Restless legs are extremely annoying and can prevent you from falling asleep or staying asleep. In that case you want to move your legs all the time, but it doesn’t help the unpleasant feeling you have in your legs. Coffee and caffeinated products increase the symptoms, which may indicate reduced blood flow. Fortunately, there are a few supplements on the market that can help in this regard.
- The cause of restless legs
- Distinction into two types
- Regular treatment
- Alternative treatment
With restless legs (also called ‘restless legs’), an unpleasant feeling occurs in the lower legs. There is no pain, but it is an unpleasant feeling. It mainly occurs in the evening and at night. You may then experience tingling, cramps or an unpleasant feeling in the lower legs, resulting in the feeling that you ‘have to’ move your legs. This may cause you to suffer from insomnia. The complaints are often most severe just before falling asleep. It is estimated that approximately 5 to 10 percent of all people over the age of twenty suffer from restless leg syndrome.
The cause of restless legs
The cause of restless legs is not really known. It is suspected that the symptoms of restless legs are caused by a disruption of the dopamine system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. It is a messenger substance that transmits signals from one nerve cell to another. The cause may also be related to poor blood circulation in the legs. This is common among people with a standing job.
Distinction into two types
There are two types of restless legs:
- Primary restless legs, this form is often hereditary and can start at a young age
- Secondary restless legs, this form is a result of another disease or are the complaints the result of other things. Thyroid disorders, kidney disorders, pregnancy or, for example, iron deficiency can cause these complaints
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea or soft drinks can worsen previously mentioned complaints.
The doctor will prescribe a dopamine antagonist such as Adartrel and Sifrol for (severe) restless legs. And of course he will try to determine the underlying cause of the illness, so that the complaints disappear permanently.
Massage, meditation, yoga, acupuncture and acupressure are sometimes suggested as alternative treatments. But it might be a good idea to first consider magnesium tablets or magnesium oil . Magnesium deficiency occurs in quite a few people in the Netherlands. And it is precisely magnesium that ensures the relaxation of muscles and nerves. Magnesium oil is probably the best choice. The magnesium oil is quickly absorbed by the skin and enters the cells directly. This immediately protects the gastrointestinal tract. Plus you can apply magnesium oil specifically to the spot(s) where you suffer from muscle pain or cramps. Then apply the oil to the skin using a spray and rub it in well. Whether you want to remove the oil after 15 to 20 minutes is very personal, but it is certainly not necessary. You often notice after 5 minutes that the unpleasant feeling in the legs diminishes.
The horse chestnut (aesculus hoppocastanum) is also known as an herb that works to improve blood circulation in the legs. This herb contains aescin that strengthens the walls of the veins and improves their blood flow.
OPC is made from grape seeds and is a very strong antioxidant. The protective effect of OPC on the blood vessels and in particular on the capillaries means that it improves blood flow. Very positive results have been achieved in the treatment of varicose veins and tired and heavy legs, but OPC can also have great benefits for the skin, blood pressure and headaches. In addition, it appears that OPC makes the neurotransmitters in the brain work better and that it appears to regulate certain enzymes that influence two important neurotransmitters dopamine and norephedrine.
A vitamin B1 deficiency can also cause restless legs. Restless legs can be caused by, among other things, eating too many carbohydrates and sugars. If the body cannot process this properly, an excess of lactic acid will form in the muscles and you will feel this as restless legs. Vitamin B1 helps process lactic acid, causing restless legs to disappear quickly.
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