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Restless Legs and IBS – Your Problem May be caused by your Gut. Dr Richard Hagmeyer

Restless Legs and IBS- Your Problem May be caused by your Gut.

“Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. While the name may sound funny, it is a very real disorder. In order for you to be officially diagnosed with RLS, you must meet the criteria described in the four bullets below:

  • You have a strong urge to move your legs which you may not be able to resist. The need to move is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. Some words used to describe these sensations include: creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging, or gnawing.
  • Your RLS symptoms start or become worse when you are resting. The longer you are resting, the greater the chance the symptoms will occur and the more severe they are likely to be.
  • Your RLS symptoms get better when you move your legs. The relief can be complete or only partial but generally starts very soon after starting an activity. Relief persists as long as the motor activity continues.
  • Your RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are lying down. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day.

RLS can also cause difficulty in falling or staying asleep which can be one of the chief complaints of the syndrome. A substantial number of people who have RLS also have periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS). These are jerks that occur every 20 to 30 seconds on and off throughout the night. This can cause partial awakenings that disrupt sleep. Sleep deprivation can seriously impact your work, relationships, and health.”

Small Intestinal Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in the gut has been shown to be a factor for people who suffer fromRestless Legs Syndrome

Symptoms of RLS

legs of woman laying in bedDo you suffer from constant stabbing sensations in your legs at night?

Do you feel that overwhelming urge to keep moving your legs at night?

Does it disrupt your quality of sleep or that of your spouse?

Millions of Americans long for a good night’s sleep just like you. RLS can also make you avoid doing things you once enjoyed, like taking long car or plane trips, or going to the movies. Sound familiar?

Restless leg Syndrome is thought to be an autoimmune disease affecting the nerves in the legs. The condition is commonly associated with patients who also suffer with depression.

A recent study published in the journal Sleep Medicine investigated whether or not patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bacterial overgrowth developed RLS.

Previous studies have shown that bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine causes inflammatory cells to increase production of IL-6. This cytokine, in turn, is known to boost levels of hepcidin, a protein that decreases iron absorption and transport. We also know that certain food sensitivities such as gluten will cause anemia. This is why we recommend anyone who suffers from RLS to get tested for a Thyroid disorder, gluten sensitivity as well as serum iron and ferritin levels.

RLS can also be caused by mineral deficiencies (e.g., copper or magnesium). Such deficiencies result either from nutrient-poor diets, leaky gut or from food intolerance’s (besides celiac disease). Food intolerance in general have a way of inhibiting mineral uptake in the gut.

Because iron deficiency or Anemia has been linked with Irritable Bowel syndrome and Gluten intolerance, this process could account for the link between IBS and restless legs

If you suffer with IBS Learn more here

After 6 months of a gluten-free diet, RLS symptoms improved in 50% of 28 patients.

“The incidence of RLS among 85 patients with celiac disease was 35%, with a prevalence of 25% compared with 10% of spouses (P < 0.02). In 79% of patients with RLS and celiac disease, neuromuscular symptoms began during or after onset of gastrointestinal symptoms. Iron deficiency was present in 40% of celiac patients with active RLS compared with 6% of patients without RLS (P < 0.001). After 6 months of a gluten-free diet, RLS symptoms improved in 50% of 28 patients.”
Leonard B. Weinstock1, Arthur S. Walters, Gerard E. Mullin and Stephen P. Duntley. “Celiac Disease Is Associated with Restless Legs Syndrome.” Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Springer Netherlands, ISSN:0163-2116 (Print) 1573-2568 (Online) DOI 10.1007/s10620-009-0943-9 (September 15, 2009).


IBS and SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) are common in RLS. Three hypotheses developed are

1. RLS patients are selectively immunocompromised or genetically predisposed and thus more subject to SIBO.

2. SIBO leads to autoimmune changes, and subsequent auto-antibodies attack brain and/or peripheral nerves and

3. SIBO inflammation leads to increased hepcidin and CNS iron deficiency which, in turn, leads to RLS.

4. You will need to be properly tested. Testing at the very minimum should include; Proper Thyroid testing, Iron and Ferritin Levels,  Gluten sensitivity and comprehensive Stool test.

5. Our office has developed a comprehensive program for individuals who suffer with RLS and gastric problems. Through advanced testing, nutritional support and dietary changes we are able to help many people who are looking to address their health problems in a natural way.

Source: Sleep Med. 2011 Jun;12(6):610-3.

Our Personal Recovery Program Is A Great place To Start

RLS guide Dr HagmeyerThe Personal Program for RLS and IBS Sufferers is a Natural Treatment for IBS, RLS and other Chronic Health problems. Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Advanced food sensitivity Testing, Hormone and endocrine support formula, as well as dietary and lifestyle guidance.

  • If you’re ready to get started and schedule an appointment take a moment and fill out our contact us form and in the comment box let us know what time of the day works best to contact you. One of our New Patient Coordinators will contact you with the next available new patient opening within 24-48 hours.

We’re here to listen and help you through this frustrating and confusing time.

Other Articles you May find interesting if you suffer from Fatigue, RLS or Insomnia

  1. Treating Chronic Pain and Autoimmune Conditions by Avoiding Wheat Gluten. Dr. Richard Hagmeyer Neuro-Metabolic Solutions Naperville IL
  2. Adrenal Stress Syndrome: A Major Cause of Insomnia and How Dr. Hagmeyer Tests for It.
  3. Adrenal Fatigue Or Iron Deficiency| Dr Hagmeyer Explains Why Its Important You Know
  4. 5 Lies About Neuropathy You Have Been Told To Believe
  5. Natural Treatment for Leaky Gut and IBS|Dr Richard Hagmeyer|Neuro-Metabolic Solutions
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