Iron Deficiency and Restless Legs

iron rich foods for Restless Legs (RLS)

by Bradley Gillespie, PharmD
Health Expert, Restless Leg Sufferer

Iron Supplementation in Restless Legs (RLS)

The use of iron to treat Restless Legs (RLS) has been considered and researched for some time. Although iron is the substance of interest, it has been established that the best way to assess it is to monitor ferritin levels in the blood. Why? Because the majority of iron, in the body, can be found within ferritin, which acts as a storage site for iron. A relationship has been established between ferritin levels and the incidence of Restless Legs (RLS): patients who suffer Restless Legs (RLS) usually have lower levels of ferritin (and subsequently iron) than do healthy control subjects.

Investigators have concluded that many patients with the most severe cases of Restless Legs (RLS) have the lowest blood levels of ferritin, and showed the most periodic leg movements. Nonetheless, blood levels of ferritin and iron may not tell the entire story: it has been shown that even in patients with normal iron levels, supplementation can still be helpful in controlling the symptoms of Restless Legs (RLS).

It is thought that this may be because Restless Legs (RLS) patients have difficulty in transporting iron from the blood to the brain. As such, in these patients, even higher levels of ferrous sulfate in the blood may be required to get sufficient amounts of the element to the brain.

Restless Leg Studies and Iron Supplementation

A systematic search of the scientific literature discovered, in excess of, 25 well designed, placebo controlled trials published since 2000. In most of these studies, iron supplementation was shown to lead to a statistically significant reduction in patient symptoms of Restless Legs (RLS).

From these studies, it can be concluded that iron has the potential to be an effective component, useful in the treatment of Restless Legs (RLS). Lastly, many of these reports suggested that proper dosing is required to allow for the absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract. Further to that, blood levels of ferritin should be monitored to ensure safety.

As a result of these findings, ferrous sulfate is included as a key ingredient in the composition of CalmLegs™.

photo 7“I have diabetes, am anemic and am on dialysis treatments. Sitting for hours is unbearable. I can now sit through my treatments without worry that the pain and discomfort I used to experience will come back.”

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