Monday, August 14, 2006
RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME theories
I found the following information on the internet
which supports some of my personal theories on
RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME http://www.amaluxherbal.com/restless_legs_syndrome.htm
Restless leg syndrome is also known as ekbon syndrome, leg jitters, fidgety legs, restless legs, anxietas tibialis, hereditary acromelagia and by several other names to be sure. Restless legs induced Sleep Disorders/insomnia is a very common complaint among people of all ages. There is also a relationship between restless leg syndrome and anxiety.
There are additional patterns that accompany some afflicted with restless leg syndrome.
Among them are general pallor, feeling cold or heat sensations, general indigestion, bloating, Stress, Stupor, etc. all of which contribute to sleep disorders and insomnia in general.
Interestingly many people have observed that certain foods will aggravate or bring on this very irritable restless leg syndrome problem in them. For some the scenario is as follows: a sizable amount of take out pizza is eaten (which at age over 40 can be almost any amount), this being followed by a lay down on the couch to watch television and the sensations that follows are hard to describe. The feet start to become uncomfortably "itchy-come-irritated" to the point that they cannot just be left resting in place - but must be moved.
It would be misleading to label this an "allergy."Of course pizza itself is not the culprit per se, because homemade pizza made from good ingredients will likely have no such effect - at least not on most people. Clearly if the problem were strictly pizza, places like Italy would have been driven insane by this problem a long time ago.
It is the ingredients however that are suspect and should be examined. The "high gluten wheat" that is often used along with the artificial quick leavening agents used in commercial pizza making are suspect.
(It should also be mentioned that for some people other chemicals and food additives may provoke Restless Leg Syndrome. (One person who visited our site from the UK said that monosodium glutamate provoked it in her.) These type of artificial substances are a little hard to cope with because foods naturally are easier for the body to deal with whereas chemicals are not easily digested by the body. That is why they remain traceable after the fact. Once ingested their effects take their course and until eliminated herbs or anything else may not counteract their effects. Perhaps override their effects but not stop them until they are eliminated from the body. Sometimes they cannot be counteracted.)
For many simply ingesting too much refined wheat has produced restless leg syndrome symptoms. The reason is that in some people the gluten does not break down completely after digestion into something the body can use. It is not the organism that is at fault but the substance that is indigestible (the substance that may trigger restless leg syndrome may vary from person to person). Even though the particle size is minute it still remains only partially digested - something that is out of place in the blood stream in this form. (When something is cleanly and fully digested it first becomes blood and then flesh and is therefore untraceable. This is called assimilation - a concept not accepted by modern science as being plausible. In place of it the concept of absorption is used. These are similar but very different concepts.)
The problem is therefore in the blood and what is coursing in it, or, more to the point, what shouldn't be coursing in it.
Among the young the energy inherent in youth will force wastes out of the body more readily through the normal channels of elimination by the digestive organs. If wastes happen to be in the legs, for instance, it is common that a rash or a boil will be the result in that part of the body because of the "centrifugal" effect of the bodies energies. Among the elderly however, most of whom lack the "heat power" of their youth at the proper intensity, the wastes simply sit (stagnate) and irritate on the inside. This is restless leg syndrome. (Restless leg syndrome can affect younger people as well.)
It is a fact that most of our blood is stored in our legs and the muscle contractions inherent in the simple act of walking help to circulate it. (this is also why a simple stretching of the legs with its contracting of the leg muscles moves the blood and temporarily relieves restless legs) Furthermore, if the organs that filter the blood are not doing their job due to obstruction or lack of adequate function what should have been removed out of the blood remains as undigested particulate in suspension within the bloodstream. It is the nature of these undigested substances to break down through fermentation, which in non-politically correct terms is basically a process of decomposition or rotting.
(It is one of the tasks of the kidneys to eliminate wastes from the blood. The kidneys especially affect the area below the waste. Many people who have kidney problems or kidney failure are also known to suffer more frequently from restless leg syndrome. Even so, restless leg syndrome is not an actual kidney problem per se.)
The fermenting of not completely digested matter in the blood vessels of the legs is by its very nature irritating. If in addition to this there is no physical activity as these subsequent wastes accumulate, the blood flow becomes even more sluggish, very much like a polluted river laden with all manner of toxin and particulate irritating to her surroundings.
Analogy A) Imagine our blood stream being like a river within our body. In this case a river laden with waste is a good analogy to explain restless leg syndrome by. A waste laden river necessarily slows and deposits its particulate burden along banks and sandbars. These murky and fetid deposits have a fowl stench that necessarily affects other life along it's banks and in the river itself. Eventually life becomes impossible along this waterway.
As in a river it can also happen within the bloodstream that the irritating substance can deposit itself out of solution onto the tissue of the vessels itself causing an irritation. It is well documented that fat can deposit within the vessels of the upper body, then logically gravity can surely carry heavier wastes into and onto the vessels of the lower body (legs).
This particulate is one major component of restless leg syndrome but, there is at least one other.
There is an energy associated with life - science can observe it and measure the work it does but there is no mechanical way to quantify it. The ancients simply called it "life force." Life force is more abundant in youth and diminishes in the presence of ailments and with age.
