My 12 year old son has RLS: My poor son... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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My 12 year old son has RLS

Dizashkyalay profile image

My poor son suffers with RLS. He is 12 now but has had it since he was around 5 years old. My husband also has RSL and has been dealing with this since he was a child too. My question is does anyone know of anything I can do to help my son through this. He seems to get it worse in the daytime and finds sitting still at school irritating. The school has been told about the condition but I don't think they properly understand how frustrating this can be for him. It helps when I squeeze and rub my husband's legs but this doesn't work for my son. He is very active, running, biking and playing in a football team and he does say it helps to keep moving. I just want to make this better for them both but I really do worry about my son having to cope with this. Any tips you have will help 😊 thanks.

17 Replies

Hi sorry to hear about your son. I urge you to speak to your doc before trying anything I suggest here. As he is you I would consider natural remidies first such as a diet high in foods containing potassium such as bananas sweet potato baked potatoe with skin mushrooms avocados etc also try and monitor omega 6 omega 3 ratio too much 6 causes inflammation you can Google foods to find out content. Big triggers for a lot of people are caffeine chocolate and icecream. Eggs are very high I'm omega 6 as is porridge oats. It is an absolute minefield though as what works for one person may not for 100 others. Also try putting a bar of soap underneath bottom sheet of bed any soap will do but must be new and replaced approx monthly. I sometimes put a bit of soap in my socks!! An iron deficiency is also a big cause of rls. Try iron rich foods too. Food does play a big factor for a lot of sufferers (not all) the more natural foods he can eat the better. I know very boring and expensive too. Well food for thought anyway and hope you are able to find a remedy for him. X

Dizashkyalay profile image
Dizashkyalay in reply to DC22

Thanks for the advice. I am currently keeping a diary of his food and writing down when he has restless leg. He says it's worse on some days than others and I've noticed on days where he has PE or football training /matches he is much better. I have taken him to our GP and was told he has genetic RLS and the only medication he could give him is an antidepressant but there is no way I wanted to go down that route, he was only 8 at the time but even now it's a big no no. I am intrigued as to what soap does to help, can you please elaborate on that? Thanks again

Daytime rls is unusual- and I suspect triggers are playing a major part for your son.

I know , when I was young , things like fizzy drinks , colouring in sweets and medicines , sugar and sweeteners , raising agents - especially biscuits , pork in all its manifestations - rashers , sausages (msg) , ham and even chops.

So , I would keep a diary for both of them for at least 3 weeks to see if you notice any correlations.

Various medicines cause rls - especially antihistamines and antidepressants.

Hope this gives you a starting point.

There are many weird and wonderful solutions out there - some work and others are fantasy- you have to figure out that for yourself- everyone is different with regards to rls.

Magnesium oil ( half water half epsom salts mix) rubbed on legs works for some.

Cheers. Let us know how you ( they) get on.

raffs profile image
raffs in reply to Madlegs1

+1 on Madlegs1 and I'd add that you speak with his teachers again and go armed!

If they really know of his problem they will be more accepting of the fidgeting but it could be possible they think you are an over-reactive or protective mother explaining away his bad behaviour. It is important that they understand that not only is the restlessness a distraction but that the fatigue from poor sleep may hamper his attention and they may need to keep a better eye that he is taking on board what he needs to.

If you have some printed literature, maybe with the address of us here, there could be a chance of an interested teacher reading it and disseminating it among their colleagues. If that is still not getting through maybe a religious minister can help intervene.

I found school really tough and got more than my fair share of beatings for fidgeting and not paying attention :( My heart goes out to you all it is a dreadful condition, (although there have been great strides in treatment made this past number of years and fingers crossed it continues). One of my boys seems to have it but I'm not fully convinced, (don't want to be), an appointment in a few weeks might shed some light.

Dizashkyalay profile image
Dizashkyalay in reply to raffs

Thanks for your reply. I only went into my son's school on Friday as there was an incident where he was put into isolation and told not to move. They kept him there for several hours until they found out they actually had mistaken my son for someone else. As you can imagine my son was distressed have to sit in one place for hours and the worst thing was the teacher that put him there also knows about his RLS. My husband and I were furious and needless to say the school were very apologetic. We have now made sure that they know how bad RLS is by making sure all teachers that teach my son read the information we have given them. My son has never had beatings for his RLS and if anyone ever did try he can definitely look after himself 😀. What I love about my son is he never uses RLS as an excuse and the majority of people don't even know he has it. Please let me know how you get on with your son, I'm interested to know what advice you get given, also how old is he?

raffs profile image
raffs in reply to Dizashkyalay

Hi D. He was seen today and there seems to have been some misalignment that was causing problems. I think he was getting a way of explaining his discomfort in RLS terms from hearing me talk well that's what I suspect.

