Foods that Make Restless Legs Syndrome Worse

Restless legs, otherwise known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition many people deal with often. It causes an awkward sensation in the legs that causes sufferers to want to move their legs. Moving the legs can relieve the sensation in the legs.

While no one know what causes restless legs syndrome, there are some lifestyle changes that have helped people. Diet seems to relieve symptoms for many people.

Spinach, cereal and beans can help decrease the intensity of the sensations. It may be the iron, folate, and magnesium in these foods that help.

It takes time for the body to respond to increased levels of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. This is why some people change their diet, and then don’t experience a different with their restless legs syndrome. Usually, people will start to see a difference in their restless legs syndrome after a month or two. While this may seem like a long time, it can be worth it if the change in diet helps.

For some people, adding iron, magnesium and folate to their diet doesn’t help. It’s not because they didn’t need more of those vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It’s because they are eating foods and drinking beverages that counteracts the benefits of them. The following are what you should avoid to help your restless legs syndrome.


Caffeine can wake you up when you’re feeling tired, but it also excited your brain. Many researchers believe that sufferers have abnormal excitement in the brain. Caffeine worsens that, which is what causes the sensations in the legs.

It can be difficult to avoid caffeine completely. Some beverages and foods contain caffeine in very small quantities. Sodas, chocolate, coffee, and caffeinated teas are the most obvious, so avoid those as much as possible.

You can always check the nutritional information on foods and drinks to see if caffeine is in it. You will see “caffeine” in the list of ingredients.


Alcoholic beverages can worsen restless legs symptoms. While alcoholic beverages can reduce stress for many people, the relaxing effects can be sabotaged by the alcohol. It’s best to avoid beer, cocktails and wine as much as possible and use other methods of stress reduction for relaxation.


If you’re a smoker, this may not make you happy. Those cigarettes, cigars or pipes you’re smoking can be making your restless legs worse. Since it is an addiction, it’s much more likely you’ll be successful if you reduce the amount you smoke each day rather than going cold turkey. Reach out to smoking cessation programs to learn more about quitting smoking. The good news is that not only will you be helping your restless legs condition, but you’ll be improve your health overall.

What Else to Include

Besides eating healthier and avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, it’s important to exercise and engage in stress reduction techniques. Light exercises are better than strenuous ones. Strenuous exercises can worsen restless legs making it even harder to get a good night’s sleep, despite feeling extremely tired. Stress reduction techniques may include meditation and praying. Stress can excite the mind like caffeine does, so reducing it can calm the mind to the point to where restless legs symptoms decrease.

Restless legs can be incredibly frustrating. You’re tired, but you can’t get to sleep because all your legs want to do is move. When you move them, the sensations may cease, but start up again when you lie down again. While medication may seem the best way to tackle the problem, there may be less invasive ways to treat it through diet and lifestyle changes.

It’s important to speak to your doctor about your restless legs syndrome. The symptoms are similar to other health conditions, so it’s best to rule those out first. If the doctor diagnoses you with restless legs syndrome, you can then move forward with some home remedies to see if they work. If not, you can start with more invasive treatment options such as over-the-counter and then prescription medication.

Hang in there with your condition. Just continue to try out some different treatments to find out what works best. Before you know it, you’ll be resting easy at night with mild or no discomfort from your restless legs syndrome.



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