38 In all/ Health & Wellness

Captured! ~ ‘In The Grip Of RLS Once Again’ ~ Ideas To Help Lessen RLS In Fibromyalgia

I have read many descriptions of what Restless Leg Syndrome feels like.  I have yet to come across one that accurately describes the sensation.  It could be that it’s indescribable, but let me try.  Imagine it’s around 10pm and you’re watching ‘Game Of Thrones’ or ‘House Of Cards’ or (fill in blank with favorite show).  You feel a pulling twinge in your foot.  You suddenly become ‘aware’ of your leg and think, “Oh, no. No! If I ignore it, it will go away.  I just won’t think about it!”  But your ‘in’ and now begins the 20-30 minute session of having to move that leg (bounce it on the ball of your foot/extend the leg repeatedly in and out/make circles round and round with your feet), anything to stop the maddening compulsion of having to move your leg.  If you’ve never experienced this, it’s hard to understand the impossibility of just not moving your leg.  Believe us, we’ve tried that, like every single time it’s happened.  No go.  We HAVE to move that leg.  Finally it goes away.  Relief!  Until around 2am.  It’s happening again, only this time it wakes you up and you repeat the cycle.  Then again at 4am, and at 6am.  Do you see now why it’s considered a ‘sleep disorder’?

Tips to treat restless leg syndrome in fibromyalgia

A 2008 study concluded that 64% of people with fibromyalgia also experience RLS.  Why?…Who knows?  Both Fibromyalgia and RLS are neurological disorders and may have common links in the central nervous system.  Unfortunately one condition exacerbates the other due to the sleep disruption it causes.


A peek into what goes on inside my legs every night!


Because bananas are high in potassium, they are a common remedy for leg cramps.  I have read a few articles with people claiming bananas helped their RLS.  Hmmm….well, ….can’t hurt!

banana bread 2

~Honey Sweetened Banana Bread~ adapted from Cookie & Kate

~1/3 cup coconut oil

~1/2 cup raw, organic honey

~2 eggs

~approx. 4-5 med very ripe bananas, mashed

~1 tsp vanilla

~1/2 tsp salt

~1 3/4 cup flour, or GF flour

~1 tsp baking soda

~1/4 cup hot water

~any chopped nuts of choice

Combine oil, honey, eggs, bananas, vanilla until well mixed.  Add flour, salt, and nuts; fold in until just incorporated (NEVER over mix once flour is in, bread will be tough).  In separate bowl combine soda and water and add to mixture. Gently stir in.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

banana bread 1

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  • Reply
    May 26 at 9:34 pm

    I loved the leg dance just sorry it’s so annoying to you.

    • Reply
      May 26 at 10:44 pm

      If I could move like that, I probably would have no problems! 🙂

  • Reply
    Gentle Joy
    May 27 at 4:59 am

    The banana bread looks good…. the restless leg issue is no fun… thank you for the post.

    • Reply
      May 27 at 9:18 am

      Too true Joy 😉 Thank You!

  • Reply
    June 1 at 8:13 am

    I’ve suffered from leg cramps in the past. They are noooo fun – disturbed sleep and really hurt. I’ve been so desperate that I’ve even drunk pickle juice (a remedy from a coach that they use on the field – usually works but then you have pickle breath) to relieve the cramps. This is a much better solution. Now I can say I’m eating Banana Bread for my health LOL !!!!! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from A Pinch of Joy.

    • Reply
      June 1 at 9:34 am

      Hahahaha! Wow, I’ve never heard of the ‘pickle juice’ remedy! Wonder what it is in the juice that helps?
      Thanks for stopping by Rebecca! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tina Muir
    June 1 at 10:11 am

    This sounds lovely, I love the idea of it being sweetened with honey, I would have never thought to do that, but I bet it makes it just so comforting. I need that right now. Thanks so much for linking up with us for meatless monday! Keep coming back, we love your recipes 🙂

    • Reply
      June 1 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you Tina! I love to bake with honey, just a few minor adjustments and you get the health benefits of honey and none of the harmful effects of sugar.

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Jackson
    June 2 at 5:49 am

    sounds annoying and painful! I have never experienced it but our 15 year old Lab has a similar sleep disorder which is causing me to have a sleep disorder! He runs in his sleep like he is in the Kentucky derby which causes him to scoot across the floor until he hits the wall! UGG!

