials are due out this summer.  They are doing same with Parkinson's patients.  In the following article they describe improvement in autism symptoms of kids that were given Vancomycin - one of the strongest antibiotics we have.  I'm sure they were given it for other reasons, but I believe that is what started researchers down the road to fecal transplants.  A man on this forum had MERSA and was given antibiotics and I'm all but certain that he was given Vancomycin and his RLS magically disappeared, albeit temporarily.  My guess is that this will be the future of RLS research and treatment as well, rather than genes.  Genetic research is ok for conditions like Cystic Fibrosis where once you have the specific genes you will get the disease.  It's not a given with RLS so genetic research to me is a waste of good money.  My money is on fecal transplant.  Here's the article:


oops, I'm a member of Medscape.  You need to Login for some articles. 


There are a multitude of articles on autism and gut microbiome and fecal transplant, here's another:


Hi tuckerpoo i hv mental health issues and rls...i get iron infusions wen my rls is really does seem to help take the edge off...hv been on iron supplements for about a year plus regular infusions and since then my mental stabilitys been much better...hvnt been admitted to psych ward in over a year now and hvnt even needed my apps regarding my mental health...


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