Carbohydrate intake and RLS reduction

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
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Carbs and RLS

Post by rfredricy »

From my own experience, I've noticed what appears to be a correlation between carbohydrates and increased RLS symptoms. For the last few days I've eliminated as many carbs from my diet as possible, and my RLS symptoms seem to have improved. Some of the research I've done seems to confirm a possible correlation between carbs and RLS, though nothing definitive. Yesterday I actually survived the entire morning without a leg twitch, which shocked me. Over the last few days, I've made no other changes in my diet (other than eliminating carbs) or exercise routine, so I would have to attribute some of the improvement in the symptoms to carb elimination. The only other variable in this equation is that my PCP has put me on iron supplements, which might also have contributed to the improvement in the symptoms. Has anyone else noticed a reduction in symptoms with the elimination of carbs?

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Post by Polar Bear »

The iron supplements may well have made a difference. How long have you been on the iron. And have you ever had your iron ferritin level tested. I think it is under 50 that is considered too low for those of us with rls, tho not too low for non sufferers. My understanding is that lack of iron can be a contributor to rls symptoms for many people.

With regard to carb elimination I have heard of this before however we are all very different in what triggers our rls. Well done that you have discovered that the carbs make a difference to you.

Great information with regard to treatment is the Mayo Clinic Algorithm, the link is in my signature, but also Dr Buchfurer has a wonderful book 'Restless Legs Syndrome - Coping With Your Sleepless Nights', which is very informative and easy to read.

Welcome to our site but sorry that you have rls.
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

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yes, ive tried- for another reason though

Post by venus »

about a year ago, i was diagnosed with diabetes and put myself on a very low carb diet. my RLS didnt lessen whatsoever and infact, got worse...but i dont attribute the worsening of rls to the lower carb intake.... (although- you got me thinking..) perhaps like other things here, it can either make the symptoms worse or make them better? food for thought.

btw... the low carb diet i am on is very succesful for managing the diabetets..just had another a1c after a year, and i lowered mine.

(and since people can not follow everyones posts here- atleast not that i know of) i was just found out to have a very low ferritin level of 7, so got put on iron tabs for that and within 5 days, no RLS symptoms as of yet- 3 weeks in and hoping it stays like this.

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Post by SquirmingSusan »

I'm glad you were able to get your blood sugar under control with the low carb diet. That will go a long way toward improving your overall health.

And it's wonderful that your RLS has responded to the iron pills. Hopefully you're one of those people that just needs to raise your ferritin level and your RLS will be gone, or at least much improved.

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Post by sugbrendas »

I became diabetic 2 years ago,diet controled and sometimes I must admit to eating carbs for the tired sleepiness I get from them. There have been times where it's worked.

I went low carb and found a abundace of energy on it. It wasn't until I had problems with RLS again and not enough sleep that my energy levels plumeted,along with my thinking.

Finally able to sleep on average 9 hours a night!

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Re: Carbs and RLS

Post by tomkay »

rfredricy wrote:Has anyone else noticed a reduction in symptoms with the elimination of carbs?

Yes! But unfortunately my wife consumes carbs like they're going out of fashion and I have no will power. I'm planning on trying again once I get back off holiday.
Kicking my legs in bed like a beached and disorientated snorkeler.

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Post by badnights »

I wonder how much of the benefit of carb elimination is caused by the coincidental elimination of wheat gluten.

RLS is extremely common in celiac and Crohn's disease patients, probably because the iron regulation system is screwed up in those diseases.

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Post by sugbrendas »

good question
Finally able to sleep on average 9 hours a night!

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