Restless Legs Syndrome
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Restless legs, why worse at times?

Restless legs, why worse at times?

At different times in my life, I've had restless legs, and insomnia caused by that. I would take a sleep aid, one not mentioned as being worse for rls. Right now, big issue. Six nights in a row. I'm in a remote location for three more weeks with no access to pharmacy. Besides stretching exercises, what can anyone suggest?

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A really absorbing activity such as a good computer game or jigsaw. I use online chess (if you have internet access). I can get up to two hours relief from symptoms for about 20 minutes of chess.

Micturition often helps for me and I have read of others also. Sometimes, a snack - nuts and dried fruit is good because I suspect the chewing motion is calming - though it’s not great for the teeth.

The application of hot or cold water. Epsom salt baths.

I find raising my legs vertically (against a wall - lying with bottom as close as possible to the wall) for 20 minutes sometimes helps. Someone posted a while ago with some exercises done while lying on the stomach and slowly stretching the legs down as far as you can. It can be very soothing - play around with the movement to see what helps. If you trawl through the posts you will find lots more. Of course none are fail safe against a bad attack but all are worth a try. Good luck. 👍

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Thank you. What is micturition, that you mentioned?

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Urination

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might not be the best advice but ive had it so bad for a really long time the only thing that helps me is a few beers before bed

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or a glass of wine

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Can,t. I'm recovering alcoholic for 37 years...

.

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ditto..11 years here, lots of my friends in recovery have RLS !!

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Alcohol makes it worse for me. Wish that it would work.

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OK, emptying your bladder...often. do you mean drink loads of water so you do so more often OR do you mean head for the toilet at the first sign of an urge? [two different things]

Sorry for the dumb question but trying to understand...

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I think my meds make me thirsty so I usually need to ‘facilitate’ if I’m awake in the night. I don’t make a conscious effort to drink more. I have a suspicion that drinking more seems to help the legs but I couldn’t say for definite. I do notice that when I empty my bladder the legs (if symptoms are mild) are less troublesome.

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I notice this too, emptying the bladder does improve the rls even if o ly for a short time .

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Check that you are not taking any other med from your doctor that can make RLS worse, also any OTC ones. This website has a list of meds to avoid which is useful to know. rls-uk.org

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Thank you

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Look at what's changed for you- particularly food. Something new is setting you off.

Check all the ingredients for high salt , rising agents , sulphates , msg etc etc.

Personally- I find it a nightmare when I can't control my menu. I dread going 'out' for meals etc.

All the best.

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Thanks, madlegs1. I am in a place where I can't control diet. Because I can't eat gluten or dairy (gut issues) I gave up mostly not eating red meat since my hosts raise grass fed beef. That's the main FOOD change but I'm beginning to suspect that some heavy.outdoor work I've been doing and long hikes may be the culpret. Any thoughts in reply. I am moderating my outdoor activity...

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I honestly doubt the extra exercise would be a culprit- should be exhausting you !!

I remember using a powder in stews - it was called "Bay" something - specially for seafood enhancing.

It drove my legs mad altogether - going on Internet - I was told it was full of msg- even though not declared on ingredients. So , you can see the problems we deal with.

Good luck.

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Chesapeake Bay?

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Might be Old Bay Seasoning

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I think OLD Bay seasoning is the name, my sister in so. Carolina uses it. Msg,huh

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See I thought exercise was good, then later on I was told that over exercising does aggravate RLS..

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Just goes to show rls is such an individual experience.

I suppose it's down to what the actual causes are for any individual.

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Confusing, isn't it? I did a dance class at my gym a couple evenings ago and had a horrible night, then did a weightlifting class around the same time yesterday and had a great one! I am learning that, for me, it has to do with the type of exercise. I can do aerobics earlier in the day and not be affected at night, but need to shy away from it starting around 5pm. Weightlifting, on the other hand, is another kind of exercise that has to do with building muscle mass. This seems to benefit me at any time of the day. This actually goes hand-in-hand with what I learned at a conference on RLS -- that anaerobic exercise is more beneficial than aerobic for those with RLS. I learned that anaerobic is better because that is the type of exercise where muscle mass is built, which increases the amount of dopamine in those muscles.

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Actually I have a bit of a similar experience, seems that for example heavy leg workout (leg press etc) at the gym or a long run usually seem to make it worse in the evenings.

In winter I sometimes go out and stand in snow with my bare feet, usually it gives at least a temporary relief. You seem to have the white stuff so give it a go. Stretching helps a bit too.

I also tried cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar, salt and meat etc, but I haven't been able to spot a difference and find a trigger. That said, for some people diets are helpful. There is no right or wrong with this disease, you just have to try it out.

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Unlike madlegs, I find that heavy exercise has an immediate impact on the legs. They are invariably worse if I do too much and the more I exceed my usual limits the worse they are. I think the key is to build up slowly.

