Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
The restless leg syndrome is an oxygen (dysox) problem. Neurologists consider it to be a neurologic disorder. There is a big difference between my oxygen view of restless legs and the neurological view: I offer oxygen therapies to correct the underlying problems and they prescribe drugs that deepen the problem, regardless of the temporary benefits of drugs.
The so-called restless leg syndrome is characterized by random and seemingly spontaneous jerky movements that disrupt sleep for the sufferer as well as the bed partner. As a visual, muscle twitches and spasm can be seen as temporary burst of energy, activity, emotion, stress, or anxiety. Leg movements in sleep are easy to detect by the bed partner or by any observer and so provide an objective metric for assessing the intensity of the problem as well as its successful remedy.
Dr. Ali’s Two-Phase Protocol for Restless Legs
I have observed good results with my protocols (Dr. Ali’s Two-Phase Protocol for Restless Legs (“the Protocol”). The purpose of two phases of the protocol is to allow the user to individualize the program and create flexibility. In nearly all cases, except the most severe, the results obtained within the two-week Protocol offer clear direction of the extended use of its components for good long-term results. Needless to point out, the issues of gut fermentation and food reactions need to be addressed for continued good health.
Below I present my two-week protocol for the prevention and treatment of restless legs. I give full descriptions of all items in a video seminar entitled “Dr. Ali’s Basics.” Please watch this seminar and then review it again for a large number of practical tips. I have not encountered any problems with any component of the Protocol. Still, I suggest that my guidelines be used under the care of a practitioner.
Protocol Phase I
The Phase I of the Protocol lasts for one week. It includes:
- hydrogen peroxide foot soaks, in the afternoon and at bed time;
- castor oil rubs, in the afternoon and at bed time;
- Feather Breathing, in the afternoon and at bed time;
- magnesium, potassium, and taurine. (My formula for the above is labeled “Bowel Protocol 12″ and two tablets of the protocol include the following: magnesium, 150 mg; potassium, 50 mg; and taurine 250 mg). I recommend three tablets at bed time, except for individuals with kidney failure who have a blood creatinine level of more than 2 mg/dL);
- calcium 300 to 500 mg at bed time;
- gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free diet (stevia as a sweetener is allowed); and
- intramuscular injections of magnesium, vitamin B12 and B complex, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Protocol Phase II
It is suggested that the Phase II of the Protocol be followed for one week. It includes all five of the above elements but the person has a chance of reducing each or all items by 50% of the duration and/or dosage of nutrients.
Restless Legs Cry Out for Oxygen
There is only one reason why legs become restless and move without the consent of their owner: oxygen deficiency. The lack of oxygen causes a buildup of lactic acid and other acids in the muscles, making them twitchy. In scientific terminology, muscle twitchiness is undue excitability of nerve-muscle plates. So, minor irritations cause sharp muscle spasms that cause legs to jerk during sleep. In extreme cases, such jerkiness sometimes results in tissue injury, both for the sufferer and the bed partner.
Notable among the nerve-muscle toxins that cause muscle twitchiness are:
- mycotoxins (mold toxins), especially those that block oxy-enzymes (oxygen-driven enzymes)
- toxic metals, such as mercury, lead, and arsenic;
- environmental pollutants; and
- stress-related hormones and waste substances.
Is there a reliable test for restless legs? Yes, a urine sample can be used to detect accumulation of organic acids that indicate the presence of abnormal oxygen functions. Such a test can also reveal the presence of mold toxins that directly poison oxygen-driven enzymes, as well detect microbial and metabolic toxins. My own profile of urine acids also reveals the existence of adrenal deficit, a valuable piece of information since it helps me quantify the degrees of stress that set the stage for restless legs.
Why Don’t Neurologists Test for Urinary Acids?
Neurologists do not test for increased urinary organic acids for their patients with restless legs. Why? Because there are no drugs to correct the problems of toxicity revealed by such tests. There is another reason for it. They read The New England Journal of Medicine which does not advise such testing. Why doesn’t the Journal advise acid testing? Because the Journal does not promote nondrug therapies or the tests that call for them. No, this is not a potshot at the Journal. Consider the following quote from an article it published on August 16, 2007: “ Despite a high prevalence of RLS (restless leg syndrome in North America and Europe (5 to 15%), its pathogenesis remains unclear.”
The Journal’s disinterest in the relationship between anoxia (lack of oxygen) and muscle twitchiness (heightened neuromuscular excitability) is surprising since it was clearly established by extensive physiology experiments in the early decades of the last century. Specifically, removal of oxygen in nerve-muscle experiments (deoxygenation of the bath solution) increases twitchiness of muscles kept alive in it. Reoxygenation of the solution later normalizes the neuromuscular function. It is also puzzling why The New England Journal of Medicine cannot see the relationship between low oxygen and increased muscle irritability after publishing hundreds of articles on the use of oxygen for patients with coronary artery spasms and heart attacks.
Here is the core take home message of this article. Muscles jerk and cramp as they cry out for oxygen. So, for restless legs and leg cramps, please think oxygen, oxygen, and oxygen. Next think of acid load. Muscles also jerk and cramp when they are annoyed by toxic acids. So, for restless legs and leg cramps, please think acids, acids, and acids.
Treatment of Severe Cases of Restless Legs
The distress experienced by individuals with a severe form of muscle twitchiness and jerkiness can be disabling. A juditious use of drugs in such cases is appropriate. I want to underscore the point that the program outlined in this article is necessary in such cases in order to minimize the use of drugs and eventually to make it unnecessary. All relevant oxygen issues must be considered and effectively addressed. Among these I consider mold toxins (due to excessive gut fermentation), toxic metals, impaired liver detox, adrenal deficiency, to be the most important.
Muscle relaxants drugs appropriate for the severe form of the syndrome include: Flexeril (10 mg three times a day), Skelaxin (400 to 800 mg twice or three times a day), and Robaxin (1,500 mg three to four times a day)
Please see our companion article: Leg Cramps and Swelling