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Old 10-19-2008, 08:07 PM   #21
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You might also want to ask your doctor about taking a Magnesium supplement if you're not eating a Magnesium rich diet. Magnesium has a natural calming effect on the nervous system. I've taken Cardiovascular Research Ltd. brand Magnesium Taurate in the past, you can get it at Vitamin Shoppe. Some believe that some movement or tic disorders, e.g. Tourette's Syndrome, is due to Magnesium deficiency. Maybe try fish oil also.
Dude. I think you are confusing nocturnal leg cramps with restless legs.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:11 PM   #22
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Thanks tashon for checking in to give me your experience. Mine is the same. It is odd how exercise seems to make it worse. Definitely true for me.

I don't know about the magnesium. I take my multivitamin. I eat a lot of veggies, especially spinach, which is very rich in magnesium. But I'll talk to the doc about the pills like Ropinirole, and the supplements like iron or magnesium. I am feeling a bit less weird about learning about this because of a commercial. The problem is that it is difficult to describe, but now it seems like people know what you are talking about. Edit: I see Rich has said that magnesium might be for leg cramps, which this is not.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:17 PM   #23
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I read the magnesium thing on the RLS website. The woman at Vitamin World also told me they sell it alot to people for RLS. I am in the middle of taking it but haven't reduced the Mirapex yet as it takes the magnesium a month or 2 to kick in. Will let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:33 PM   #24
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One thing I've read to improve blood circulation in your legs is alpha lipoic acid. I've started taking that and after a week or two, I noticed less tingly feeling in my legs when I sleep. Maybe it would help RLS too.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #25
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Dude. I think you are confusing nocturnal leg cramps with restless legs.
I used to have those too - worse than RLS. Maybe the magnesium is a miracle cure.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:00 PM   #26
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Martha,

I looked it up and tonic water (as in a vodka tonic, apparently) was what I was referring to earlier. But the web stuff I read said it is for leg cramps, and RLS is not leg cramps, as you know. IIRC it helped a little but not much. Also drinking straight tonic water isn't really pleasant.

I would say that in my case the RLS was at its most severe when I was most stressed, and now that my stress levels are much lower the RLS has abated. Are you stressed?

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Old 10-19-2008, 10:53 PM   #27
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Martha, I have heard quinine (as in tablets or tonic water but sans the gin or vodka ) can help muscle issues, including cramping legs and restless leg syndrome. It would be a cheap thing to try.... Some other "natural" solutions including quinine are at

Symptoms, Their Causes & Cures Restless Legs

Also, you've probably already tried sleeping with a pillow or two under your feet, but that might help?
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:42 AM   #28
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Thanks for bringing this up, Martha. I think I probably have this too. I'll be all drowsy and comfortable, falling asleep, and then it starts. I roll over and it goes away, but only for about 10 seconds. Very unpleasant.

Here are two things I do, that seem to help:

1. Tense and release. I'm not talking about some some little namby pamby muscle contraction. I mean full-body, give it all you've got contract all your muscles until you're shaking for a full six seconds or longer, and then release and breath deeply. Doesn't always work, but there have been times when I've had RL and this has immediately solved it.

2. Drink a good amount of water (that is, from the water bottle by the bed). It means you'll have to get up later to go the bathroom, so this is a trade-off.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:59 AM   #29
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Al, I have done the tense and release thing too and sometimes it helps.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #30
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My mom has this condition, the most extreme version. She has myriad health issues, and has tried all kinds of cures for it. Nothing helps much, or for long. The one thing that has brought her some relief (in addition to taking the RLS drug Miraplex) is oxycontin, in a very low dose, when the leg cramps and nightime kicking become too violent for her or Dad to sleep at all. I think it just knocks her out, honestly.

But Mom is a tough case--double kidney tranplant, Hep C treated, knee replacement, etc. She takes a lot of anti-rejection meds, too, plus antibiotics, so it is hard to tell what might be interacting to cause the RLS symptoms to wax and wane. She also takes Iron, Magnesium, vitamins, etc.

It sounds horrible--and I've watched her try to sleep--she looks like she is running. Must be exhausting after spending all night like that. Martha and the others have my sympathy.
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Questions about symptoms
Old 10-20-2008, 01:39 PM   #31
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Questions about symptoms

Hi there --

I had what I thought was RLS, but it really was a pinched nerve in one of my lumbar. I have some questions for you maybe to try to narrow the symptoms down a bit to see:

1. Have you ever had a history of neck or back problems?
2. When you are at rest -- are you sitting, lying down? What positions are you generally in (legs crossed, head on pillow, etc.)
3. When you are asleep, what position are you in? Side? Back? Do you watch TV before while in bed? If so, how are you positioned?
4. Do you feel RLS symptoms while driving in traffic, long distances, etc.?
5. Do you stretch regularly? In particular how flexible are your hamstrings and lower back muscles?

