I am a 48 year old male, physically fit and in excellent health except for a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol. I first noticed my RLS symptoms nearly 10 years ago and they have varied in frequency and intensity throughout this time. I have been on cholesterol medication (Zocor) for most of this time, and my initial concern was that this was the cause of my RLS. However, I was unable to correlate my symptoms with documented statin side-effects, and experimental variation in prescriptions and prolonged cessation of my medication had no effect on the occurrence of my RLS.
The only other "medication" I have been using throughout this entire time has been topical 2.5% Minoxidil (originally prescribed as Rogaine, now generic OTC). Although Minoxidil is most frequently used to reduce hair loss, I believe it has historically been prescribed as an internal medication to lower high blood pressure. Just recently I went through a period of time when I did not apply Minoxidil to my scalp every night, and to my amazement the RLS symptoms stopped completely during this time. Over the past month I have experimented several times with resumption and cessation of nightly Minoxidil application, and each period of cessation has correlated perfectly with cessation of RLS symptoms.
Based upon recent studies suggesting that iron depletion may impact neurotransmitter functions relating to RLS, I have also begun taking a daily oral iron supplement. Although this may have some impact on the severity of my RLS, it did not cause my symptoms to cease when Minoxidil was being used.
Please share your experiences, successes, and failures in using non-drug therapies for WED/RLS (methods of relief that don't involve swallowing or injecting anything), including compression, heat, light, stretches, acupuncture, etc. Also under this heading, medical interventions that don't involve the administration of a medicine to the body (eg. varicose-vein operations, deep-brain stimulation). [This forum contains Topics started prior to 2009 that deal with Non-prescription Medicines, Supplements, & Diet.]
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