What is restless leg syndrome and what causes it?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED) or Wittmaack-Ekbom syndrome, is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one’s body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs, but can affect the arms, torso, head, and even phantom limbs. Moving the affected body part modulates the sensations, providing temporary relief. WED/RLS sensations range from pain or an aching in the muscles, to an itch you can’t scratch, an unpleasant tickle that won’t stop, or even a crawling feeling.

While the exact cause of RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) is still elusive to researchers, many consider these reasons contribute to the cause:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Failure
  • Hereditary Gene
  • Iron Deficiencies
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
 

 

Diabetes and RLS

Changes in the blood sugar levels and can damage small capillaries and nerve endings in all parts of your body with the fingers and toes being the first to be affected.

The nerve signals to the brain are interrupted and can contribute to the twitching and/or involuntary jerking of the legs of Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms.

Kidney Failure and RLS

The Kidneys help to clean and balance the chemical makeup of the blood. The kidneys help remove toxins and wastes from the body by constantly filtering the blood.

If the kidneys have been damaged or diseased some of the Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms of itching, numbness, tingling and muscle cramps.

Family Heritage and RLS

Restless Leg Syndrome has a tendency to run in families. Inherited RLS shows up in 60% of cases. Most often an individual will not start to show symptoms until their 30’s or 40’s but the condition can show up in children too.

The severity of the condition will vary but most individuals will experience the symptoms on and off for the rest of their life.

Why Are Nitric Oxide Levels Important?

Nitric Oxide was first discovered by Dr. Robert Furchgott in 1980 as a vasodilating substance produced by the cells lining our blood vessels, or endothelial cells.
Dr. Furchgott was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998 along with 2 other scientists for the discovery of the critical cardiovascular role of nitric oxide.  The American Heart Association noted in an interview that “the discovery of nitric oxide and its function is one of the most important in the history of cardiovascular medicine.”

Nitric Oxide is a signaling molecule.  When it’s created and released, this gas easily and quickly penetrates nearby membranes and cells, sending its signals.  In less than a second, NO(nitric oxide) signals arteries to relax and expand, immune cells to kill bacterial and cancer cells, and brain cells to communicate with each other.

When we are young and healthy, our artery cells produce NO through L-arginine efficiently.  People over 40 years of age probably don’t create enough NO  and it creates 50% loss in endothelial function in normal healthy adults who have no other cardiovascular risk except being over 40.  Testing your nitric oxide levels are available now and supplementation using L-arginine, NEO 40 daily product and/or Organic Greens & Reds can boost nitric oxide levels in the body.  Keeping adequate levels of nitric oxide levels will prevent high blood pressure, keep arteries young and flexible, prevent slow or reverse buildup of artery-clogging arterial plaques, help stop the formation of artery-clogging blood clots and reduce inflammation.  Nitric Oxide has also been linked to improving sexual function in both men and women, reduce risk of diabetes and conditions related to diabetes such as foot and leg ulcers, blindness and amputations.  As well as swelling and pain of arthritis, inflammation of ashthma, protect bones from osteoporosis, assist the immune system in killing bacteria.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE SUPPLEMENTS TAKEN FOR PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY?

 

  • Nitric Oxide (L-Arginine): Amino acid that supports Nitric Oxide formation which dilates blood vessels thereby increasing blood flow and circulation.
  • EPA/DHA (Fish Oils):  Cardiovascular benefits are numerous. Benefits include increasing blood flow, enhance the immune system, and lowers blood pressure.
  • Cal/Mg(Calcium and Magnesium): Reduces muscle spasms, regulates the body’s calcium magnesium pump. Slows digestion to aid in a healthy GI tract, more nutrient absorption and healthy glycemic control.
  • Vitamin D : Essential for everyone in the Pacific Northwest due to a lack of sun exposure. Promotes healthy teeth, bone growth and hormonal balance. Increases resistance to germs by supporting the immune system.
  • Vitamin B12: Helps to form and produce new red blood cells.
  • PhytoMulti: Provides antioxidants and factors for the maintenance of good health.  Provides phytonutrients from vegetables and fruit.
  • Ultra Flora Plus DF: Helps maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora and is designed to provide intestinal support on multiple levels.  Supports a healthy immune system.  Helps reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Co Q10 St 200 (CoEnzyme Q10): Nutritional support designed to improve cardiovascular health. This helps with the damage from the STATIN DRUGS and is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Meta Lipoate 300- Nutritional support designed to decrease inflammation and promote healthy glucose metabolism.
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine- Nutritional support designed to reduce physical and mental fatigue and enhance cognitive function. Helps regenerate the nerves and is a powerful antioxidant

Special Offer for July 2017: “How to Get Rid of Your Back and Neck Pain for Good!”

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Signature

Dr. Steve Waddell, D.C.
Dr. Cameron Harrison, D.C.
Wellness Coach® Spine Clinic

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What is Peripheral Neuropathy and What causes it?

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) Occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages to the muscles, skin, brain and other parts. Peripheral nerves run from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs, and feet. When damage occurs, numbness and pain in these areas may occur. It can affect multiple nerves (polyneuropathy) or only one nerve or nerve group (mononeuropathy) due to trauma, injury, local compression, prolonged pressure, or inflammation.  It starts with numbness, prickling or tingling in the toes or fingers. It may spread up the feet or hands and cause burning, freezing, throbbing and/or shooting pains. It is often worse at night. Sometimes it is constant or periodic and usually the pain is felt equally in both hands or in both feet. It can develop suddenly, while others progress more slowly over many years.

The majority of people, however, suffer from polyneuropathy, an umbrella term for damage involving many nerves at the same time. The body’s nervous system is made up of two parts. The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) connects the nerves running from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body – the arms and hands, legs and feet, internal organs, joints and the mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and skin. Polyneuropathy can be caused by a number of different things such as:.disease, diabetes, smoking, chemotherapy treatments, organ transplants, exposure to toxins such as pesticides/herbicides, chemical exposures, statin drugs, surgeries, hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficencies and alcoholism, vascular damage, connective tissue disorders, benign tumors, repetitive stress, infections and autoimmune disorders, lyme disease and diphtheria, viral and bacterial infections just to name a few.

Peripheral neuropathy may be chronic (a long term condition where symptoms begin subtly and progress slowly) or acute (sudden onset, rapid progress and slow resolution). Acute neuropathies demand urgent diagnosis. Motor nerves (that control muscles), sensory nerves, or autonomic nerves (that control automatic functions such as heart rate, body temperature and breathing), may be affected. More than one type of nerve may be affected at the same time. Peripheral neuropathies may be classified according to the type of nerve predominantly involved, or by the underlying cause. Where the cause is unknown it is described as idiopathic neuropathy.