body weight and rls: In extension to... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome
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body weight and rls

Pluto46
Pluto46

In extension to kevinwright200958 post today about a relationship between climate and strength of symptoms, I thought I'd post an idea that occurred to me this morning, i.e., whether there's a connection between body weight and rls severity. There probably isn't, but it gave me an impetus to shed weight and see what happened.

When I was young by the way, and still suffered from rls, I probably weighed no more than 70kg. My ma-in-law said I looked like a skeleton back in the early '70s, and rls was just as bad back then.

But it's an idea.

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There is no connection to weight and RLS that i know of, you can be as skinny as a rake or big as a house. Some people say by losing weight their RLS has improved, but that could be because they are not eating trigger foods which for some can make RLS worse. But losing weight can be helpful to our all over health. I am not over weight by any means and my RLS is still severe and i need my meds. RLS can progress as we get older and mine was mild when i was younger but its certainly progressed to being severe now i am older.

I had RLS from when I weighed about 4 stone up until I weighed 17 stone so can't say weight is a factor for me.

nightdancer
nightdancer
in reply to raffs

Definitely not for me. I lost 70 lbs a decade ago. Never did a thing for my RLS.

Yes.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

Not a strong correlation, but distinct, because of the dopamine connection.

key phrase, "not a strong correlation"

Quite right.

But more and more science is appearing pointing out the very real, and numerous, perils of being overweight, from painful knees to dementia.

It has been allowed by society, powerfully aided by big business, to become normative, and that does harm to millions of individuals who do not deserve such harm.

That is unacceptable to me.

Eitheror
Eitheror
in reply to Parminter

In non-RLS studies they have shown that obese people have smaller and fewer D2 receptors, which is our problem as well. Only our receptors are small due to a lack of iron homeostasis in the brain and recently I read that RLS brains (but not our cerebral spinal fluid) has more hepcidin (iron regulating hormome) in it than normal brains. And people with Alzheimers have less hepcidin. But the point is even though being thin or fat doesn't change our most likely inherited condition it is possible that calorie restriction can cause our D2 receptors to increase in size...maybe, and at best temporarily. I think that the key is consistency and to think in terms of our dopamine receptors, brain iron and just dopamine in general. I think the reason potassium citrate will help people is because it promotes the release of dopamine. Ya just gotta keep taking it and probably at night. And magnesium citrate helps some probably for the same reason and once again at night. Iron at night helps me probably because that's when my brain needs it. I did a clear liquid fast for three days prior to a colonoscopy. The first two nights the RLS seemed bad but then that third night there was no RLS. Did I whip my dopamine receptors into shape with that agonizing fast that antagonized dopamine. I guess just about anything that antagonizes dopamine will increase our D2 receptors. But ultimately they will return to baseline unless the flogging continues. Drug or sex addicts who at baseline have normal D2 receptors can probably fast or take dopamine antagonizing substances and return to baseline and not have to continue with the regimen. The same is just not true for us. RLS is a very day to day, hour by hour beast that has to constantly be appeased. There's people on here who report a relief of RLS symptoms from antibiotics. I'm gonna take a leap of faith and assume that by lowering the micro-organism load in their bodies it also reduced some hepcidin and freed up some much needed iron. We might be able to achieve the same affect with natural antibiotics. Bacteria is not the cause of RLS but freeing up some iron by lowering the load helps. Enough said.

Eitheror
Eitheror
in reply to Parminter

Now that I think about it Parminter, if fasting and calorie restriction can increase the size and number of D2 receptors then I would assume that consistently over-eating can decrease or down-regulate our receptors. That's bad, very bad for us with RLS. The last thing we want to do is decrease our receptors further by over-eating.

Parminter
Parminter
in reply to Eitheror

Really interesting thoughts, Eitheror.

Thank you.

Time for more research! There are clearly big gaps in my knowledge that need filling.

Eitheror
Eitheror
in reply to Parminter

Thanks Parminter, seems to me like you are well versed with medical issues. I look at RLS as a yin/yang thing. Dopamine agonists (not all by any means) tend to decrease our D2 receptors such as Mirapex. And since we have low brain iron we are especially pre-disposed to augmentation - a double whammy. I truly doubt that dopamine agonists such as potassium and possibly magnesium will decrease our d2 receptors. The dopamine antagonists such as severe calorie restriction, anaerobic exercise, and certain substances like Uridine Monophosphate will initially make the RLS worse but might in the long run up-regulate our receptors. I like that site an Absolute Cure For RLS because he lists out so many natural substances and their effect on inflammation and dopamine. While I disagree with him that inflammation is the "root" cause of RLS I do believe that by treating the cause of an inflammatory condition or just lowering inflammation in your body you can increase the amount of available iron, dopamine etc. and thus improve your RLS symptoms, just like lowering the bacterial load in your body can temporarily improve RLS. You probably just have to keep it up. Hey, if taking niacin or turmeric or b12 or one, or all, of the dozens of natural, well known, well studied supplements he discusses helps in any way with the RLS I'm all in. I believe that iron infusions tend to increase D2 receptors because for once there's enough iron getting to the brain to not only keep our small receptors humming along but to actually fuel a little growth. Then within a few months it seems the D2 receptors return to baseline and symptoms return even though a person's iron stores remain high. I feel certain that the iron I take at night is just enough to keep mine humming along (meaning putting out enough dopamine to quiet my legs for that night) but not enough to pump them up. This is surmise and conjecture based on articles and our collective experiences here. I compare the RLS to my dry eye condition and the fact that so many different eye drops and even supplements (flax seed oil) can relieve symptoms and even improve the condition overall. If I stop doing all such things eventually my eyes return to baseline which is a very annoying and even painful state of dryness.

I believe Elisse to pe almost spot on with the idea that some people find relief when they're trying to lose weight, and that it's because it's the reduction of triggers that's the cause. I'd like to be more specific and say that it's the reduction in carbs. These raise the blood sugar, which I believe is the main trigger for many people. I've been avoiding sugar and high carb foods for a few months now, and have had very few incidences of rls. I'm also a keen cyclist and have not experienced any loss of energy. On by best ride in recent weeks, I sustained an average power output of around 200 watts for four hours, and the only food I ate during the ride was a scone with butter (no cream or jam). The only special eating I do is to make sure I don't skip meals the day before and have an extra slice of toast with marmalade before a long ride. I now weigh 76 kg (12 st). which is around 4 kg less than I was over winter when I was doing a lot less cycling than I have been over the last couple of months, in the British drought.

I know thousands of RLSer's. Some are 100 lbs, some are 400 lbs, and all kinds in between. Never have I seen a case in 28 yrs where we could say for sure that weight has anything to with severity of symptoms. Of course, losing weight is always good for overall health.........

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