Wexford People

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What to do about restless legs?

Do you have restless legs and ever wondered why you get them? I call it leg thrashing because when I get it all I can do is thrash my legs all over the place in an attempt to relax them. I drive my husband mad twisting and twitching beside him. People describe it differently. Some say that it feels like there are ants crawling under their skin. It can be tingly or itchy too, and there is almost always an urge to keep moving the legs, you just can't help it.

A deficiency of magnesium is the most common cause of restless legs. Certainly in my own case magnesium does the trick. When it happens I take a magnesium supplement, one bottle can be enough to sort me out, that is until the next time it happens; this keeps both me and my husband happy!

Sometimes magnesium on its own won't work. This could be because the balance between magnesium and potassium is off. One lady told me that she takes a potassium supplement with the magnesium and that this works for her. Or you could eat a banana for extra potassium - this works for some people.

You could be deficient in iron and may benefit from an iron tonic for a while. Or you could increase your intake of red meat, spirulina, and green leafy vegetables. Other vitamin deficiencies could include vitamin D and B6.

Tiredness is a big trigger. But what can happen is that we ignore the fact that we're tired and should really go to bed. Instead we stay up trashing our legs all over the place. So if you don't go to bed try to have your legs raised up a little straight out in front of you. This might help.

Some people benefit from alternating hot and cold water on the legs. I am too lazy for that!

Restless legs can affect your mood, especially if you're not sleeping on account of them keeping you awake.

Medication could be a cause of your symptoms. Take a look at your information leaflet from inside the packet and check if this is the case. If you have tried everything over the counter and home remedies talk to your doctor to ensure that there isn't an underlying condition causing the problem.

Wexford People