Calorie Restriction (CR) Diet

CR and Restless Leg Syndrome: CR put my RLS symptoms into total remission

June 20, 2006

For as long as I can remember I have had a mild version of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Two months into the CR diet my wife and I realized that for the first time in my life I no longer had RLS symptoms.

It was a completely unexpected result.

When I went off the diet, the RLS returned. When I went back on the diet, the RLS symptoms went away.

The Symptoms

Many people have RLS and many of them have far worse symptoms than I have. In fact, I went most of my life not realizing I had a "syndrome". The symptoms were just a normal part of life. My symptoms consist of:

  • An occasional irritating need to move my leg, primarily a sensation in my calves, which I can ignore, but eventually forces me to move it. Moving the leg does not solve the problem;

  • Just before, or actually just as, I am falling off to sleep, my body goes through a tremendous jerk or spasm. This is not a problem for me, since I associate it with drifting off to sleep. It is not that great for someone else in the bed.

  • Although I do not notice it, my wife tells me I kick and move my legs a lot during the night.

All of these symptoms simply disappear when I am strictly following a CR diet.

Possible Reasons for Cessation of Symptoms

When I started tracking nutrients as part of the CR diet, I immediately found I was very low in calcium intake. I have read of people who solved their RLS symptoms by taking calcium supplements. For others, that did not work. I have also read that lack of iron in the diet can be a cause of RLS symptoms. However, my normal intake of iron seems to be fine even when not following CR.

What seems most reasonable to me is that I am simply getting all the nutrients I need from a wide variety of healthy foods, and that RLS is most likely caused by some lack of nutrients or combination of nutrients. That would explain why some peopel respond to one additional supplement, while others respond to a different one. So it is not the CR per se, but just switching to a nutritious diet that counts.

Of course, given the physiological changes caused by CR, it is possible a side effect of one of those changes is the reason my RLS symptoms have gone away.

I would be very curious to find out if anyone else on CR has found relief from RLS symptoms.

More Info on RLS

Good websites to find out more about RLS are:

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