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My experience is that over exercising can definitely exasperate your RLS at night. I love to exercise my body but I pay for it if I overdo.

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I am a keen walker and I too have found that long walks can make my RLS worse. I have found that restoring the potassium to sodium ratio nearly always helps to prevent an attack of RLS later. The way I do this is to use a re-hydration sachet obtainable from a pharmacy, in my case, Boots the Chemist in the UK. This is dissolved in about 200ml of warm water and consumed. It contains sodium and potassium salts, glucose, citric acid and a sodium citrate, the latter, I think, to act as a pH buffer and bring the medication to the correct ionic strength for absorption by the body.

This treatment was recommended in a Doctor's article several years ago in a UK newspaper and it works for me.

I hope this helps.

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That’s a brilliant idea. I suppose it’s something like dioralyte.

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That is exactly correct, although I tend to use Boot's own version which is slightly cheaper and sometimes on offer.

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I second the observations by ID, Lolly and Tapir; excercising too long (like today) or too intensely makes my rls-symptoms worse.

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Here are 3 exercises (found halfway down) from healthline:

healthline.com/health/restl...

These help to tide me over for awhile. I hope this helps!

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Yes i'd found these on that site, and others, two days ago. Will keep trying. Thanks.

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Sex

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I've found that sugar is one of my triggers. The resulting high blood sugar causes inflammation in the nerve endings in the joint membranes, which causes that itchy feeling in the joints. I also get rls when I've eaten food high in carbohydrates, wich can also raise the blood sugar level. I originally thought that E202 artificial preservative (potassium Sorbate) was a trigger, but I haven't tested that idea since finding the blood sugar problem. This causes problems when eating out as restaurants tend to use sauces containing E202 which gives them long shelf life.

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Hi

One technique you could use is to make a brief list of five traumatic situations you have experienced. The kind that really upset you but you couldn’t/didn’t retaliate. Go right back to some early life stuff. Include some expletives. Ie. What you wish you had done or said at the time. Using your imagination as you look at the list. Roll the whole f****** lot up in a large ball of black toxic smoke which gets bigger and bigger as it comes up from your feet. Let it roll over and over as you imagine bits of it (look at your list to remind you). As it comes up and fills up your chest cavity let it burst out of your mouth. Imagine it bouncing to the ground and give it a huge kick and scream at it where to get off.

Hope it gives some relief.

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Interesting. I’ve often wondered weather there’s an emotional/psychological component in RLS, apart from stress as a trigger. How many of us have experienced trauma I’d like to know? My past was highly so, and involved sexual abuse. I wondered if that somehow affected my brain. Just a thought.

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I also have painful memories. I was sexual assaulted at 15 and fought with my attacker for an hour. I had to agree to let him do certain things so he would let me go. At the time others said it was my fault for going outside the club with the guy. I couldn’t tell my parents because I would have got a good hiding for being in a club in the first place. So I buried the memories and told myself it didn’t affect me. But now I realise I have buried ‘rage’, st him, my parents and friends who said I deserved it. Really I’d like still to smash his face in. I still have vivid recall of that night. Like everyone else I have lots of vivid memories of things that happened many years ago. Those memories don’t go away they are buried and stifled. There are lots of other people I would like to physically attack for what they did to me but my conscious brain only allows me to behave in a polite manner. Instead, I have imaginary arguments with people who have slighted me in some way. So I’m often talking to myself saying what I wished I’d said at the time but never had the guts to. I can’t change that now but I think I’ve got the courage now to stand up to bullies.

Hope that makes sense.

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Yes, it makes sense to me. We all know stress aggravates rls, whether the stress of the body dealing with a toxic food item, over-exercising, or the toxicity of a buried unpleasant memory such as you described. Self talk can help. For me last night I switched from being afraid and in panic to willing myself to be strong and also to let happen what was happening (some jerking) and it didn,t get worse, I went to sleep. Whatever we can do to help healing of body, mind and memory is good.

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Concur with mind games, exercise, distractions, and scalding hot showers (for me sometimes 3 a night).

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Thank you all for the advice. Your responses gave me something to focus on, and some hope. I tried everything last night and the combo helped: warm shower, stretching exercises, the one ,involuntarydancer, mentioned: lie on back with legs up against wall, ibupropin, meditation, Mah Jung on the computer, and self talk.

Interestingly, as i,d start to drift off to sleep but dreading jerking, something would twitch: a finger, my shoulder, my hip but NOT the one leg that is the usual culprit. Jerking was mild, compared to night before. I went to sleep after an hour or so because my self talk helped me not to be so Upset, which makes rls worse... again, thank you and I hope each one finds relief from this odd condition.

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Try this website...a LOT of awesome information

rlshelp.org

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Thanks, I will.

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Maybe take some pot with you to the wilderness next time.

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