Foods That Can Cause Restless Leg Syndrome

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Women, especially pregnant women, are more likely to develop symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.
Women, especially pregnant women, are more likely to develop symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mo Riza)

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 12 million Americans suffer from restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome can develop at any age, but tends to surface in those who are middle-aged or older.

Background

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder that causes severe discomfort and pain in the legs accompanied with the urge to constantly move the legs during rest to provide relief. The sensation almost always occurs while trying to rest or sleep.

Types

Foods that contain caffeine are the biggest culprit for causing restless leg syndrome. Dr. Ronald F. Pfeiffer suggests dramatically reducing all sources of caffeine in your diet, especially before bed. Avoid foods such as chocolate along with tea, coffee and carbonated beverages.

Expert Insight

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, research has shown that alcohol and tobacco may also trigger restless leg syndrome. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco may help prevent triggering the condition but has not been found to completely eliminate RLS.

Considerations

According to the Mayo Clinic, nutrient deficiencies in iron, magnesium, folic acid and Vitamin B may lead to restless leg symptoms. Consider eating food rich in specified nutrients or taking a daily vitamin supplement to protect you against nutrient deficiencies.

Warning

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if restless leg symptoms are causing severe sleep disturbance. Seek medical help if you are experiencing sudden jerking, numb or tingling sensations accompanied by crawling sensations in your legs.

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