If it is a pinched nerve, I have a couple of yoga exercises that almost completely diminish the RLS-like symptoms I feel.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:53 AM   #32
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For as long as I can remember, I have had the symptoms of restless legs syndrome . Specifically:
  1. an urge to move the limbs with or without sensations (for me, I do have sensations, best described as "icky.")
  2. improvement with activity (get up and walk and it immediately goes away)
  3. worsening at rest
  4. worsening in the evening or night.
It makes it hard to go to sleep and I have to get up often to walk a bit. Or, I might stretch and rub my calves very vigorously for relief. I learned years ago that caffeine would make it impossible to sleep, so I lightly use caffeine only in the morning and only a bit. My iron levels tend towards the high end so it isn't an iron deficiency, which according to wikipedia is a somewhat common cause.


Anyway, I have never asked my current doctor about it, probably because I have lived with it my whole life. It was those dang commercials for Requip that made me realize what it is and that maybe there is a solution. But I also know that the restless leg commercials are a favorite target of people who criticize cures waiting for a disease.

So, does anyone else have this problem that makes it so hard to go to sleep at night? Have you ever tried any drugs for it?
I had this problem, although some of it is brought on by surgery. I had a nerve transplant to fix a cut nerve in my arm and have sensitivity at the graft site.

Most of the problem has gone away after I moved to a quieter neighbourhood and bought another bed.

I found stretching the calf muscles and limiting alcohol helps to a great degree. No drugs, I think it can be managed without drugs.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:18 AM   #33
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Quote:
Hi there --

I had what I thought was RLS, but it really was a pinched nerve in one of my lumbar. I have some questions for you maybe to try to narrow the symptoms down a bit to see:

1. Have you ever had a history of neck or back problems?
2. When you are at rest -- are you sitting, lying down? What positions are you generally in (legs crossed, head on pillow, etc.)
3. When you are asleep, what position are you in? Side? Back? Do you watch TV before while in bed? If so, how are you positioned?
4. Do you feel RLS symptoms while driving in traffic, long distances, etc.?
5. Do you stretch regularly? In particular how flexible are your hamstrings and lower back muscles?

If it is a pinched nerve, I have a couple of yoga exercises that almost completely diminish the RLS-like symptoms I feel.
I also see a chiropractor. Not sure spinal manipulation helps much but would be very interested in hearing your yoga positions.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:53 AM   #34
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I had RLS as a symptom of advanced kidney disease. It was always in the evening time. A very unpleasant sensation.

It has completely gone away after the kidney transplant (no, that's not a recomendation). Interestingly they have had me on a magnesium supplement following the transplant so I couldn't say definitively whether the transplant resolved it or the magnesium supplement. My bet is still on the transplant but who knows?
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:14 AM   #35
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Gandalf, that is interesting, as Mom is a kidney recipient as well. That is one of the reasons the docs have such a hard time with this. They don't know whether to attribute her symptoms to her not infrequent kidney infections (she is 5+ years post transplant) or to something else.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:31 AM   #36
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Did she have RLS as bad before the transplant as well? I am very happy that mine went away post-transplant.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:21 AM   #37
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Yes, Gandalf, and I believe it was worse for a while before the transplant, then better right after the transplant. But it does come and go to some extent even now.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:49 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
For as long as I can remember, I have had the symptoms of restless legs syndrome . Specifically:
  1. an urge to move the limbs with or without sensations (for me, I do have sensations, best described as "icky.")
  2. improvement with activity (get up and walk and it immediately goes away)
  3. worsening at rest
  4. worsening in the evening or night.
It makes it hard to go to sleep and I have to get up often to walk a bit. Or, I might stretch and rub my calves very vigorously for relief. I learned years ago that caffeine would make it impossible to sleep, so I lightly use caffeine only in the morning and only a bit. My iron levels tend towards the high end so it isn't an iron deficiency, which according to wikipedia is a somewhat common cause.


Anyway, I have never asked my current doctor about it, probably because I have lived with it my whole life. It was those dang commercials for Requip that made me realize what it is and that maybe there is a solution. But I also know that the restless leg commercials are a favorite target of people who criticize cures waiting for a disease.

So, does anyone else have this problem that makes it so hard to go to sleep at night? Have you ever tried any drugs for it?
I've got the same thing. It drives me nuts. The only thing that works is elevation of the legs but the key here is to make sure your legs are very high, meaning much higher than your head. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:16 PM   #39
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:57 PM   #40
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I have had it for as long as I remember, at least since I was a teenager. I tried everything I ever read about it, every folk remedy out there. The toll it took on my life is unbelievable. I used to get just a very few hours of sleep a night. I would walk, rub my legs together, do little karate chops on them (which actually helped, while doing it), walk, massage them, rub them together frantically, chop chop chop some more and eventually fall asleep. Couldn't lay down and watch tv either. As long as my legs were in a downward position, fine, elevate them and the creepy crawly crap started. Terrible Terrible thing if you have it bad. When requip came out and I tried it I found out what it was like to get a full nights sleep like a normal human being. You won't pry my requip from me for ANY amount of money. Never Ever Ever!

It must be genetic as both my grandmother and mother had it too.
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