    • Reply
      June 2 at 8:49 am

      Maybe it’s CLS (Canine Leg Syndrome)…just kidding. Good luck with the pup! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Joy at The Fit Switch
    June 2 at 3:41 pm

    RLS is crazay business. I had it when I was younger, and it drove me crazy. But, at the time I didn’t even know what it was. Now, if I feel it coming on, I will stretch for awhile, drink a lot of water, and that will help. Good luck with the bananas. Hope that helps! Take care. : )

    • Reply
      June 2 at 4:46 pm

      Definitely stretching Jessica, your right! When I could walk more, it really helped. Weird stuff!

  • Reply
    All that's Jas
    June 2 at 3:52 pm

    My husband has a mild case of RLS and it drives us both crazy. Hope bananas help. Thank you so much for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

    • Reply
      June 2 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks Jas, it is maddening sometimes! Jessica above is right though, exercise helps. Have great day! 🙂

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    June 3 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Red,
    My father suffers from neurological illness and involuntary leg spasms which have been called RLS by some doctors but not others. We’re not really sure but we know that the movement drives him crazy. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I am also delighted that you shared your healthy and delicious Banana Bread recipe with us on the Plant-Based Potluck Party Link Up. I appreciate it. I’m pinning and sharing.

  • Reply
    June 4 at 12:02 am

    So sorry to hear about your father. I wouldn’t really call RLS ‘involuntary’ movement, it’s more like we move our legs to help relieve that weird ‘nagging’ feeling in them. Hope he finds some help and relief if possible.

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    June 4 at 4:09 pm

    I’m all too familiar with that feeling. The aggravating sensation of having to kick your leg or your skin is going to crawl off. It’s annoying. Last summer I began taking 400 mg of magnesium each morning. Since then the episodes of RLS have significantly declined.

    Your banana bread looks yummy! I appreciate how you give a recipe along with a solution. Thanks for sharing it!

    I found your post at Fibro Friday.

  • Reply
    June 4 at 4:43 pm

    Oooo! Thanks Brandi! I will have to try that! 🙂

    • Reply
      Lynette McCall
      April 9 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Brandi, I started with the magnesium too, it’s worked pretty well for me I’m pleased to say 😁 worth a try nothing to lose guys good luck all. 😊 Xxxx

  • Reply
    Fibro Friday - 31
    June 5 at 5:01 am

    […] Kristine from A Life Well Red explains the annoyance presence of Restless Leg Syndrome as well as a recipe to help with it’s symptoms in her post In the Grip of RLS Once Again. […]

  • Reply
    June 6 at 6:14 am

    I’m sorry you’re experiencing RLS. It sounds very uncomfortable and annoying. It sounds like you are staying positive- when life gives you RLS make banana bread. Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday link up.

    • Reply
      June 6 at 9:35 am

      Ha! Ha! Thanks Rachel and your welcome 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8 at 9:27 am

    Have you ever had your Vit B12 and Iron Storage levels tested? RLS can be a side effect of very low Serum Iron, Total Iron Binding Capacity, and Ferratin levels. Sometimes, basic Iron level labs are normal, it helps to have a good thorough evaluation of Iron Storage. That might be the culprit.

    I too have RLS, and signs and symptoms are worse when my iron levels are low, symptoms improved dramatically once I had an Iron Infusion.

    • Reply
      June 8 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Lara! I’ll be sure to get those checked the next time I see the Doc ! 😉

    • Reply
      September 17 at 7:34 pm

      Sleep doc at the VA told me not to take potassium supplements as that could mess up the electrolyte balance. Instead he said even though my iron levels were “normal” I didn’t have enough for my body. He prescribed 325 mg Ferrous sulfate 2x day. I can tell when I’ve skipped it. Made a dramatic difference in just two weeks. A year later I hardly even have spasms, only when I’ve had caffeine late in the day or I’ve had a nap during the day. Diazepam also helps, but there were nights before the iron that even the diazepam wouldn’t touch it.

      • Reply
        September 17 at 9:17 pm

        Thank you for this Dawn. You make the point I try to get across often: ALWAYS see your Physician and get a professional opinion before making any health care decisions! Only a doctor can guide you in what will be best for your treatment. Thank you again Dawn!

