Restless Leg Syndrome
Article by Angela Haldane
Q. My 12 year old boy suffers from restless legs, making it difficult for him to get to sleep. It is also difficult for him to concentrate in class owing to this. We have tried magnesium for a while which helps a bit. He loves sugar and we find it difficult to avoid.
A. This is a period of huge growth. I would recommend that you stay on magnesium supplements, but in addition to this I would add calcium.
Research studies state that Tryptophan 2000mg per day can greatly improve restless leg syndrome, and in some cases in the study it totally cured it. This can be taken as 5HTP which favours the tryptophan production.
Other studies have revealed that iron deficiency anemia can produce restless leg syndrome and iron supplementation has proven beneficial.
Melatonin can also help with restless leg syndrome. However with these two, I would be reluctant to use these with a 12 year old until the former treatments have been tried. Ensure that iron is part of the daily diet with red meat and veges (the darker the vege the better).
B complex can be useful if he is ‘nervy’. The folate (vitamin B9) and B3 are noted to be useful for restless leg syndrome.
Focus on regular protein foods to reduce sugar cravings – this makes the satiety centre in the brain switch off. Eggs for breakfast, meat in sandwiches, hummus and corn chips, trail mix, smoothies and a good square dinner of protein and veges – cook extra for leftovers the next day.
The magnesium often reduces sugar cravings also.