Richard G. Petty, MD

Restless Legs Syndrome and Integrated Medicine

In the last entry we looked at RLS: what it is, and some of the conventional approaches to treating it. I now want to spend a moment talking about some of the other approaches that we have tried. For most of these there is very little evidence, so we use them in conjunction with conventional medicine.

If you want to try any of them, discuss them with your health care provider, so that he or she can guide you toward the best ways of putting treatments together.

  1. Diet: A low sugar diet helps some people, and it is always worth keeping a food diary for a week to see if there’s any association between something that you’ve eaten and a worsening of your symptoms.
  2. If you like juicing, there have been a number of anecdotal reports of the use of carrot, celery and spinach juices helping some people. (I am writing this while we are still in the middle of the spinach/E. coli scare, so leave this one out until the FDA has given us the all clear.
  3. There have been publications about the use of vitamins E and B and folic acid in RLS. Vitamin E can cause a GI upset in some people and if used in too high a dose (above 800IU/day) may elevate blood pressure; folic acid has to be used with caution in people on anticonvulsants. If you try these options, bear in mind that no supplement is likely to work unless it is taken for at least a month.
  4. Acupuncture sometimes helps: there are three acupuncture points in the legs that come up in the prescription: Urinary bladder 57, Spleen 6 and Stomach 36.
  5. Homeopathic remedies have been reported to help, and I’ve had some success. The precise remedy always depends on the precise characteristics of the individual, but the most common ones have been Rhus Toxicodendron, Causticum, Tarentula Hispanica and Zincum Metallicum. If you live in a place in which there are good homeopaths available for consultation, it’s another option.
  6. Several herbal remedies have been reported to help: Passion Flower, Cimicifuga, Valerian, Black Cohosh and Piper Methysticum. Just remember that some of the herbs sold in health food stores don’t contain what they should, and Valerian and Black Cohosh have recently been associated with liver toxicity in some people.
  7. Here is an old trick from China: take a one inch piece of fresh ginger root and grate it into a bowl of warm water. Then soak your feet in the water for about ten minutes. I’ve never seen that one work myself, by some people whom I respect have.

I also think it important not to neglect the psychological aspects of this problem, and sometimes some psychotherapy can be a helpful adjunct.

Finally, ask yourself what the RLS is trying to teach you.

These are all options that have been tried and have helped some people. If you are not having success from conventional medicine alone, or if you don’t care for conventional medicine, then discuss these options with a professional, use your intuition, and let us know if you have success.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo