Sunday, July 28, 2013

Water for Health

Put Down the Soda, Drink Water Instead


Water is the basic cleansing agent for detoxification, working to flush every individual cell of toxins. Without enough water, we are like stagnant pools that grow crud and stink. A body that is stagnant essentially poisons itself because it can't throw off toxins; they just accumulate. And accumulated toxins spell trouble in a myriad of forms.

Without enough water joints dry up and arthritis becomes a problem. Without enough water, constipation develops, allowing toxins to build up in the colon. Those toxins are absorbed into the rest of the body and can trigger such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and leaky gut syndrome. If a condition develops that has an unknown source, drinking plenty of water could certainly help and sure won't hurt.

On the soft drink front, the phosphorus content of soda is extremely high which has the effect of pulling calcium out of the body. Caffeine content is extremely high, and of course the sugar content is a major factor in the obesity problem in this country. High soda consumption is deadly. Your body needs pure water, not all the garbage in carbonated drinks. Your body had to deal with whatever you put into it, and anything you drink that isn't water has to be processed through your kidneys.  Our food supply and environment is contaminated to the point that the toxic load on our bodies is quite high, so your kidneys are having to work hard all the time at best.  Drinking water will help your body deal with that load.

Water faucet is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Drink Water to Clean Out the Crud

Just making that one adjustment in diet, drinking at least 64 oz of good, filtered water per day, will begin the regeneration process and thus will work to help in overcoming fatigue and a run-down immune system. When your cells are provided the water they need to function properly, all your systems will begin to operate more efficiently- they will be able to throw off toxins, enzymes will begin to function as they are supposed to, and the processes of metabolism will be energized. This is the first step toward healthy cell regeneration, and with energized metabolism, you will be more apt to lose weight. (Check out Benefits of Drinking Water to Lose Weight.)

Some believe that if your body is not getting enough water, it will start storing all the water it can because it goes into survival mode. Then edema will be the result. As sufficient water is provided, the body quits retaining fluid, and natural thirst returns.

Water helps regulate your body temperature, it acts as a lubricant, it transports nutrients throughout your body, and of course it is the primary method your body uses to flush toxins from cells. Dehydration can even impair your thinking processes.  (See The Importance of Water and Your Health.)

Glass of water is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Dehydration: Watch Your Elderly Parents

Recently, my mother-in-law started going downhill; she was slowing down more and more, and was complaining of pain all over. This went on for several months and involved innumerable doctor visits, yet nothing seemed to work. Finally she was sent to the hospital for blood work when the doctor there asked if she had been eating and drinking. She told the doctor, yes, she had, but thankfully my husband was there to let them know she hadn't been drinking much anything for several days. That's when the doctor figured it out.

She was given intravenous fluids and sent home to drink, drink, drink. Slowly she came back out of it, but after doing a little online research, I discovered that a couple of her long-standing complaints could be traced back to dehydration. Here is a list of symptoms I found at WebMD.com:

Increased thirst
Dry mouth and swollen tongue
Weakness
Dizziness
Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
Confusion
Sluggishness fainting
Fainting
Inability to sweat
Decreased urine output
Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.

As the body fluid level decreases, organs receive less and less blood, making blood vessels constrict and the heart work faster. Toxins build up, muscles may cramp, and abdominal pain may occur. If left untreated, coma will result.

One of the notable symptoms I noticed was confusion. As our parents are aging, I learned that bladder infections can also cause confusion, and I'd think dehydration would make those much more likely.

Dehydration apparently escapes the notice of doctors, so it is wise to be aware of the symptoms. Particularly watch your elderly parents- once confusion kicks in, they are apt to get their medications messed up, get confused trying to prepare meals, get confused on the road if they still drive, innumerable scenarios.

Desert photo is free image from Wikimedia Commons.



Buy a Filter, or Be a Filter

Filtered water is important; if you don't buy a filter, you'll be a filter. All sorts of contaminants come in municipal and well water including chlorine in city water, and parasites, bacteria and farm chemical run-off in well water. Even fluoride isn't a good thing; check that one out online sometime. Fluoride in your toothpaste is one thing because you spit that back out, but in the water supply it is a whole different matter.

Countertop pitchers with charcoal filters are a good step in the right direction, and very inexpensive. Next step up is the kind that attaches to your faucet. More thorough under-the-sink varieties are available if you can afford them.

Your body can't cleanse itself as it should as long as it's not receiving sufficient good quality water to do so. Step one in the detox process should be to get a filter of one kind or another and start drinking at least 64 oz per day. This will get you going in the right direction on the way to regaining your health.

Brita Water Filter Pitcher is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Dr. Batman

Watercure.com is a site by the author of several books on the subject. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. has done an enormous amount of research into the action of water in the body. His conclusions show that chronic dehydration can be at the root of many ills including arthritis, high cholesterol, angina, heartburn, diabetes and even cancer. His books are well worth reading.


Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. Twenty years of research is presented here showing how water should be the basic, first-line treatment for most degenerative diseases.









How to Deal With Back Pain and Rheumatoid Joint Pain by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D.  How simply increasing water intake can greatly improve back and joint pain. Includes simple exercises that allow disks to rehydrate and move back into place.








Blog Posts

The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.

Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.

Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.

"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.

They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.

Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.

Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.

Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet- How the pH of the food you eat affects your health.

Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.

Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed.  It pays to be skeptical.

Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.

Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins

Memory Loss- Just Accept It?

When my mother's thinking processes began to deteriorate, my siblings and I all assumed it was just simply the aging process- she was entering her 80's, so we didn't think too much about it.

But when I went online to find natural alternatives to cholesterol-lowering medications, I ran across information that suggests that statin drugs (medications prescribed to lower cholesterol levels) can leave you with impaired mental function after years of use. And the more deeply I dig, the more evidence I am finding that these drugs can be devastating. Both dementia and Alzheimer's have been connected with statin use, something I find alarming.

I want to share what I have found, and hope to meet some of you so we can share information. I hope this post will provide information that will help prevent memory loss in you or your loved ones.

Brain diagram is free image from artvex.com.


Our Story

Mom lived in independent living for 7 years, but the last couple of those probably should have been in assisted living. She hid her symptoms very well so we really didn't realize how far she was slipping. Her memory was slowly deteriorating, leaving her confused and upset. She was still trying to take care of her own bank account and keep track of all her medications herself, and both were becoming a problem.

Two other issues had come up around the same time that I didn't connect at the time. She was growing more and more unsteady, falling more often, and she was exhibiting behavior changes. She had always been very, very frugal and careful with her money, but one day we found out she had become consumed with mail sweepstakes scams, something she would never have been involved with before. She was sending money out to these people every day, turning her bank account into a nightmare and prompting a phone call from the bank to me. I didn't think they might be connected until later.

As her memory symptoms became more and more evident, and not realizing how all these problems might stem from the same source, we didn't think too much about it, figuring it was all part of the aging package. It was when conversations became "circular", going round and round over the same things, that we became concerned.

That was also when her doctor realized there was a problem and placed her first phone call to me. She had just had one of those circular conversations with her and was rather alarmed. She was immediately placed on two medications for memory, two more drugs to add to the plethora of medications she was already taking. With her memory declining as it was, we opted to get one of those dispensing machines that has the voice reminder. That worked very well for several months and kept her in independent living a little longer.

But all this came to a screeching halt when she was found on the floor one morning, having spent the night there, putting an end to the independent living experience. She was in and out of the hospital and rehab for several months and finally admitted to the care center.

Pill box is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Cholesterol and Brain Function
. . . the link

Once Mom was settled in the care center and her doctor was changed to the one on staff there, she was taken off many of the medications she had been on for years. She had been taking pain meds for migraines with which she had suffered since college, as well as drugs for restless legs, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and who knows what else. Those are the ones I know about.

One day I was looking online for natural alternatives to control cholesterol, and found a site that explained how long-term use of statins can lead to dementia-like symptoms. That got me to thinking- I knew that cholesterol was a necessary ingredient for brain function, and immediately put two and two together. It's not rocket science- deprive the brain of cholesterol for years, and it is bound to deteriorate.

This appeared to be a very likely cause of Mom's mental deterioration, and I believe was verified by her continual improvement the longer she was off statins. Personally, I'm convinced of the connection, though doctors are not as apt to see it, blaming the aging process. One of the reasons I tend to blame statins is that her twin brother as well as all her friends, all the same age, were all in good mental shape while she just fell apart. It couldn't just be the aging process, to my way of thinking.

As I continue to look into this online I'm finding that there are vast numbers of people who have reported memory problems while taking these drugs indicating that this is no small problem. And now I find out that statins are a possible cause of her behavior changes as well as the likely cause of her muscle deterioration that left her in a wheelchair.

Cholesterol is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


The Myelin Sheath
Cholesterol, a Necessary Component

The myelin sheath (#5 in the diagram) is a white, waxy coating on nerves through which signals are transmitted from cell to cell, its major component being cholesterol. According to an article at Livestrong.com, The Importance of Cholesterol to the Myelin Sheath, in order to have "high quality myelin", the body must have sufficient cholesterol. It insulates the nerves from "leakage", permitting strong signals to be passed through. With damaged myelin due to a cholesterol deficiency, nerve signals become weak and/or disrupted, resulting in neurological problems.

I don't want to get into a lot of technical detail; the point is that cholesterol is absolutely essential to nerve function, brain function in particular. If you continually deprive your body of cholesterol through the use of medications, and/or the ever-popular low-fat diet, your myelin sheath will suffer, your nerve function will suffer and brain function will be impaired. To me, this just seems like simple, logical thinking, no PhD required.

Neuron diagram is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


FDA Reports

One of the articles I found recently on the subject, FDA Expands Advice on Statin Risks, says that FDA investigations have been going on for several years into the cognitive side effects of statins and they have expanded the list of side effects to include memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion. But one of the physicians interviewed for the article recommended continued use of the drugs anyway.

This confirms the fact that many physicians will downplay the side effects of statins simply because they think the risk of heart disease is greater than the risk of dementia. So I suppose these doctors would be apt to just simply throw more medication at the patient to stop memory loss. This would be the typical scenario found with so very many older patients that have rows of medication bottles to deal with every day- many of those meds there only to control the side effects of other meds. And indeed, this is precisely what Mom's doctor did the day she called me- she put her on two Alzheimer's medications to add to the mess of medications she was already dealing with.

By the way, this article has a list of the medications that are included in these studies, if you are interested.

Pill pile is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Not Just Memory Loss
Muscle Damage as Well

Mom started falling a lot for over a year before she left independent living. She was getting more and more unsteady and as stated earlier, it was a night spent on the floor after a fall that ultimately sent her to the care center. She rebounded amazingly well after every visit to the hospital in other ways, but eventually became wheelchair-bound- her legs just simply gave out, deteriorating to the point of being useless.

I recently found an article called Statins Cause Muscle Damage in which Dr. Joseph Mercola states that muscle pain and weakness is the most common side-effect of statin drugs but is downplayed by physicians as minor. Mercola contends that pain and weakness indicates that muscle damage is actually occurring, and that damage will not reverse itself after discontinuing the drug. Unlike memory function which seemed to improve somewhat (the "circular" conversations became less frequent), her muscle damage actually became worse, pulling her up into a fetal position, unable to straighten her legs out. Initially, muscle weakness is referred to as myopathy, any condition that results in muscle weakness. Online dictionaries call myopathy a disease, but with statin use, it is a direct result of the way statins work to destroy your cells.

After Mom's initial fall that put her in the hospital, her doctor had told us that her muscle enzyme levels were the highest she'd ever seen. In my research since, I have found out that the enzyme referred to is CK or creatine kinase, muscle enzymes that are released into the bloodstream when muscles have been damaged. Levels 5 times normal indicate the condition rhabdomyolysis where muscle tissue has broken down, a condition that can be fatal. That doctor concluded that it was the night spent on the floor that damaged those muscles. I contend that it was years of statins that did this, and those levels were probably off the charts before the fall. Indeed, it was no doubt the muscle damage that put her on the floor in the first place.
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Muscle damage occurs because statins deplete the body of CoQ10, a nutrient necessary for muscle support. Ironically, continued use of statins will eventually destroy the heart muscle, not just other muscles, while patients are being told that they need the drug for heart health. Muscle aches and weakness are the first symptoms that this is happening, and I remember Mom using the therapy services there while still in independent living to try to overcome what this medication had done to her. She took therapy specifically because she was having trouble getting up out of her chair.

The list of side effects is seemingly endless. After taking our mother off statins, she was free from migraines and RLS (restless leg syndrome) and I have since found quite a bit of evidence online that there is a definite connection. What makes me angry is that her doctor knew how Mom had suffered with migraines for years yet kept her on statins anyway, with migraines listed as a possible side effect. RLS is not listed, but there are innumerable stories from people who have experienced RLS while on statins and relief when they stopped taking the drug. (You can check out my post Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Causes, not the Symptoms for more information.)