  • Reply
    July 8 at 1:25 pm

    I too get leg cramps, I was up 3 times the night before last trying to walk it off and drinking pickle juice. I wondered why pickle juice works too, and it does, the site I found says that it triggers something in the back of the throat that stops the cramp. It works about 95% of the time. I will take pickle breath over leg cramps any day. I also take 400mg of magnesium daily, I had forgotten to take it two days in a row hence leg cramps 3 times the other night, and it seems to be helping but the jury is still out. I also try to eat a banana for the potassium everyday and I have heard calcium is part of the equation too. I don’t believe I am deficient in calcium so I do not take anything for it, I try to get it in my food. Have you considered the GAPS diet for your other illnesses…I am on it for eczema and getting good results. I know this is not the same but GAPS is for a lot of ailments. I am inspired by your story and hope everyday is a happy ending.

    • Reply
      July 8 at 3:00 pm

      Good advice Terri! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    March 20 at 6:40 am

    It is the salt in the pickle juice. My father use to get horrible leg cramps and he would hobble to the kitchen and take a large pinch of salt and they would go right away. I also suffer from Fibro, have had it since a child about 50 yrs now. Back then it was called growing pains, no such thing. My mom use to rub my legs at night to help the cramps and RLS. When I get RLS or horrid leg cramps I hobble or crawl to the bath room and rub magnesium oil all over my legs, they usually go away almost instantly. I have spent 50 yrs hiding my pain from everyone, learned to put it in a box in the back of my head. Lonely way to live not being able to talk with anyone, did not want to hear it was in my head. My mom also had it looking back now. We called her a hypocondriac, I feel bad now. FIBRO sucks and gets harder as you get older with other age related pains. I take 1000mg of magnesium nightly when I don’t for a couple days, I get problems with the legs. Sleepy time tea helps for the sleep problems.

    • Reply
      March 20 at 9:40 am

      Thank you so much for the advice Judy! I have heard about magnesium supplements helping with RLS. I will have to give it a try.
      I can’t believe you have suffered with fibro for 50 years 🙁 I am so sorry to hear that, I can’t imagine. Now you have a growing community of people to share your experience with that was not available in the past. One of the many positive outcomes of the Internet is being able to connect through other people’s stories, and knowing through shared experience that you are not alone.
      Thank you again for sharing your story here, as well as the great advice! 🙂

  • Reply
    Vanessa Simmons
    March 22 at 11:11 am

    I have just found out what it is I have its called restless leg syndrome. Rls oh thanks thought I was goin crazy man its so underrated I had to hold on to my bed a week ago it started at 1am stopped at 3am it was both my legs left side the worst can you imagine the pain ater this episode I remember praying to god and I fell asleep huging a cushion into my tummy sleep sleep sleep fibromyalgia is a bitch x

    • Reply
      March 22 at 12:02 pm

      So sorry to hear it Vanessa! Yes, FMS is full of unexpected surprises. Hope you feel better soon 🙂

  • Reply
    maureen benak
    April 7 at 5:54 pm

    I use ice to stop the pain of rls. I keep a plastic container of ice in my freezer at all times. apply ice directly on skin from soles of feet to waist, up & down the leg several times.

    • Reply
      April 7 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks for the tip Maureen! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4 at 9:34 pm

    I have tried everything pickle juice, tonic water, vitamin b6, iron, and everything else nothing works and after a while my body gets immune to my meds so I completely understand what your going through !!!!!

    • Reply
      August 5 at 9:50 am

      Thank you Bridget, it is annoying isn’t it? 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy Carleo
    November 12 at 4:44 pm

    My RLS has persisted since childhood. I am now 66. I was diagnosed with fibro 17 years ago. When the rheumatologist diagnosed me he said, “I’ve been asked to diagnose over 1000 cases of fibromyalgia. I have diagnosed five and you are the poster child.” Lucky me. The only thing about fibro I can control is my RLS. There is a medication called Requip (generic is Ropinerole). It is the only medication that absolutely, positively does exactly what it’s intended to do and nothing else. It is the single reliable thing in my life. I put this out there not knowing whether using medicine, pharmaceuticals, are acceptable. I offer this up simply because it works for me and there is absolutely nothing in this life that compares to the exasperation, frustration, anxiety, and extreme discomfort of RLS.

    • Reply
      November 13 at 2:23 pm

      WOW! Thank you so much for this Nancy! I’m reading this with my RLS in full bloom right now! LOL! I will DEFINITELY be lookin into the medication you use. Appreciate it! 😉

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