Hi, I just joined after this site popped up while I was looking for others who get RLS all over. It's making me crazy, but I've successfully treated mild bouts of it in the past by taking iron supplements, usually Fergon, one tablet twice daily. That cleared it up in a few days and added a feeling of more energy. I usually discontinue the vitamin after about three months. This time around nothing's working. I've been on a med regimen since 1996 for what was finally diagnosed as Dystonia. Back when a group of weird symptoms presented, I wasn't taken very seriously. The meds have helped a lot. It took a few more years to accidentally find the culprit, which was aspartame sensitivity (a popular artificial sweetener found in most diet drinks and foods). My symptoms back then were tremors, muscle rigidity, mild lack of full coordination in my limbs on the left side, and twitches all over. My muscles and ligaments hurt but the most miserable part was an intense burning in my legs that felt as if I'd been badly burned. It came on rather quickly, with a rapid progression of about six weeks. I went from being a healthy middle aged woman to barely being able to pull myself together each day. Now I take an acetylcholine blocker, Benztropine, the minimum dose twice daily, to aid in controlling muscle tremors and twitches. (It's also used in Parkinsons treatment) I take a very low dose of Chlorazapate, a mild tranquilizer, to control what presents like a Benign Essential Tremor, and low dose Baclofen twice a day to aid in muscle rigidity and a pulling in my neck. I also maintain my blood pressure with meds. A few days ago I changed to a different BP med to see if there's a side effect causing the RLS. I'm 60, travel a good bit and am fairly active and healthy now. You wouldn't know there was ever anything wrong to look at me. In 2008 I suddenly began having vertigo and I thought it was unrelated to the dystonia. A friend showed me an article about the effects of aspartame in some individuals, one being vertigo, but the list also included many of my symptoms. I decided to cut that from my diet immediately and completely to test the result. Sure enough, within a few weeks I began to improve. It took several more weeks for my body to fully respond. The burning is gone, most of my muscle "inflammation" subsided, and the coordination issues went away. My neurologist was taken aback by the difference, though I didn't tell him of the "experiment" for a full year. I didn't want to be dissuaded until I was sure the improvement was linked to discontinuing the sweetener. Now years later it's common to see articles about aspartame being a neuro-toxin. I have to say I'm baffled also about the restless legs "all over my body" situation I'm currently experiencing. I've experimented with diet, side effects of meds, noting caffeine intake, and for sure I've removed Splenda from my diet just in case. The iron I've resumed taking has raised my energy level, but hasn't offered relief of the RLS this time. I, too, would love a good night of sleep. I don't think my diagnosis of Dystonia currently applies. I feel like I have residual damage from the aspartame intake long ago. To add to my family history, my sister began having neurological symptoms, slurred speech, and then inappropriate laughter, at age 58. We are ten years apart in age. Her favorite thing was diet coke and she always had one in her hand. It was too late to try to fix her situation and she passed away at age 64, her diagnosis being Progressive Bulbar Palsey. A bad way to go. There's not much anyone could say that would make me believe she, too, wasn't sensitive to aspartame. I'm doing a very good job of holding my own, so if we can get this RLS thing gone, life would be that much better! I pray everyone in this group finds relief.
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