What is restless leg syndrome (RLS) and what causes it?
Whilst the subject of restless legs has been studied extensively, the causes of restless legs still remain a mystery to modern science. The symptoms of restless legs begin in a way that is almost contrary to all other types of pain in the limbs. Most types of leg pain ease when you rest the legs whereas with restless legs the pain gets more intense when you relax. Usually people do not wish to move when in pain whereas with restless legs, you feel noticeably better when you move around.
What are the symptoms of restless legs?
The symptoms of restless legs are variable include:
Uncontrollable desire to move legs particularly at night-time.
Twitching of the legs and leg muscles.
Pain in legs which feels like ‘creepy crawly sensation’.
Itching, pulling pain.
Symptoms get worse the more you keep your legs still.
Inability to sleep at night which subsequently results in fatigue and a lack of concentration during the day.
Chilblains, more common in women than men, are a relatively common concern almost exclusively confined to colder climates and countries. They are a painful reaction to cold weather that commonly occur in the toes though they can also affect the rest of the foot, fingers, the nose and ears.
What are chilblains?
Chilblains, also known as perniosis, are unusual reactions of the small blood vessels, called capillaries, within one’s skin. Chilblains look like small red bumps on the toes and fingers and are often very itchy and painful. The cold weather causes the capillaries to constrict and when the area warms up again, the capillaries are not able to open up quickly resulting in the stagnation of blood and all the waste products within it. It is these waste products that accumulate in skin and set off an inflammatory reaction that can be painful. Read More…
Most of us do not worry about our holiday health until we come down with something and then rush to the local pharmacy trying to explain the symptoms. Some forward planning can make this unnecessary since most common problems are easily preventable or treatable. I have put together some of the most common summer concerns that our customers contact me about, giving brief explanations and possible ways to prevent or treat them.
How to fend off traveller’s tummy
When people travel abroad, especially to developing countries, their risk of becoming ill increases. Your holiday can be ruined by unsafe or contaminated food. Many places outside of Europe do not have the investment and regulation for water supply, refuse disposal and sewerage that we take for granted in the UK. Food poisoning on holiday is often cause by contaminated or tainted water, poor hygiene by food handlers, contamination of food by insects such as flies and wasps and numerous other possible causal factors.
The normal treatment for food poisoning is prescribed antibiotics and whilst they perform their role of destroying the harmful bacteria, they are not without side effects and can disrupt the balance of the good bacteria in our gut. This does not mean that you should not take antibiotics when you have food poisoning, but you may be able to prevent this concern or certainly replace the good bacteria lost through antibiotic usage by using a good probiotic. Read More…
Haemorrhoids are badly swollen, inflamed veins located both around the anus and along the very lowest part of the colon in the rectum. The swollen veins that are external are commonly referred to as piles or external haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoids are unique to humans, no other animal has this problem. It is estimated that nearly 75% of all adults in the Western world will suffer from haemorrhoids at some point and that is why the causal factors are thought to be predominantly dietary and ageing.
The symptoms of external haemorrhoids, those that protrude outside the body, are typically itching, pain and bleeding. When faecal matter passes through the anal region, some of these inflamed veins cannot resist the pressure and hence rupture releasing their contents which causes pain in the region, itching and blood spots. External haemorrhoids can cause discomfort and disruption in your daily activity.
Internal haemorrhoids on the other hand are usually painless. Whilst you may see some blood spots or staining, the discomfort is significantly less, however one should go and visit your GP at the first sign of blood to rule out any possible links to other diseases. Read More…
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder which causes an awkward sensation in the legs along with an uncontrollable desire to move the limbs for relief. This uncomfortable sensation usually occurs in the legs and feet, but can also be present on the arms and elsewhere on the body. Most sufferers of Restless Legs Syndrome describe the sensation as a ‘creepy crawly sensation’, a tingling type, or as if pins and needles are being pricked into the affected part of the body. There may also be numbness which gives the sufferer a strong urge to move the limb or the affected part of the body.
The exact cause of Restless Legs Syndrome is still not fully understood however genetics play a link, magnesium and iron deficiencies have been implicated, certain drugs may be responsible for RLS, and some concerns such as diabetes increase the incidences of Restless Legs Syndrome.
I normally tend to recommend a good circulatory supplement such as Diosmin Plus. This supplement contains powerful circulatory herbs and extracts such as Gotu Kola, Ginger and Horse Chestnut to enhance the flow of blood in the entire body including the lower limbs. This helps to oxygenate all the tissues providing them with vital nutrients such as magnesium to ensure healthy muscle and nerve function. Do not take Diosmin Plus with blood thinning medications such as warfarin and heparin. Read More…
Q: I floss daily but have noticed an area where my gums bleed regularly. I have one crown and the bleeding is between that and the tooth next to it. Can you advise?
A: According to London-based orthodontist Dr Neil Counihan (metamorphosisorthodontics.com), ‘The basic problem is that food gets trapped under the crown. If it is not removed, the particles break down and form bacterial plaque within days,’ he says. Without attention, this can harden and form tartar, which can only be removed by professional cleaning.
The process causes unhealthy inflammation in the gum tissue, called gingivitis, where the gums become red, swollen and may bleed easily. The telltale sign is spitting out blood with saliva when you brush/floss. The principal problem with crowns is that their shape is not the same as the original tooth. Older crowns tend not to sit as well long term as more modern versions. It could also be due to a poorly fitted crown, a frequent problem in Dr Counihan’s experience. Read More…