What makes your RLS worse?

For everything and anything else not covered in the other RLS sections.
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What makes your RLS worse?

Post by Athena »

Besides trying to sleep and sitting, what makes your RLS worse?

I'll tell you what makes mine go bullistic!
1. soda pop of any kind! don't drink it!
2. salty foods!
3. potassium or magnesium supplements!
4. alcohol

Anyone else?

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Post by Sara »

Hi, Athena--

Another member of the forum recently found that alcohol exacerbated his RLS, and skipping his wine with dinner made a huge difference.

It's interesting that some people do find relief from dietary changes. I'd love to find one I could make to help mine, because I've used diet to help other conditions with good success.

Since I don't drink alcohol or sodas or caffeinated drinks, I can't quit those. They caused me other problems, so I stopped drinking them long before my RLS progressed to it's current levels. I have not noticed any other food/drink that makes RLS worse, for me.

I'm classic in that I don't do well on cold medicines. I try to only take cold or sinus meds when absolutely necessary, and I've done okay. The biggest exacerbators for ME are fatigue and illness. If I'm overtired or I stay up too late, I'll be in trouble with my RLS. If I'm sick in any way, I'll also be in trouble. If I'm sick AND tired.... Nelly, bar the door... I'm gonna be miserable! :P

Also, not so classic, with me is that sitting is by FAR the WORST position for me. I actually get a little bit of immediate relief from laying down in bed (I know I'm lucky in that!) But sitting-- car, couch, dining table, movie theatre, plane, rock, log, etc. doesn't matter-- for any length of time, can be VERY uncomfortable!

Sara :D

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Post by livesfortheOne »

Wow! someone else who gets relief from lying down!!! Could it me the relief of not having to hold ourselves up in our tiredness?

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Post by trevb »

hi sara,
good to "see" you again, hope all is well with you :) .

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Cold meds

Post by Butterfoot »


I can certainly relate with you on the cold medications! I had a cold while visiting with my in-laws and took a dayquil in the afternoon to get rid of the stuffiness. That was the first time I had to take my RLS meds early in the day, then another dose in the evening. It still didn't help. My arms and legs were going nuts all evening. I thought I would drive my poor mother-in-law nuts with worry while I paced around the house punching air! She certainly understood RLS after that night! :lol:

Since that day, I've not touched a cold capsule. I just hate the thought of going through another night like that...ever!
May only good come your way.


Making RLS Worse??

Post by Shaneka »

I've found that Benedryl makes my RLS go crazy! I am a Paramedic ( and did I mention that I just turned 40? ) :lol: Anyway, working 24 hour shifts, I often do not get much sleep, if any, while at work. Then, I get home and am over-tired and can't sleep. Therefore, I 've tried taking Benedryl as a sleep aide! What a disaster! I'm sleepy, but up walking around, in a hot tub of water, or begging my family to massage my legs! I recently saw my physician and asked him about medication for RLS. He gave me a 2 week sample of Requip. I'm only on the 5th night of the medicine, but so far, so good! ps...My Grandmother has always had "sleepless nights" because she "walked the floor all night" with her legs "bothering" her. She has really bad Varicose Veins, and I'm afraid that I have a few, also. Is there any conection??
Good luck to all....I truly understand your creepy-crawly problem!

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Post by Bluelens »

I too have been lucky enough that when my legs start to act up I can go lay down in bed and fall asleep. Unfortunatlly I have found the opposite happens when my arms start to act up and it eventually wakes me up.

I don't really get sick so cold medicines don't really cross these lips.
Why not check out my:
photoblog ->Bluelens.net
or my
portfolio site ->JMHoover.com

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Post by ViewsAskew »

Shankeka, strangely enough, some people who have severe varicose veins get relief from RLS when they have vein surgery! I know we've talked about it, but very briefly. I know there was a study done somewhere, but just one to my knowledge. Maybe try using a search engine like Yahoo or Google and see what you come up with. I'd do it for you, but am heading off to bed.

As you probably already know, there is about zero doubt that this is hereditary. Probably why both you and grandma have it.

Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Walking After Midnight
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Post by Walking After Midnight »

Claritin, Cigarettes and Coffee...these are a few of my favorite things.

How come everything I like...oh nevermind.

Anyway, those three are the things that I've noticed...as far as RLS...make me want to jump out of my skin. They are the worst. I guess it's the caffeine in the Coffee. I still drink a lot of Iced Tea and it affects my legs too at times but I'm stubborn.
I won't take Claritin anymore. It's the absolute worst. I will wipe my eyes and blow my nose and get a sore throat before I'll take it...and it helped so much. I got lots less headaches, life was better EXCEPT for the RLS.

It's funny that I keep reading that Alcohol affects RLS. I used to drink quite frequently and quite a lot, and never had much problem with RLS during that time. Not recommending it at all, just saying. But I guess there's a difference in drinking alcohol and drinking it till you pass out too.

