Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition associated with altered dopamine functioning within the central nervous system rather than a problem with the legs themselves:
“The problem lies with the brain messages being sent to the legs and not with the legs themselves. The brain produces dopamine, which acts as a messenger for cell receptors… “ says Katie Sidle, Consultant Neurologist, London in an article in The Sunday Mail, January 2010.
Restless legs can occur in younger people and during pregnancy, but occurs more from mid-life as the level of dopamine in the central nervous system starts to decline.
Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter molecule in the central nervous system vital for the control and coordination of movement. Dopamine also keeps us alert, active and motivated, is necessary for “executive” functions (constructive thinking, concentration and memory formation) and is required to generate pleasurable feelings and sexual desire. From mid-life dopamine levels decline by approximately 13% per decade, accounting for many of the general symptoms of ageing; fatigue, low mood, depression, poor sleep quality, loss of muscle tone and cognitive function.
Support Dopamine Function with QuietLEGS
A synergistic formula of pure plant extracts, QuietLEGS is rich in phenylethylamine (PEA), the amino acid produced in the brain when we feel happy, joyous and calm. PEA is a neuromodulator and neuroregenerative molecule and is proven to improve mood, concentration and mental acuity and to raise the level of freely circulating dopamine in the brain.
PEA normally has a short half-life in the body when taken orally, but protected by specific anti-oxidant molecules present in QuietLEGS it is able to enter the blood stream, cross the blood brain barrier and help maintain dopamine levels.
QuietLEGS capsules are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Dosage: 1 or 2 capsules with your evening meal or half an hour bedtime.
“They really do work! When I stop taking QuietLEGS for a few days, my legs kick off again. I take a capsule and after half an hour they stop. It’s quite amazing!” Mr Lewis, Northants
“My husband is doing really well on these. He was diagnosed by the hospital and has tried all the drugs and everything else that’s out there. This is the only product that works for him and he’s got so much energy! We are very pleased with QuietLEGS.” Mrs Gregory, Lancs
“These capsules are absolutely amazing, I would recommend them to anyone! I have suffered with restlest legs since I was 16, I’ve tried everthing, my doctor couldn’t help, but these QuietLEGS capsules are brilliant. I am actually sleeping now!” Mrs Hill, Surrey (new customer July 2011)
“I have had restless feet since I was seven years old and QuietLEGS has enabled me to sleep well without the horrible feelings I used to suffer with. I could not do without them now! I take 2 capsules with a glass of water half an hour before bed. They work wonders!” W Lees, Hampshire
If you would like to speak to our pharmacist for more information please call between 10-4pm Monday to Friday on 07748312313.
Read more about dopamine in the article: What is Dopamine?
More information on Restless Legs Syndrome
The term ‘Restless Legs Syndrome’ was first introduced in 1945 by Karl-Axel Ekbom, and it is known as Ekbom’s syndrome. Defined as a creepy, crawling sensation in the legs with an irresistible urge to get up and move around, Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is thought to affect some 5-10% of Western populations and can cause chronic sleep deprivation. In 1994 it was described as the ‘the most common disorder you’ve never heard of’, a rather apt phrase as many doctors are still unaware of it. Yet research is proving RLS is a neurological condition involving faulty dopamine functioning within the central nervous system (1,2).
In the absence of any demonstrable neurology, clinicians often dismiss the seriousness of restless legs, but the effect of sleep disturbance on quality of life should not be underestimated. Often regarded as a psychosomatic disorder, patients are told ‘to put up with it’ and it is not unusual for diagnosis to be delayed by years, with patients becoming severely sleep deprived and depressed.
RLS is either primary or secondary
Primary RLS is considered idiopathic (no known cause) and usually begins slowly, before 40–45 years of age and may disappear for months or even years. It is often progressive and gets worse with age. RLS in children is often misdiagnosed as “growing pains” and the tiredness it creates may result in misdiagnoses of attention deficit disorders.
Secondary RLS often has a sudden onset after age 40, and may be daily from the beginning. It is most associated with specific medical conditions i.e. hypothyroidism, anaemia, renal failure, polyneuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and amyloidosis.
The use or withdrawal of certain drugs may also precipitate RLS (3,4) and pregnancy and hypoglycemia both worsen symptoms (5,6). Both primary and secondary RLS can be worsened by surgery of any kind and back surgery or injury can be associated with actually causing RLS (7). More than 60% of cases of RLS are familial (8).
Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment
Generally, RLS is poorly managed and often inappropriate drugs are prescribed such as benzodiazepines, codeine and quinine, to name a few.
First line treatment is considered to be dopamine agonists (drugs that stimulate dopamine receptors) originally developed for Parkinson’s disease* such as pramipexole, ropinirole and rotigotine. However, these drugs can cause augmentation: the drug itself causes symptoms to increase in severity and/or occur earlier in the day. Dopamine agonists may also cause rebound, when symptoms increase as the drug wears off. In many cases, the longer dopamine agonists are used the higher the risk of augmentation and rebound as well as the severity of the symptoms. These problems stem from the over-stimulation of dopamine receptors resulting in desensitization. Side effects include; nausea, light headedness, tiredness, insomnia and increased risk of heart disease.
Recently gabapentin (an epilepsy drug) has received approval for RLS but common side effects in adult patients include dizziness, drowsiness, and swelling of extremities at higher doses in the elderly. Children 3–12 years of age were susceptible to mild-to-moderate mood swings, hostility, concentration problems, and hyperactivity.
Pharmacological treatment clearly leaves much to be desired and people are, quite rightly, wary of taking these potent drugs, none of which were developed specifically for RLS nor do they do anything to correct the underlying problem.
*Parkinson’s disease itself does not seem to increase the risk for RLS nor does RLS early in life predispose a person to Parkinson’s later on.
- Allen, R (2004). “Dopamine and iron in the pathophysiology of restless legs syndrome (RLS)”. Sleep Medicine 5 (4): 385–91.
- Clemens, S.; Rye, D; Hochman, S (2006). “Restless legs syndrome: Revisiting the dopamine hypothesis from the spinal cord perspective”. Neurology 67 (1): 125–130.
- Rottach, K; Schaner, B; Kirch, M; Zivotofsky, A; Teufel, L; Gallwitz, T; Messer, T (2008). “Restless legs syndrome as side effect of second generation antidepressants”. Journal of Psychiatric Research 43 (1): 70–5.
- Ashton, H (1991). “Protracted withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines”. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 8 (1–2): 19–28.
- Pantaleo, Nicholas P.; Hening, Wayne A.; Allen, Richard P.; Earley, Christopher J. (2010). “Pregnancy accounts for most of the gender difference in prevalence of familial RLS”. Sleep Medicine 11 (3): 310–313.
- Kurlan, Roger (2004). “Postprandial (Reactive) hypoglycemia and restless leg syndrome: Related neurologic disorders?”. Movement Disorders 13 (3): 619–20.
- Crotti, Francesco Maria; Carai, A.; Carai, M.; Sgaramella, E.; Sias, W. (2005). Entrapment of crural branches of the common peroneal nerve. 97. pp. 69–70.
- Lavigne, GJ; Montplaisir, JY (1994). “Restless legs syndrome and sleep bruxism: prevalence and association among Canadians”. Sleep 17 (8): 739–43