This very fine concept is hard to explain but, Herbalists throughout the millennia have consciously worked with it to attain health.
Although it is everywhere in the body and it concentrates more abundantly in certain organs it is the blood that carries it. Although there are different types of "life force," the "life force" or "vital energy" that pertains to the problem of restless leg syndrome is taken from the air we breathe and the food we eat converted through proper digestion and distributed to all parts of the body though the blood. In the Orient it is called "chi." This very fine life energy for various reasons stops "flowing freely" due to its insufficiency producing a stagnation. With it the movement of the blood in general along with the substances being carried in the blood also become inhibited. This is not a total stoppage of course, but a stagnation.
This "life force" is to our blood what octane is to the fuel we put into our cars. The more octane the more power. Or, it can be compared to wattage in relation to voltage in electricity. The more life force the more capacity/energy to move that which is stagnant.
Analogy B) Another very good analogy to illustrate the above fuel example in relation to restless leg syndrome is the using cheap fuel in a high performance automobile engine. In very short order there would be significant carbon deposits that would noticeably impair the engine performance or even corrode the metal itself. Why? Because there is too much impurity in the fuel and it will not completely or cleanly combust – leaving residue. Higher octane - less residue. More "life force" - less waste in the body. (Believe it or not our bodies can also produce carbon and other post- digestion residues. It does not take the form we would expect being largely invisible as carbon (or other) because it combines with other fluids and tissues in our bodies and because bodily pollution is becoming more the norm it is being considered normal.)
These, of course, are metaphors but, they might create a clearer picture of restless leg syndrome better in principle form than most other explanations illustrating why restless leg syndrome comes into being. Out of this stagnation and the various substances accumulating and fermenting releasing their heat and rarified toxins arise these local leg irritation which can range from mild itching to pain which is now commonly being called restless leg syndrome.
These explanations illustrate a few simple principles that depict what occurs in our digestive and circulatory systems that closely relate to the problem of restless leg syndrome. When the blood carries residues within it that should have been removed, Nature in an attempt to restore order and equilibrium will work without prejudice trying to remove them to the point of causing discomfort.
This is how a knowledgeable herbalist would explain restless leg syndrome.
Some explanations of restless leg syndrome offer very complex neurological explanations that avoid the issue itself. If you stub your big toe it will not be the cause of a head ache. Yet, this is the logic that is trying to be applied in some explanations of restless leg syndrome. But, according to the logic of Paracelsus, expect that if your legs are bothering you that the problem is likely to be found in the vicinity of your legs not in your head!
Although Restless leg syndrome is more prevalent today than ever before it is not a totally new phenomenon. The effects and causes have existed for centuries and the ailment it was associated with was named Podagra (bitter waters) by Paracelsus - himself a Herbalist - who's work is still being mimicked but never duplicated, in the 1500's.
According to the theories of Paracelsus Restless leg syndrome rls can be compared to gout or arthritis (podagra) only less intense, occurring within the vessels instead of in joints or skin. Also, the irritating substance is not so concentrated as to provoke an actual inflammation in one local area but because of its dilution within the liquids of the vessels is being more diffused over a larger area more likely producing an irritation rather than actual pain. This is similar to how a sliver of wood will irritate the flesh or how an irritating substance on our skin may cause irritation, only with restless leg syndrome the substance is much finer and on the inside of the vessel walls. If there are too many irritating substances being carried in the blood it would stand to reason that they can also alter its chemistry. The blood can become too acidic (uric acid, lactic acid, etc.) (Some may define this corrosivity more accurately as being alkaline).
Today restless leg syndrome is far more prevalent than ever largely because of our modern circumstances. A sensitive person will notice that our present day food may be "prettier" to look at but all too often it lacks fragrance, taste, and nutritional value. Many popular foods are in fact synthetic or contain synthetic substances or have been stored or preserved for too long to contain any "energy." These synthetics are not foods and therefore remain as irritating residues in our systems after digestion because they are indigestible.
One can argue that these are not completely scientific explanations, yet restless leg syndrome is not a disease as such, it's a syndrome. There is no scientifically based diagnosable physical problem therefore there is no scientific explanation or solution for restless leg syndrome, although science is looking in the direction of brain and nerve functions as probable causes.
Some associate restless leg syndrome with iron deficiency. Although iron does help carry oxygen which is essential for the flow and conversion of energy in the body, not everyone with iron deficiency alone has restless leg syndrome. The concept that the energy that flows in the blood stream must first be produced and accumulated by the body is ignored. Although this energy is related with iron its effects are finer and entirely separate from it. Healthy iron content (which is not supplied through normal iron supplements) also contributes to normal kidney function which can affect the lower body (below the hips).
In addition stress is commonly associated with and aggravates restless leg syndrome. This is a closely related symptom. Emotional stresses consume our energy (life force). This leaves less to be circulated in our blood stream. With age there is even less life force available, this deficit in life force leaves the blood less vital. This cannot be measured by chemical means like say, anemia or the like. http://www.amaluxherbal.com/restless_legs_syndrome.htm
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