He says he feels an improvement and may or may not need a further appointment. I'll keep an open mind on the RLS.

RSL in children is actually more common throughout the day than at night. My husband gets it both day and night but obviously it's harder to cope with when you are tired and not able to sleep. My son isn't on any medication and is a very healthy young man, my husband however is on all sorts of medication as he has 5 prolapsed discs and not even the constant morphine patch he has stops the RLS. I will definitely try the magnesium oil and let you know if that works. As I said above to DC22, I am keeping an eye on what he eats and drinks, I'm not a fan of fizzy drinks and my son prefers water.

raffs profile image
raffs in reply to Dizashkyalay

Funny you say its more common in the day with kids as that's when my lad claims it is worse, which I duly used to discount RLS. Damn might be more to this than I thought :(

Just thinking... would a desk cycle help? I saw not too expensive ones at amazon. Your son could try it out at home and if it works to keep him seated, you may want to discuss with the school to allow and support him. May turn out as a win-win.

I thought about getting one when I had all day rls due to augmentation and couldn’t sit still.

Anyone with experience with these???

Dizashkyalay profile image
Dizashkyalay in reply to LotteM

A good idea for at home but he he said everyone will wonder why he is using one and being a normal 12 year old it probably won't look "cool". Thanks anyway

LotteM profile image
LotteM in reply to Dizashkyalay

Oh sure. Should have thought about that with a 13y old girl at home. 😎

Will you let us know if you get one whether it helps? I thought about getting one when I was having daytime rls (augmenting I now know).

So sorry that your son is having to deal with this at such a young age. Iron/ferritin levels are an important consideration with RLS. They need to be between 70 and 100. He has primary RLS ( which means it is inherited/genetic) as have I and many others. Although raising my iron levels has not by any means eliminated my symptoms it has ameliorated them.Good luck to you all.x

Dizashkyalay profile image
Dizashkyalay in reply to Jumpey

He has never had any bloods taken. Just told if he's finding it hard to take antidepressants because they are supposed to work and as i have said to DC22 he is not taking meds.

Hi there,

I'm so sorry your young son has to deal with this.

Exercise early in the day will help.

Anaerobic exercise ( weight training) is better for RLS so try to introduce that on a daily basis as muscle increases dopamine which he will need.

Also do as Madlegs suggests and keep a food diary as certain foods trigger RLS.

Avoid cough medicines with anti histamine, like Benadryl or cold and flu meds.

Try iron bisglycinate (gentle iron) at night and magnesium threonate taken with a vitamin B100 complex at night. This helps a lot of people.

Get a blood test to check serum ferritin levels which should be around 100 rather than the levels of 15 which are regarded as normal for others.

Also try compression socks ( from Boots) which may help.

I wish you all the best.

Exercise definitely helps. He rides for 2 miles to school in the morning and again on his way home. He goes out to play football and I have a rowing machine that he uses. The gym I am at will accept 16 year olds and he says as soon as he isaid 16 he will straight in there. I'm a little worried about the weights as my husband lifted heavy weights at a young age and now he has 5 prolapsed discs. The consultant said it was due to his body still growing and lifting the weights damaged growing bones. I think a blood test is a good place to start. Funny how a lot of people said about iron levels. husband had to take iron tables when he was younger and I'm wondering if there is a connection to his RLS.

LotteM profile image
LotteM in reply to Dizashkyalay

There may well be! It is one of the most researched correlations in rls and there is even some evidence for causality. Raising my rather low ferritin well above 75 didn’t help me, however( and quite a few others), even though I have a very long history too of being close to anaemic and having to take extra iron.

Hi about the soap to be honest I am not entirely sure but has something to do with the ions it gives off. Either way it may or may not work but if it does it is a relatively quick and easy fix. Do let us know how he progresses. Xx

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