Wheelchair is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Scientific American

An article was published October 19, 2010, entitled It's Not Dementia, It's Your Heart Medication: Cholesterol Drugs and Memory.  According to Melinda Moyer, statins are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in the world and claim to do much good in saving lives of heart disease patients. However, side effects that include memory loss and "fuzzy thinking" have been reported, with hundreds registering complaints with the FDA. (And actual statistics on how much these drugs help is murky at best.)

To Melinda the connection is clear, though many claim it affects only a certain percentage of the population, something I would dispute. She recounts the experiences of a NASA astronaut, Duane Graveline, who had incidents of amnesia after using statins. He took himself off the medication, but restarted a year later as requested by his physician. One more experience with amnesia and Graveline was off statins permanently. (His books are available below, as well as a link to his website.)

Don't Forget is free image from stockfreeimages.com.


Is It Worth the Risk?
Pills or Broccoli?

Graveline experienced amnesia for a period of hours; my mother's memory deteriorated over the course of years on statins. And there are reports of some people whose memories actually improve with statin use. Reactions obviously vary, but knowing how these drugs work and understanding the brain's requirement for cholesterol should make anyone wary of long-term statin use.

There is a certain contingent out there that actually promotes the use of statins to treat Alzheimer's and dementia on the assumption that cholesterol causes these diseases- think twice before you follow that route. There are links to articles below that contradict that theory. From what I understand, there are no studies at all that indicate that women should ever take the drug, and the only group that might experience a small benefit are men with pre-existing heart conditions. The benefit of these drugs are highly misrepresented. (The Truth about Statins by Barbara H. Roberts, M.D. New York: Gallery Books, 2012, p. 34)

I hope I have presented enough information to at least get people to thinking about the wisdom of taking these drugs for any length of time. And from what I'm seeing online and reading, it looks like the war on cholesterol is completely misguided- your body has to have cholesterol, and one of its main duties is to keep your brain running. For more information, check out my posts, Cholesterol: Mother of All Scams, and The Science of Weight Loss.

We all need to pay much closer attention to what we put in our mouths; lifestyle choices are destroying us with chronic disease. There are plenty of reasons to change how you eat and to exercise more but "lowering your numbers" isn't one of them for most of us. If your doctor is using the typical scare tactics to foist statins on you, get yourself educated. Statins are dangerous and will cause much more damage than good. If you are brainwashed into believing that you have to lower your cholesterol, then change your diet for that reason. It will still do you a world of good on many fronts.

It's too easy for doctors to prescribe pills and for patients to pop them. We want instant fixes, but statins just aren't a good idea to my way of thinking. The alternative isn't easy, but you have to decide- do you want to make yourself susceptible to dementia or Alzheimer's? You surely don't want to be tied to a wheelchair!
The broad spectrum of severe disabilities with increased prevalence in statin side effect reviews all point toward a general trend of increased frailty and mental decline with long-term statin therapy, things that are usually associated with old age. I would in fact best characterize statin therapy as a mechanism to allow you to grow old faster. (How Statins Really Work Explains Why They Don't Really Work)
Cornucopia is free clip art from clipartclipart.com.


$tatin Nation




This is a clip from a very well done documentary that covers the side effects of statins as well as the politics that are driving the industry. Find the dvd at Statin Nation or at amazon.co.uk.



Cracking the Cholesterol Myth

Cracking the Cholesterol Myth-   A new study finds the chemical war against cholesterol using statin drugs was justified through statistical deception and the cover up of over 300 adverse health effects documented in the biomedical literature.



Statin Drugs- Worth the Risk?


Dr. Johnny Bowden discusses the pros and cons of statins and how they are over-prescribed.


Sites with More Information

Spacedoc.com- Dr. Duane Graveline MD website with over 250 articles available.

Stopped Our Statins- Side effects, resources, general information, and now a forum. A wonderful site with loads of great information; check this one out first. They have also created a Yahoo group Stopped Our Statins, and a Facebook page.

The Connection Between Statins and Memory Loss-  A page at Be Brain Fit with lots of information.

The Case Against Statins- article by Armon Neel, author of the book Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?

The Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins May Cause Alzheimers-In this article, Stephanie Seneff makes a case connecting a low-fat diet and increased statin use with the rise in Alzheimer's disease.

Myth: Cholesterol Causes Alzheimer's Disease Part 1: Debunking the Myth- In this series, the author confronts the claim that Alzheimer's Disease is caused by cholesterol. He demonstrates why this is false and why the brain needs cholesterol to avoid this disease.

Medical News Today: Statins and Memory Loss in Women- "This drug makes women stupid," said Etingen, who claimed having seen these symptoms in about dozen female patients.

Natural News- article about statins causing muscle damage, sometimes without symptoms

The Great Cholesterol Scam- Blog by K.L. Carlson, MBA, author of Diary of a Legal Drug Dealer.

Statins Fry Your Brain and Scramble Your Memory Like an Egg- This is a review of the book Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol by Dr. Duane Graveline, M.D. You've got to read this one.

Dr. David Brownstein: How to Increase Your Risk of Dying? Take a Statin Drug- Another doctor with a blog site that is publicizing the dangers of statins; also has written a new book.


Report Your Side Effects

If you have experienced statin side effects you owe it to all of us to report what you have experienced. Doctors don't report statin side effects very often because they generally attribute them to other causes like aging, arthritis, fibromyalgia, whatever. It's a rare doctor that makes the connection. So it is up to the consumer to report experiences with these drugs.

MedWatch- The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Report side effects here, or here to the FDA.

RxISK- "RxISK is the first free, independent website where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs and easily report a drug side effect — identifying problems and possible solutions earlier than is currently happening." This site provides links to drug regulation organizations in several countries.

Statin Effects Study-  "The UCSD Statin Study group, headed by Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, has actively been researching statin medications and their risk-benefit balance, including possible side effects. We believe it is important to understand all of the benefits and adverse events of statins. Accordingly, our work is geared towards expanding knowledge of the impact of statins in order to better inform the public and the medical community."  There is a link to a paperless form to report your experiences with statins.



Books at Amazon

The number of books on the subject is growing all the time.

Duane Graveline

Lipitor: Thief of Memory. Dr. Graveline presents his case on the dangers of statins very effectively, and from personal experience with the poison.










