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50 diseases/conditions that feature a higher rate of RLS

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:56 am
by davew
At the website listed below are scientific studies confirming that the following diseases feature a significantly higher occurrence of RLS ...

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Celiac Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic Sarcoidosis
Chronic Venous Disorder
Crohn's Disease
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Heart Disease
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Kidney Disease / Renal Failure
Liver Disease
Lyme Disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Poliomyelitis (Polio)
Pulmonary Hypertension
Sjögren's Syndrome
Sleep Apnea
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Spinal Cord Conditions
Tourette's Syndrome

You will also view results from scientific studies that show that pregnant women and the elderly population also have higher rates of RLS.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:57 pm
by Betty/WV
In other words-----almost all conditions, syndromes, diseases etc. have a significant higher rate of Willis- Ekbom disease.


re: list of RLS related diseases

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:49 pm
by davew
That's the whole point of the list. It shows that every inflammatory disease/condition that has ever been studied has shown a significantly higher rate of RLS.

Pregnancy and the elderly are two other demographics that are known to have higher levels of inflammation as well as higher rates of RLS.

There is an interesting book called "Pregnancy and Inflammation" that identifies the areas of inflammation that affects pregnant mothers.

You can check it out here:

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:51 pm
by Betty/WV
I guess the next question should be,,,,,,"what do you do about inflammation." That is probably the $64,000 question. Your thoughts on this?


re: Inflammation

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:42 pm
by davew
This entire website is dedicated to helping people lessen their inflammation.

Overall, it's a matter of integrating some anti-inflammatory supplements into your diet (the easy part) and then making the dietary sacrifices that are necessary in order to eliminate the inflammatory foods and beverages ... which is all the stuff that tastes good (the hard part).

I've created a list of basic foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with their inflammation factor rating (IF).

The inflammation factor ratings I used are from this website:

The soon to be scientific paper that I mentioned in my other post is under review and should be published later this summer. The lead member of the team is Dr. Arthur Walters, who is a pioneer in the field of RLS.

Their study is titled "Restless Legs Syndrome: Theoretical Roles of Inflammatory and Immune Mechanisms."

Dr. Leonard Weinstock, another member of the team sent me a copy of the report.

It is going to be massively groundbreaking!

After reading this report, scientists will have no choice but to look further into the relationship between inflammation and RLS.

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:17 pm
by Polar Bear
Some of the items on the basic food list are surprising in their rating.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:54 am
by badnights
There have been no studies I'm aware of to date that show a causative link between inflammation and RLS, and I don't think anyone has studied whethere there is an unusual coincidence of the two. It should be an interesting read.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:39 am
by dogeyed
I recall hearing about a year or so ago that inflammation in general is something scientists are looking at as almost a causative element in disease or an idea to that effect. Interesting, but I sort of dismissed it as a which came first, the chicken or the egg thing. I do know that, for example, swelling is a necessary process of the body, it sort of "casts" a tore-up leg so a person won't move it so much, and yet everybody tries to ice it back to stop discomfort.

What's more interesting to me are the medications, for example, that will set off existing RLS, like antihistimines such as Benadryl. That is a normally noncausative of anything type of drug, and yet with RLS people, it'll make them legs wiggle around. I'm taking chemo with Benadryl in it now, and I have to take one of my RLS pills before it or sometimes my legs start to seize up. Another lady on Mirapex has an awful time with her symptoms and was surprised I didn't, which I told her I took codeine.

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:37 pm
by cornelia
It sounds promisng and will hopefully help, but my guess would be for a small minority of us. But that in itself would be great.


Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:01 pm
by ViewsAskew
cornelia wrote:It sounds promisng and will hopefully help, but my guess would be for a small minority of us. But that in itself would be great.


Corrie, I would hazard you are right. There isn't likely to be only one variant of Willis-Ekbom, but several.

I recall hearing about a year or so ago that inflammation in general is something scientists are looking at as almost a causative element in disease or an idea to that effect. Interesting, but I sort of dismissed it as a which came first, the chicken or the egg thing.

Dog-eyed, I also wonder about the chicken-egg prospect. There is nothing that I've seen that shows one precedes the other. A causal relationship will take a lot more research, I'd guess.

the anti-inflammatory remedy works for everyone

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:14 pm
by davew

Actually the anti-inflammatory approach will help every single RLS sufferer. The problem is about 1% of those that suffer are willing to make the large dietary sacrifices that are needed ... which includes additional supplements to help relieve the existing inflammation.

There are obvious things that people eat and drink that cause inflammation. The difficulty is in finding the subtler things in one's diet that is causing inflammation.

I did a lot of searching around trying to find studies that show that various RLS meds are in fact inflammatory (which would explain why some people have adverse reactions that makes their RLS worse).

I couldn't find any formal studies, but there have been several complaints about the inflammatory effect of some of the RLS medications.

You can be certain that any remedy that scientists do develop in the next while, will have anti-inflammatory properties.

The upcoming scientific paper by Dr. Walters should bring about a lot of interest, and further testing to confirm that there is a connection between RLS and inflammation.

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:54 pm
by ViewsAskew

I'd be careful about saying it will help 100%.

A few years ago, I followed an anti-inflammatory diet - gluten free, salt free, sugar free, etc. - and I took many of the herbs and supplements on your list. For 18 months. I'll admit that I didn't take all of them, but I took at least 75%.

My RLS didn't change at all.

It's really unlikely that there is one cause for RLS given that our symptoms are so different.

I also am not sure that there is causation demonstrated. Just because there is inflammation with many on the list, you can't know which came first. Did I get inflammation because of the response to the disease and all these diseases cause in inflammatory response or does inflammation cause the diseases so treating inflammation resolves it. As I read through the list, it seems that sometimes inflammation isn't associated with it, such as with depression. Yes, depression can be associated with it, but isn't always.

Edited to add: also, forgot to add that while some things are associated with inflammation, such as Alzheimer's, it's considered to potentially be the cause, not the cure, unfortunately. At best, it might slow progression. So, while inflammation is part of it, removing it doesn't stop it.

re: natural remedies

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:29 am
by davew

So many foods are inflammatory, that it creates a unique situation for every person.

Something in your diet, or meds you were taking, were negating the healing process.

I realize that some people are on meds for secondary ailments, and can't go off of them. But, for people taking meds strictly for RLS, the potential exists to become better.

Foods that make each of us flair up are often unique.

For instance, cutting back on the obvious foods and drinks, plus taking the supplements made my RLS 85% better.

I kept having flutterings and I couldn't figure out why.

It took me over a year to realize that it was the peanut butter and orange juice I was having with my breakfast. For some reason my body really reacts to either or both (not sure which?).

Since I dropped them from my diet, there has not been a single twinge.

All I'm saying is that every RLS suffer has the potential to be free of their disease through diet.

The only way to find out is through personal experimentation.

I had to drop rice, pasta, milk (switched to soy milk) and then all the other obvious things like lowering sugar intake, caffeine etc. before I
broke free.

Now that things are under control, I can have any kind of food, and there will be no reaction.

But, it took some major changes and a lot of experimentation to reach this point.

I commend you for sticking with the diet for 18 months even though you didn't show any improvement.

Please contact me and I'll see if something in your diet jumps out at me.

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:21 am
by badnights
It's always beneficial to realize that the processes at work in one's personal life may not be the same as the processes at work in others' lives. We cannot be sure that one type of solution for RLS/WED, such as dietary changes, will work for everyone because the condition is so diverse in its manifestations and the cause is known to involve multiple bodily systems (dopaminergic, histaminerigc, circadian, iron transport, endorphin system). It's fantastic that extensive dietary changes have the potential to help some people. To proclaim that everyone can be helped is, perhaps, to interpret others' lives too familiarly.

Inflammation is very common, both as a result of disease and a cause of bodily disturbances. A portion of the quoted pre-print on dave's site reads as follows: "Overall, 36 of the 41 RLS-associated conditions (88%) have been associated with inflammatory and/or immune changes. The fact that the majority of highly RLS associated conditions are also associated with inflammatory/immune changes suggests the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through these mechanisms."

The authors suggest the possibility that RLS may be mediated or affected through [inflammation or immune changes]. As scientists, we use language like this for a reason, and there is no way to interpret this statement as meaning that inflammation causes RLS.

Dave, I think your desire to help people is commendable, and you've done a lot of work to build your website. I, personally, prefer to see the actual literature so I can form my own interpretations, as I see that yours are at least occasionally a little over-enthusiastic.

Posted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:44 am
by Andreadrea
Dave, you should be careful about how you word stuff on your website, one line caught my eye in particular:

"The herbs that are part of your daily intake are COMPLETELY harmless ... so mild that a child could take them. They are NON addictive, and best of all, they don't create ANY side effects."

That is simply not true. For instance, St John's Wort should not be taken with a number of medications, including MAO inhibitors, macrolide antibiotics, some antiretrovirals, antiepileptic medications and calcium channel blockers. Devil's Claw should not be taken by those who are pregnant, have peptic ulcers, or any biliary obstruction. Skullcap is a sedative, and when combined with other sedating medications (which half the people here are on), could have a multiplying effect that could cause oversedation. I study herbs, and have a long list of herbs and their uses, doses, contraindications and such.

The following list of cautions and contraindications from my notes is just from one herb on your list, licorice root: Small possibility of affecting electrolyte balance with extended use of large doses of licorice. It can cause retention of sodium and raise blood pressure. Avoid with hypertension, pregnancy. Chronic use can cause hypokalemia, headache, spastic numbness, hypertension, weak limbs, dizziness and edema. Don’t use if patient takes spironolactone or amiloride, cardiac glycosides, hypotensive agents, thiazide and loop diuretics, corticoids, diuretic drugs, or MAOIs.

So, um, completely harmless? For everyone? Really? I read your disclaimer, but to then say something is harmless is a bit much. Many herbs, like medications, do have side effects of some kind. You are saying this is an absolute cure for everyone, but many people on this bulletin board have some medical conditions or medicines they can't simply stop taking.

I had a naturopathic doctor tell me I had too much inflammation, many years ago (20 or so). He said it caused a variety of disorders I had at the time. I followed the advice, the diet, the vast amounts of carrot juice, etc. I did this for about 1 year, religiously. I never had any improvement in symptoms. I turned orange from all the carrot juice I drank. So I am a tad skeptical when the inflammation theory gets discussed.