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Post by Rubyslipper »

Alcohol seldom hurts me but then I'm not a big drinker either. Caffeine can sometimes cause problems if I drink it too late in the day. Cold medicines drive me crazy as well as sitting too long. I used to be able to curl up with a book and read all afternoon. Now I can't sit still for any length of time. Tiredness is the worst for me though. I haven't had a bad cold or flu for quite a while and that always drives my legs crazy but getting too tired is the worst. So it's a vicious circle when you are tired but can't sit still for any length of time to rest. It's been a busy week-end and I can feel my legs getting ready for a good workout. Time for the medicine!
You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself! (Glinda of Oz)


Post by ahutton2 »

Hi, I'm new to this board, but have been reading all of these and just wanted to reply.

I also have found that cold meds drive me nuts! Now what I have discovered is that it is the ones that have blue dye in it are the worst. My doctor prescribed me Ambien CR and I took a dose last night and my legs went crazy, I have no idea what's in that but it didn't work.

Amy :o

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Post by ksxroads »

Medications with blue dye... that's interesting. I purchased some mucinex to have on hand this winter if I should get a chest cold and congestion.It has blue dye... haven't had to take it, so can't report on it. I use Flonaise for allergy and have not had problems using it.

I have taken Ambien during bad rls nights, it didn't make me sleepy and had no affect what so ever, not certain if it just added to the rls problem or not!

Being overly tired certainly is one sure way for my RLS to worsen. Mine is 24/7 yet it is worse during the spring through fall months. During the summer I probably am more physically active for longer periods of time.

I drink 3-4 cups of coffee daily. Usually 1 of those cups is in mid afternoon. I notice hardly any difference between days without coffee and those I drink coffee. However, the brewed ice tea, I can't drink in the afternoons period. RLS will be aggressively worse if I do.

Also, I have found that a single rum and coke will aggravate the RLS. guess Randy is right, it depends on what degree you drink to! hahahaha
I just quit drinking all together as it just wasn't worth it!

About every drug on the drugs to avoid list, that I have taken or were prescribed over the years aggravated my rls.


Dave Fairley

What helps me and MY history with RLS.

Post by Dave Fairley »

I first had those unusual sensations which I've now come to know as 'RLS' about 3 years ago. I have all the symptoms of the disease, but it's only in my left arm currently. It all started in my torso, moved to my right arm and then has stayed in my left...never in my legs...yet. It started when I worked the night shift at the hospital and tried to sleep during the day. Like most people I'm a poor sleeper and use Benedryl to help me out, use to use I should say. I have found that Benedryl does in fact make the symptoms worse. After doing some asking I found out that my grandmother suffered from this disease and my aunt does as well, it's a family curse I guess. The ONLY things that helps me is Ultram 100mg, Ambien 5-10mg used together 30 min prior to sleep (Not Ambien CR). I also had a Vicodin RX for a pulled back muscle and didn't have RLS while on that medication. Come to find out that Ultram and Vicodin bind to the same receptor sites and work equally as well....Ultram is just not as habit forming as Vicodin. I find it hard to explain to people what this disease is like. The name RLS sugests that it's an annoying thing that is easily ignored...my own doctor even down played it. This disease is a living hell. People don't understand what it's like to try and go to sleep at 10:00 PM and finally achieve sleep at 6:00 AM... I can't think of anything worse that sleep deprivation, it has been proven to drive you insane (sleep deprivation that is...not RLS) The way I have come to explain this disease is like this;
The RLS sensation is like holding your breath for as long as you can until you have to take a breath... nothing else matters... you have to take that breath or you die. With RLS you can't ignore the sensation EVER you have to move, in my case, your arm by reaching up high or punching the air, shrugging the shoulder and extending tha arm.... you must move there is no other option.
Sorry to be so wordy, but that's my story. I hope this helps some of you... good luck and sleep well.

Dave Fairley
Delray Beach FL.



Post by pinkladie0333 »

I definetly do not touch the cold or allergy meds, it makes it so bad I want to literally take a saw and cut my legs off, which I feel this way without cold meds often. Would anyone happen to know what cold/flu meds I would be able to take? Thanks a bundle

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Post by ksxroads »

There are some that you can use and if you go to the pharmaceutical thread and ask there, someone may be able to tell you what you can use without causing your RLS to get worse.

There are a great group of people here and I hope you get help from the various posts. Just remember what works for one may not work for others.

Some medications that others can tolerate I have been unable to use. It is all very individualized. I purchased some mucinex if I should develop a cold, it relieves congestion. Have not tried it as of yet. Someone mentioned they had problem with medication using blue dye. This medication does have blue dye.

If nothing else, home made chicken noodle soup with a lot of minced fresh garlic has been my stand by! I usually keep a couple pieces of individually wrapped chicken in the freezer, throw in pot of water, add a bullion cube, some chopped celery, lots of minced garlic, a green onion, shredded carrot... make some home made noodles which is very easy... or through in some noodles or go without! Chicken broth is supposedly good for colds and flu. Can you tell I am my grandmothers granddaughter!

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation.

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. --W H Auden

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