A trial and error approach to relaxing restless legs

Q: I have dealt with Restless Leg Syndrome for many years, and find it virtually impossible to get any useful information about cause or relief. It is very uncomfortable, and a daily challenge. If you have any information about it, of any kind, I will be very grateful to receive it. Could there be any possible relation to a lifetime of frequent urinary tract infections? I know things are sometimes related, and these are both very persistent. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Dr. Fred:

This is a great question without a really simple answer, unfortunately. First of all, I don’t think your repeat UTIs and restless legs are related. I would, however, ask if you are currently taking (or have taken in the past) any medications that may have triggered this condition. (Depression medications like Prozac are a common cause of RLS.)

I would also look into the possibility of one or several vitamin deficiencies associated with restless legs. The most common being vitamin B6, B12, and magnesium. If you’re lacking in any of these nutrients, a simple daily supplement could be the solution you’re looking for.

There are also several homeopathic preparations on the market that have helped my patients, particularly the one made by Hyland’s called Restful Legs. I have found that alpha-lipoic acid in divided doses of 900 mg per day can be really effective too.

As for your recurrent UTI’s, drinking enough water is obviously crucial. I would also recommend following an alkaline diet like the one I described back in the July 2013 issue.

Basic supplements to support urinary tract health can be a big help, as well. Cranberry extract (400 mg, twice per day) and an antibacterial herb called uva ursi (500 mg, twice per day) are your best bets.