Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Diabetes and the Restless Leg Syndrome

The legs of a person are said to be restless when they itch, prickle or burn, jerk or twist involuntarily. It affects 5-10 people including those with diabetes. This  is caused by slow drainage of blood  from the lower limbs. Other causes include an excess of caffeine, withdrawal from alcohol, tranquilizer dependence, and deficiency in iron and Vitamin B. I'm a diabetic suffering from twitching legs and toes, burning legs, and occasional painful leg cramps.

Restless leg  is an ailment itself that needs attention. First, we have to identify what the problem is, and second, we have to look for remedies to treat the problem and keep it at bay.

Dr. Caroline Shreeve,  author of my source, Home Remedies: A Guide to Symptoms and Cures, has this to say about restless legs, their symptoms and cures.

What are the symptoms of the restless legs syndrome? 
  •  Inability to keep legs still after retiring for the night
  • Lower legs thrash about or jerk uncontrollably
  • Prickling, crawling sensation just under the skin of legs
  • A burning sensation although skin may be cool to the touch
What are the cures?
Naturopathy  -  a system of primary health care that uses natural measures, particularly diet, to restore and promote the body's self-healing process. Several naturopathy approaches are as follows:

A. Relevant lifestyle measures
  1. whole food diet
  2. weight reduction
  3. daily exercise (going barefoot)
  4. wear open sandals to encourage toes to grip naturally
B. Hydrotherapy (treatment with the use of water)
  1. leg and foot baths
  2. cool compress
  3. warm bath or shower
C.  Aromatherapy-  treatment with the use of essences
  1. Add 4 drops of clary sage and 3 drops each of chamomile and orange essence to 1 tbsp(15ml) sweet almond or grape oil following  a warm bath or shower.
  2. Use the essences to massage the legs in an upward direction from the soles of the feet to the knees until it is absorbed.
  3. Lie down for at least 20 minutes with the feet propped on a pillow.  
 Dance therapy
  1.  Used beneficially especially the type that involves slow, strong leg movements that utilize relevant muscles.  

Vitamins and  Minerals
    1. A whole food diet but with additional emphasis upon foods rich in iron (red meat, offal, black treacle, cheddar cheese, egg yolk, wheatgerm, seaweed, nuts, and lentils)
    2. The B Vitamins (brewers'  yeast, wholewheat flour, beef kidney and liver, sunflower seeds, and cashew nuts)
    3. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids are extremely important, too (found as the brightly coloured natural nutrients in the pulp, peel (and pith) of citrus fruit, green peppers, paw paw,  and cherries.
    4. Specific dietary supplements are the whole range of antioxidants, especially the bioflavonoids with naturally occurring Vitamin C, folic acid, and Vitamin E.
    Medical Treatment
    1. Exercise, weight reduction, and possibly dietary advice would be the typical treatments offered.
    2. Medication takes the form of paroven, containing rutosides, which are a form of bioflavanoid.
    1. See your doctor about all involuntary movements.
    2. Take any medication exactly as prescribed.
    3. Seek further advice.
    How can we prevent restless legs syndrome? 
    1. Prop legs up while resting during the day.
    2. Exercise regularly to maintain good circulation.
    3. Avoid being overweight.
    4. Massage legs nightly before retiring in bed.
    For diabetics, a healthy control of blood sugar level may lessen the problem of the restless legs.


      1. Seema,
        Thank you for posting the first comment here. But there seems to be problem. I can't find it here after moderation. I hope it will appear soon. Meanwhile, my apology about the problem.

      2. Best article I have ever read on restless leg syndrome.Thanks.

      3. Milleniumhealth,
        Thank you for this wonderful comment. It makes my day!

      4. Violetwrites,
        Thank you for dropping by and for the comment.

      5. Hey Lita,

        I also thought this blog very well put together and very informative. You are an excellent writer my dear! I have also had a few episodes of restless leg, although, at the time I wasn't sure what it was. It is a terrible feeling though......I do remember that! And.......I definitely need to get back to eating the right stuff. I've gotten away from my healthy foods, and I'm not drinking enough water either.....I have to get back into a routine that I can stick to! I know that once the weather breaks and we start having warmer days, it will help me a lot! I hope you're doing well dear! ((Hugs))

      6. JulyJeanie,
        Your confirmation about restless leg syndrome will definitely be of great information to our readers, I like that! And I'm glad that you realize your lapses about eating health foods and enough water. Good luck for a good choice of your health routine you can stick to. Promise?

        I'm feeling fine, Thank you. Hugs to you, too.

      7. thank you for visiting my blog today; I admire your spunk. I've got RLS - seems to run in the family - I'm glad to see dancing may be of help!

      8. Carma,
        I'm glad my blog reaches you whose family is predisposed to this condition, RLS. Hope the tips help you. Thanks for stopping by.

      9. Hello Lita, Thank you for the great information, you are providing in this article and also in your blog. I am glad to find you. Thanks for stopping by.

      10. Lipika Mohapatra,
        Great to know you, too. Glad to be of help by my humble works. Thank you for visiting my site earlier.

      11. I just came from your other blog with your amazing story of your brother.

        I have heard a lot about the effect diabetes can have on people. My Grandparents visit visually impaired people and help them live independent lives and many of them are diabetic. It's unfortunate that so many people don't understand how serious this disease really is.

      12. I love your blog - I always learn from you
        Peace & Karma
        Mr Monkey

      13. Hi, Mr. Monkey,
        Nice to hear from you again. From here, I'll jump to your post. Thanks for stopping by.

      14. Dr. Heckle,
        Great to have you around! People must be properly informed about diabetes, whether they have this condition or not. I'm having hard time managing my diabetes. What I post here are what I actually experience. Yes, I have my restless legs bothering me. I can't endure long term sitting that's why I miss many posts already. Hoping to be around soon. Thanks for stopping by.

      15. Wonderful post. Very informative. My uncle died of diabetes thus reading this really helps me. I'm sure most people will love to read this, too. Thanks for the sharing. httP://moneyoverweather.blogspot.com and http://laugh-jojo.blogspot.com.

      16. Diabetes is a dreaded disease, but by following simple tips it could somehow be prevented.

      17. Jojo,
        I can't thank you in a very fitting way for your comments despite my absence. You are right! People must know basic information even if they are not diabetic. No one can ever tell what will happen since improper diet may also lead to this condition.

      18. I like this post. It is truly a valuable info about the dreaded disease — diabetes.

        There's a saying: "Prevention is better than cure." It is better to try to keep a bad thing from happening than it is to fix the bad thing once it has happened.

        Thanks for the sharing. May the years continue to be good to you.

      19. jojo, my old reliable friend, you're so right! People must be aware or shall I say, be wary about the consequences of diabetes so that they could protect themselves against the onset of diabetes in them. We can never tell, when it attacks anyone. Let others know that I'm struggling hard to fend its debilitating effect on my health.

        May your good wish for me be in God's glory. Thank you.



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