Statin Drugs Side Effects












The Dark Side of Statins










Other Authors Make Their Case at Amazon

How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol and Kill You One Cell at a Time by James B. and Hannah Yoseph. This one explains all the deception involved for decades in getting this stuff approved in the first place, and then promoted as an absolute necessity for a huge percentage of the population. The Yosephs go into great detail on the nature of this stuff (a toxin), how it affects you at the cellular level, and all the gory details on the politics behind it all.




The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick







The Truth About Statins by Barbara H. Roberts









The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra










Ignore the Awkward: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive by Uffe Ravnskov.  This is another great book that explores all the deception involved in the promotion of statins.









Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? by Armon Neel. Full of valuable information about the over-prescribing of medications, especially to seniors who are particularly vulnerable to side effects. He devotes an entire chapter to the dangers of statins.







Blog Posts

The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.

Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.

Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.

"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.

They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.

Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.

Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet- How the pH of the food you eat affects your health.

Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.

Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed.  It pays to be skeptical.

Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.

Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.

Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Osteoporosis and Arthritis: They CAN Be Reversed

Reversing Osteoporosis and Arthritis Is Possible

Finding out the truth about health issues takes some digging. The medical industry is no longer in business to keep you healthy; they are in business to make money. Merchandising medications and procedures has become big business with specific healthy groups of people targeted for "preventive" measures and medications. So depending on what your doctor tells you isn't always the wisest course of action. Sorting out fact from fiction can be tricky, but there are plenty of authors and websites out there that will give you the truth, and I want to present a little of what I've found about two health issues in particular- arthritis and osteoporosis.

Both of these conditions have been thoroughly exploited by drug companies that promote their medications and procedures that often won't do much more than make them rich. Typical medical treatment involves medications that treat symptoms, then surgery of one sort or another. Drugs start off as natural substances that are then altered in a lab to make them patentable. And when a patent and FDA approval are obtained, the money starts rolling in. There is no money for drug companies in natural supplements so they aren't promoted by the medical industry and in fact are often undermined, in spite of the fact that drugs cause untold deaths every year while supplements do not.

Supplements can work on the actual cause of these conditions rather than just treat symptoms. They target the source of the trouble and give your body what it needs to regenerate, thus actually working to reverse these conditions. If you choose to try these approaches, you will get to the source of the trouble and give yourself an opportunity to take charge of your own health. Reversing arthritis and osteoporosis IS possible.

Skeleton is free image from clker.com.



Reverse Osteoporosis Naturally

The Hormone Issue

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue loses its integrity, becoming porous and more susceptible to fractures. The threat of developing osteoporosis is one of the primary selling points for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Osteoporosis has been promoted as a deficiency disease that afflicts women in mid- to late-life with an estrogen deficiency blamed as the culprit, according to the publicity fed to the public. We are told that osteo is just waiting out there to take us down in our declining years if we don't act now. Our salvation can be found in HRT products actively promoted by the medical industry designed to save your skeleton. This is another example of the medical industry looking for ways to sell their drugs to a healthy population in the name of prevention.

There are several problems with this whole campaign to drug the female population. First, osteoporosis doesn't afflict nearly as many people as they would have you believe. Statistics are presented in a way that makes it look like it's the inevitable fate for a huge percentage of the female population, and that just isn't true. Second, osteoporosis also affects men; it's not just a female disease.

Third, the estrogen theory is only partially correct. It is true that estrogen slows bone loss later in life, and as estrogen production falls, bones are more apt to deteriorate. But that's only a part of the full picture. Progesterone is the other hormone that is necessary for bone health. According to John R. Lee, MD, it is progesterone that actually stimulates the formation of new bone. Though women will continue to produce a certain amount of estrogen, progesterone production practically disappears. Dr. Lee has treated women with natural progesterone and has had significant success in reversing osteoporosis this way.

HRT promoted by the medical industry to prevent osteoporosis may actually have some positive effect in that area, at least for awhile. But it doesn't address the cause of the condition completely like progesterone does, and the side effects of this medication are severe. In my thinking, it is not worth the risk when natural remedies are available that work so much better. For more information on the whole HRT issue, see my blog post Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance..

It is wise to do your homework before diving off into progesterone use. It must be done correctly, and you have to pay attention to your body to know how to adjust your dosage. Start at Dr. Lee's website, then you can look for his books at your library or at Amazon. They are listed below.

Since writing this post, a study has been published at PubMed in 2010 demonstrating the effectiveness of using progesterone to prevent bone loss. It states:
 In vitro studies of human osteoblasts in culture, prospective studies in adolescent, premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women all indicate that progesterone—likely working through bone formation pathways—plays an active role in maintaining women's bone and in osteoporosis prevention.
Progesterone and Bone: Actions Promoting Bone Health in Women

Woman with osteoporosis is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


John R. Lee, MD Online

The Official Website of John R. Lee, MD- This link will take you to an index at Dr. Lee's site that lists all his articles on osteoporosis.


Dr. Lee at Amazon

Hormone Balance Made Simple- This is the easiest of his books to understand.  This is a bottom-line-type book with all the essential information you need to get your hormones into balance.










What Your Doctor MAY Not Tell You About Menopause- This is his basic reference on hormone balance that goes into detail about how hormones work.








What Your Doctor MAY Not Tell You About Breast Cancer- Another great book that is a real eye-opener.










Reversing Arthritis Naturally
The Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis

If you go to your doctor for treatment for osteoarthritis, you will more than likely be put on medications, NSAIDs specifically, to keep inflammation in check and to stop the pain. Standard medical treatment involves pain relief since the general consensus in the medical community is that osteoarthritis is incurable. Pain killers in the form of aspirin, acetominophen or NSAID's (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and cortisone shots all have their side effects, some quite serious. But the most serious problem with this kind of treatment is that it merely covers up the pain while joints continue to deteriorate. This is great for the medical industry, racking up case after case of joint replacements. Allowing joints to just fall apart like that is the next best thing to malpractice according to Dr. Theodosakis, saying that it violates the Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm".

He recommends three supplements, glucosamine being the primary one. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of this supplement, with participants experiencing relief within a couple weeks. In The Arthritis Cure, Dr. Theodosakis explains the role glucosamine plays in joints. Suffice it to say that the supplement provides the body what it needs to actually rebuild joint cartilage, assuming joints haven't deteriorated too far.

Glucosamine is often paired with chondroitin, another supplement that complements glucosamine in the rebuilding of cartilage. Each has its own action, and together they work to rejuvenate joints. Dr. Theodosakis calls chondroitin a "water magnet", attracting fluid that acts as a cushion and also brings nutrients into joints. The third supplement he recommends is called ASU, a natural vegetable extract from avocado and soybean oils, a substance that both stimulates cartilage regeneration and inhibits its breakdown. At his website (link below) he offers his own line of supplements after finding out that most on the market are substandard and a waste of money. (There are quite a few joint creams on the market with glucosamine in them; however, there is no evidence that glucosamine can be absorbed through the skin. It would be best to stick with supplements that are taken orally.)

The Arthritis Cure is a book that demonstrates the effectiveness of these supplements to bring relief to arthritis sufferers. He does an excellent job presenting the case for these supplements as opposed to standard medical treatment that involves prolonged use of pain killers. Supplements are only one step in his 9-step program. There are many factors involved, and his program offers a comprehensive lifestyle change that will bring relief to arthritis sufferers.

Exercise is vital for both bone and joint health and is a key feature of his program. Your body subscribes to the "use it or lose it" philosophy, so at least a certain amount of exercise will help strengthen bones and keep your joints working. This is pretty much common knowledge and even your doctor will encourage you to become more active if you aren't already. Theodosakis offers specific recommendations in the exercise arena that will help keep your joints healthy.

Diet is of course the other key ingredient in regaining control of your bones and joints, another aspect most doctors will subscribe to. It's simple logic that your body will fall apart on a diet of junk food. Just about any malfunction can at least be helped by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, it's just simple logic. Garbage in- garbage out. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that provide real help to your body in its attempt to repair itself.

One other diet recommendation is to make sure your water intake is sufficient. Few people drink enough water to start with, and joints will definitely suffer without sufficient lubrication. Synovial fluid is a thick fluid in your joints that reduces friction, acts as a shock absorber, and provides nutrients. If you don't drink enough water, joints will dry up.

Another easy supplement to start taking isn't really a supplement at all- it's gelatin. I first heard about this one on a tape by Dr. Joel Wallach who is also an author and lecturer on health through nutrition. On his tape "Dead Doctors Don't Lie", he recommends one packet of plain gelatin dissolved in orange juice every day. I have searched online to find out if this has been researched and couldn't find much, but there are people who swear by it. As far as I can tell, it is collagen that gelatin adds to the equation, a necessary ingredient for joint health. And I figure it surely can't hurt.

Bottom line- there are proven supplements that will reverse arthritis naturally, and there are proven supplements that will reverse osteoporosis naturally. You don't have to lose your bones and joints to the aging process if you will take supplements and take charge of your health.
In head-to-head comparisons, not only are glucosamine/chondroitin and ASU more effective than NSAIDs for long-term use, they're far safer. . . not a single death worldwide has been attributed to these supplements . . . over many years. By comparison, . . . these [NSAID] drugs lead to some 16,500 deaths and 103,000 hospitalizations every year. (Theodosakis, p. 121)
Skeleton hand is free clip art from clker.com.


Dr. Theodosakis Online

Here you will find Theodosakis' own line of supplements he chose to market after finding out that most supplements are sub-standard and a waste of money.

Dr. Theo's Official Website- His patients call him "Dr. Theo," and he uses that name as a way to easily identify his ground breaking treatment program that has helped change the lives of millions of arthritis sufferers worldwide.


The Arthritis Cure at Amazon


The Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis










Maximizing the Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis










The Gluten Connection

According to David Perlmutter, MD in his book Grain Brain, gluten can be a factor in arthritis in that it causes inflammation all over the body. Most people think gluten is a problem only those diagnosed with celiac disease, but a lower level of sensitivity to gluten is apparently much more common than has been previously recognized. Dr. Perlmutter has seen arthritis symptoms abate when gluten is removed from the diet. Research is showing more and more connections between gluten and various manifestations of inflammation including Alzheimer's and digestive disturbances as well as arthritis.

The problem isn't necessarily just with gluten, either. A diet high in carbs (flour products, sugar and starchy vegetables) creates a chain of events that results in inflammation, a cascade of reactions involving insulin and umpteen other substances that cause untold damage to the body. Grain Brain is a book well worth reading. If you are suffering from arthritis, the information Perlmutter presents could be a huge help.

Grain Brain at Amazon

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD











David Perlmutter Online

Dr. Perlmutter has a rather large online presence with his website Brainchanger as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts. He makes quite a bit of information available online.




Two More Things to Consider
First, the pH Factor

The pH of your diet will affect your bones because foods that leave acid residue after digestion have to be neutralized to be excreted, and that requires minerals, calcium being one of the primary ones. If your mineral reserves are low, your body will resort to pulling calcium from your bones to maintain the narrow pH range required to stay alive. This is how bone spurs are formed- they are the site where calcium is being leached into the bloodstream.

It is a diet high in protein that is acidic while fruits and vegetables are alkaline. We tend to load up on protein, with even "healthy" foods like protein bars, and protein shakes being quite popular. But according to Dr. Ted Morter, this excess of dietary protein can be blamed for such things as osteoporosis, duodenal ulcers, gallstones and acid indigestion.

I have constructed a post on this subject  Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet where you can find more information and links to my sources.

Acid warning sign is free clip art from clker.com.


Dr. Ted Morter at Amazon

Here are a couple of Dr. Morter's books. I had originally found Your Health, Your Choice at the public library, but soon decided to purchase my own copy. It has since been updated under the same title.

Your Health, Your Choice by Ted M. Morter, MD.


.








Dynamic Health: Using Your Own Beliefs, Thoughts and Memory to Create a Healthy Body









Ted Morter Online

Morter Health System is Ted Morter's website which includes a store with his own product line.



Second, the Calcium Issue

Between the milk checkoff program promotions ("Got Milk?") and the supplement companies, we have been thoroughly convinced over the years that calcium is absolutely essential to prevent bone loss. The key to staying healthy is always balance, and where the calcium issue is concerned, that means it must be balanced with Vitamin D and magnesium, and it requires a certain amount of dietary fat for absorption (another good reason to avoid a fat-free diet). There are several other trace minerals involved in the process, demonstrating how your body requires balance to function correctly. Just calcium alone won't do what you want it to do.

You can always get too much of a good thing- too much calcium will mean that magnesium will not be absorbed, leaving you magnesium deficient. And the excess calcium will be deposited in joints, and it may predispose you to kidney stones. There are those that don't agree with the rush to supplement with calcium for these reasons. And many believe you are more apt to be magnesium deficient rather than calcium deficient- a chocolate craving may indicate you need magnesium. Just do an internet search for magnesium and chocolate and you will find an abundance of sites with this information.

As for milk as a source of calcium, Dr. Morter explains how the protein content of milk is so high, the calcium content is used up in processing it. He even believes the protein content can be so high that milk could actually contribute to osteoporosis rather than prevent it. This is due to the high protein content of the cattle feed. Add to this the fact that the calcium in milk is in a form that is not readily absorbed because of the pasteurization process, and milk no longer looks like the salvation of your skeleton as it has been portrayed for so many years. From the pH point of view, the "Got Milk?" slogan could more accurately be "Got Osteo?"

Calcium is a key factor in muscle function, so one way to tell if you are calcium deficient is by muscle cramping and muscle twitches. In retrospect, I was rather surprised when I realized my old GP from years ago knew this- I had asked him what to do about muscle cramps, and he told me I needed calcium.

I am up in the air on this issue. I quit using milk years ago when I realized it was the source of all my sinus headaches, but have taken a combination calcium/magnesium supplement for years. (I figure I am out in the sun enough that I don't need extra Vitamin D.) One of the reasons I continue to take them is because of the pH issue- I assume that they will help in keeping my pH up where it needs to be, preventing calcium from leaching out of my bones. But I don't know that this actually works. And I take it to prevent muscle cramps. The jury is still out on whether or not to use calcium supplements; I tend to believe it's a good thing, but you need to look into it for yourself and make up your own mind. If you do, just make sure you have it balanced with magnesium, Vitamin D and some dietary fat.

Holstein cow is free photo from Wikimedia Commons.



Blog Posts

The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.

Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.

Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.

"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.

They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.

Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.

Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.

Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.

Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet- How the pH of the food you eat affects your health.

Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.

Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed.  It pays to be skeptical.

Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.

Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Causes, Not the Symptoms

Finding Out What Can Cause RLS 
and What Will Really Work

If you've ever had restless legs or RLS, you know the aggravation- the "creepy-crawlies" that lead to uncontrolled jerks. My experiences with this may be of some help to some people that deal with this; I hope what I have been through the past several years can give at least some relief to those who decide to try what helped me.

I'll give you my experiences with this, as well as some of the things I have found out recently concerning some triggers and some supplements that could help. This is NOT a list of goofy-sounding home remedies; what I recommend actually addresses at least some of the causes of this condition. I have seen restless legs referred to as a disease and even a brain disorder. I personally don't believe either, as you will see.

I have always been convinced that every condition has a cause and that it can be corrected, whether medical science knows the cause or not. Your body does things for reasons, and I just don't take the line "medical science doesn't know why" lying down!  There ARE reasons for RLS, and at least some of them aren't all that mysterious. And I welcome any input from any of you that may have found other things that have helped.

Note: When I first posted this, I was unaware that many experience pain with RLS, what I call Restless Legs Plus.  As far as I'm concerned, they need to call the version with pain something else. Logically, restless legs should just be restless legs. I have never had the pain, just a little tingling and itching along with the urge to move. If you are one that deals with pain along with the jerking, medication may be your only recourse. I can't imagine dealing with the kind of pain that many of you have. RLS apparently has many triggers. Some of the most common ones are listed here, things that you can at least try in order to manage your symptoms. If your RLS is mild to moderate and doesn't involve pain, you may actually be able to get free from most of it.

What follows is a brief rundown of my experiences.

Photo of legs is free image from Wikimedia Commons.



Trying to Find Help
MD or Chiropractor?

One morning I woke up with a catch in my neck like I had quite a few times before over the preceding few years. I figured it would work itself out, but this time it didn't; things just got worse over the next few days until I was hurting in most of my spine and could barely turn my head. I went to the chiropractor rather reluctantly, thinking that without x-rays to see what was going on, it could do more damage. The adjustment didn't make things any worse, but it didn't seem to help any either.

Next stop was the MD who did the predictable- prescribed muscle relaxants and pain killers, (strictly symptomatic relief) and told me to come back when the pills were gone if it was still a problem. Then he asked, "How good is your insurance?" I didn't much care for that question; ours wouldn't pay for an MRI. Things got no better, so I started asking around about which direction to go- the MD route or chiropractor, and I opted for the latter, figuring they would actually push things back where they belong.

I had x-rays done, and this is when I found out I had scoliosis, a rather belated diagnosis at 52. That along with years of back abuse added up to a really messed up back. I started in on chiropractic treatments regularly with the promise that they could at least help, and they did in more ways than one.

Doctor image is free clip art from clker.com.


I Could Have Danced All Night
and Often Did

When my back was at its worst during the first year of this, RLS was at its absolute worst as well. I was up pacing the floor every 2 hours walking off terrible jerking. Every now and then, even my arms and shoulders would jerk. Those nights were horrible and made me absolutely frantic, but as adjustments proceeded, things gradually got better.

Slowly, as the chiropractor got my back straightened out, RLS symptoms began to recede. The straighter my back got, the better RLS got. And a real bonus- I had dealt with irritable bowel for years and years, and those symptoms also all but disappeared. I know it sounds hoaky, and you could never have convinced me of a connection if I hadn't experienced it for myself.

After doing some online looking around, it appears that chiropractic treatment is a popular route to relief from RLS. It does seem like the logical route to take to work on the cause, and not just the symptoms. Speaking from experience, I can say that adjustments have without a doubt made a huge difference for me, and now I've found more evidence online that this is the best way to go.

Several years ago I decided to make a couple purchases. I found a Posture Pump on Ebay to help put a curve back in my neck, and also got a Teeter Hang Ups to help stretch out my lower back. The inversion table has been great to help keep pressure off those nerves that trigger restless legs. Lately, I have started using it every evening before bedtime, and it has made a huge difference for me. I am hard on my back, bending over a lot, so the inversion table has been a real lifesaver. For clarification, the Posture Pump does nothing for the lower back or RLS; it is strictly for neck problems. I bought it because I have had issues from the neck down for years.

Pointe shoes photo is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Exercises to Strengthen the Back

Another doctor in the chiropractor's office gave me exercises to strengthen the muscles around the spine so the adjustments would stay put, and they worked wonders. I have found that the more faithful I am to do the exercises, the less I deal with RLS.  Lower back issues are definitely one of the things that cause leg jerking in me, no question.

You can find some back exercises here at the Mayo Clinic website, or at WebMD. Or you can look at these three exercises that seem to help me quite a bit- the bird dog, the bridge and the clam.   The doctor gave me these three exercises specifically several years ago, and I have found all three at about.com.

A book I have run across is How to Deal With Back Pain and Rheumatoid Joint Pain by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj . The emphasis of this book is on the necessity of water for your body to function properly, but he also includes quite a few exercises for lower back that may help some of you. You can get used copies for very little at amazon.com.

Exercise icon is free image from clker.com.


Dietary Stimulants

In addition to having pressure on those leg nerves, it seems that there are dietary triggers that can make things even worse. Anything that stimulates the nervous system can trigger RLS, including caffeine, sugar and chocolate (which has caffeine AND sugar, a double-whammy). And don't forget that refined flour is converted to sugar almost immediately in your body, so bread, crackers, cereal and pasta made from refined flour may trigger symptoms as well.

Fruit must also be restricted because of the fructose content, though that varies. You can check online for the sugar content of various fruits and find out which ones have less fructose. (Tip- bananas are very high. Eliminate those, and you may even lose weight! Berries and melons are generally safer choices.) Fruit juice is marketed as healthy but it is loaded with fructose, making it a real health robber by loading your system with sugar and exacerbating weight gain.

If you decide to eliminate sugar and caffeine, it may take longer than a day or 2 to get it out of your system. I don't know about that aspect; just don't give up too soon, especially if you're a heavy caffeine and/or sugar consumer. I know how much people drink sodas and consume carbs, and the addiction aspect (to sugar and caffeine both) may be an issue here. As for chocolate, the caffeine content is relatively insignificant, but I know from experience how it affects me.

Some have reported that artificial sweeteners (aspartame and Equal specifically) affect the nervous system and thus aggravate RLS. Eliminating those from your diet is a good idea on any front, but a real plus for RLS sufferers. Aspartame is manufactured by Monsanto, a chemical company, if this is any indicator of its effects on health!

Update: I have noticed that the better I am at just avoiding sugar and refined flour altogether, the less RLS acts up at night. I am beginning to think that RLS sufferers would be well advised to work on eliminating sugar and refined flour altogether, particularly if the jerking is severe. This could be a hidden trigger since sugar is hidden in so many products. For a list of some of the foods you might not think about (like peanut butter) look at my blog post The Science of Weight Loss where a low-carb diet is recommended. The more I shoot for a low-carb diet, the better I do at night; I am liking that whole concept more and more.

Sugar image is free clip art from clker.com.



The Prescription Medication Connection
. . .a hidden trigger you might miss

This is a biggie: I have recently found out that RLS can be a side effect of several drugs, statins in particular. If you do a Google search for "statin restless leg syndrome" (without the quote marks), a world of information comes up that connects statin use with the condition. (Statins are cholesterol-lowering medications.) Does your doctor have you on cholesterol medication? Do your legs jerk at night? You just found out at least one reason why.

And you can most certainly rethink the need for these medications in spite of the scare tactics your doctor may use on you. For more information, see my post Cholesterol: Mother of All Scams, and Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins where you will find some of the most recent information about the side effects of these drugs as well as lots of links for more help. There are articles galore that will give you the truth about statin drugs and the whole cholesterol theory. Check out Stopped Our Statins for a starter (they also have a yahoo group and a facebook page), then check out spacedoc.com. These are the best starter sites to get yourself educated; the medical industry won't do it for you.

There are several other types of medications with RLS as a side effect. You can find a list at Medications That Cause Restless Legs, an article at ehow.com.  What alerted me to this aspect was when I realized that RLS no longer bothered my mother after we switched her doctor and she was taken off all her medications. (Migraine headaches were gone, too.)

And because of the stimulants in many daytime cold and allergy relief medications, don't overlook any of those. Take careful inventory of everything you consume and look for anything that acts as a stimulant.

Pill bottle photo is free image from Wikimedia Commons.


Mineral Supplements
pH and Alkalinity

Calcium does a whole lot more than just build your bones; it is used in both muscle and nerve actions as well. Make sure you have adequate calcium intake as well as adequate magnesium intake. A sufficient supply of both of these vital minerals are necessary for a whole host of functions.

Another benefit of these minerals is their alkalizing properties. I'm not sure about the connection between an acidic diet and RLS, but I did find one site where a woman claims her RLS along with a whole list of other ailments were all relieved when she changed to an alkaline diet:
I would like to answer the question, "Does it really work". YES!!! It works like a miracle! I suffered for years with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, dizziness, ulcers, restless leg syndrome, acid reflux, irregular heart beat and more health problems than I have room to list here! I got my body to a healthy PH and immediately my problems began to leave one by one. . . .  Sue at High Alkaline Diet: Does It Really Help? Or Is it a Myth? (emphasis mine)
Once you eliminate the possibility of drug side effects as a cause of your RLS, I would recommend that you make sure your mineral intake is adequate, and you might want to look into the benefits of the alkaline diet. An overload of protein in your diet will drain your system of vital alkalizing minerals, and that could cause muscle problems. You can find out more in my blog post Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet where you will find basic information along with other links.

I just recently found a site that links RLS with various vitamin and mineral deficiencies, magnesium in particular. In this article, she explains that the standard 2:1 calcium:magnesium ratio is wrong. You need to read this one- Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome. Too much calcium will eventually result in a magnesium deficiency, surprisingly enough. ( I know because I did it!) Minerals have to work in balance.

In that same vein, I ran across an article at Livestrong.com that says this about a magnesium deficiency:
One of the minerals important for regulating how muscles contract and relax is magnesium. Because this mineral is important for muscle function, one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is muscle cramps. The other signs and symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, nausea and vomiting, insomnia and restless leg syndrome (emphasis mine).
Magnesium could prove to be a very effective treatment for RLS in some people. It seems that so very often our physical issues stem from things we've essentially done to ourselves, and mineral deficiencies are so easy to fix. Personally, I experienced irregular heartbeat and got to wondering if I'd overdone the calcium which I'd been on for years. With that and restless legs, I got to thinking that perhaps a magnesium deficiency could be a real possibility here. Using topical magnesium seems to help; time will tell.

Other Supplements

Statins are prescribed as a matter of course for cholesterol any more, and there is overwhelming evidence that the drugs block the synthesis of  CoQ10, a necessary nutrient for muscle function as well as a powerful antioxidant. Without CoQ10 supplementation, statins can eventually destroy your muscles. One of the first side effects of the drugs  that many people experience is a growing inability to pull themselves up out of a chair, as well as muscle aches.  Many doctors are now recommending CoQ10 if they prescribe statins, which got me to wondering if the supplement might help with RLS, especially if the RLS sufferer is taking the drug. CoQ10 might be worth a try on the supplement front, though so far I can find nothing online linking the two- this is strictly speculation on my part.

One more supplement I have run across that has helped someone is L-arginine, a supplement that improves blood flow to your legs. I found this at a forum called Health Unlocked.  The person who posted this never did respond, so I don't know what dosage was used.

Calcium supplements is free photo from Wikimedia Commons.


Herbal Remedies

If you are game, you might try some herbs that apparently have helped some people. I personally have not tried any of these, and if you are under a doctor's care for RLS, you should consult with them before trying any of these. You can find recommendations in the site 9 Herbal Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome.


Iron and Dopamine

There is apparently a connection between iron uptake, dopamine and restless legs. This is an aspect I haven't explored myself, so I will include a link to one site that has quite a bit of information on this, a page at Progressive Health called Restless Leg Syndrome and Iron. Lots of people who have dealt with RLS for years are up on this one; I am not.

Here is one good link that I just found at an RLS forum: Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome, an article that discusses both iron and dopamine as they relate to RLS.


The Inflammation Connection

Here's an article from 2014 at Natural News-  You Won't Believe This Hidden Cause of Restless Leg Syndrome- that recounts the results of recent studies that indicate inflammation may be a major player as a cause for RLS. The author Brad Chase lists inflammatory foods to be avoided, and anti-inflammatory foods that may help. Which brings me to an important point- everything that goes in your mouth will create a reaction in your body one way or another. Our processed food, carb-heavy diet could reasonably be blamed for much of our chronic disease trouble, among other troubles. Your body doesn't do anything without a reason- it's reacting to something, and diet could very easily be a major contender for the root cause of RLS. According to this article, inflammation triggered by poor diet could be at the root of iron deficiencies and thus dopamine uptake problems.



Sum It Up
and Hang Up the Dancing Shoes

Quick checklist-

1. Eliminate the possibility of RLS as a medication side effect, statins in particular since they are so widely prescribed now. Also consider OTC medications like day-time cold and allergy relief products that have stimulants in them.

2. Start working on getting your sugar and caffeine consumption reduced. Less is more- the less you consume, the more rest you will get at night, and if RLS is severe, seriously consider eliminating them altogether. I highly recommend looking into a low-carb diet to eliminate sugar and restrict flour products and other starchy foods to a minimum.

3. Try mineral supplements. One indication of a calcium deficiency is muscle twitches and spasms, but a magnesium deficiency will do the same, and apparently a magnesium deficiency is much more common than a calcium deficiency. And there is the possibility that if you have taken calcium supplements for years, you could easily have a magnesium deficiency, just because the recommended ration of 2:1 is quite wrong. Get a type that is readily absorbed like calcium or magnesium citrate. Magnesium is available as a topical spray; this will avoid the diarrhea complications with the oral kind and I have seen on various forums that magnesium has been a huge help for many.

4. Then, if you can afford it or if your insurance will go for it, get thee to the chiropractor, especially if you are hard on your lower back. If you are, then you may want to move this step to the number 2 position on the list. It may take more than a couple visits to get results; your chiropractor can probably give you an idea, especially if you have x-rays done. If you find that adjustments help, you may want to invest in your own inversion table like I did. Using the inversion table every evening has been the most effective treatment I have found for myself. Occasional use didn't do much; I have found that consistent use in the evening works the best for me.

If you either can't or choose not to try a chiropractor, follow the links above to find lower back exercises. They do help, and that's quite free. The chiropractor told me that some people are helped with adjustments, but others aren't. I wonder if those people don't know that sugar, refined flour and caffeine can trigger jerking, or perhaps are on medications that cause RLS. More than likely there are multiple triggers working.

If you are overweight you could easily have at least a couple triggers going here, the first being refined flour and sugar, and possibly caffeine if you drink carbonated drinks and/or sports drinks. The foods that put on weight are the ones that can trigger RLS.  Don't forget fruit juices- they are absolutely loaded with fructose, and there is hidden sugar in most processed foods. Then there is the lower back aspect- extra weight will strain your back (think pregnancy!) and that can put extra pressure on those nerves that trigger RLS.

Treating RLS with medication only treats the symptoms while these other recommendations will get to some of the causes. If you are dealing with a lot of meds and depend on them for relief, perhaps some of these recommendations will allow you to cut back and manage symptoms a little better. I hope this will help you to approach the condition with a certain amount of logic allowing some of you to actually find some real relief and finally get a good night's sleep. Doctors may not know what causes RLS, but there are things you can do yourself to manage known triggers. And it's hard telling how much better some of you may feel if you do a serious diet change that eliminates processed foods and majors in real, whole food. Don't forget- everything you put in your mouth will trigger a reaction in your body for good or for bad. You have a lot more control over your health than you might realize.

Sleeping cat is free photo from Wikimedia Commons.


How to Treat RLS with Chiropractic Care


An interview with Dr. Eugene Goldberg on why chiropractic works for RLS.


Nutrients and Chiropractic Help

The first link is a great article that suggests a magnesium deficiency among others as possible causes, a must-read. An internet search for chiropractic and restless leg syndrome turns up quite a few sites that both recommend and explain the process.

Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome- Great article on possible nutrient deficiencies that may trigger restless legs, magnesium in particular.

ChiroCenter- Jack C. Adrian DC website that does a good job of explaining why chiropractic can help RLS.

The Chiropractic Journal- Restless legs syndrome: A chiropractic deficiency?

Chiropractic Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome- Chiropractor Treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome by Russ Buchanan, eHow Contributor


Recommended Reading

How to Deal with Back Pain and Rheumatoid Joint Pain  by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj    The author goes into quite a bit of detail about how the spine is built and functions. Recommended exercises are built around the need to get the spine back into its proper position.









Blog Posts

Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.

Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.

Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet- How the pH of the food you eat affects your health.

The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.

Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.

"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.

Six Ways to Take Charge of Your Health- Six different things I found as I started my research into health through nutrition.

Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.

They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.

The Dumb American Diet Is Killing Us- The way most Americans eat has resulted in a population of obese, chronically sick people.

Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.

Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed.  It pays to be skeptical.

Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.

Arthritis and Osteoporosis: They CAN Be Reversed- Two conditions that can be reversed naturally as proven by doctors who have treated their patients with natural supplements.

Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.

Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.