Saturday, March 23, 2013

Restless legs, deficiency, and oats?

Last night when I retired I had restless legs again.  The thought occurred to me to Google "restless legs deficiency", and it looked like iron and magnesium deficiency are possibly linked to restless legs.
Lately I eat a lot of steel cut oats, which unlike rolled oats are not pre-toasted.    In the past week I had lost my appetite for oats.  But since oats is what I eat for calories, I had (against my appetite) oats more often than I had polenta (which I am currently really loving) this week.
In my research, oats came up as a mineral nutrition inhibitor, which I had previously been vaguely aware of thanks to some Dad-prompted research I had done.  The problem is phylates.  The solution is soaking or fermenting.  Apparently the traditional way of cooking oats (as well as other grain porridges and bean soups) involved soaking first, and in fact the directions on Quaker Oats once indicated to pre-soak.
Well, for me, oats is a direct hit.  And since I believe in slowing down the pace of life, I've decided to soak my oats in the bowl for at least 1/2 day, then watch the pot boil.  This will be a test of my spiritual ability to focus on the oats for 8 minutes. 

If I can't do it, there will be volcanoes!  If I can do it, maybe my legs will rest easier.

Update 2013-04-07 (April 7):  Well, there have been a few volcanoes, and there have been a few bowls of oats that smell like Parmesan cheese or smelly feet.  But I'm getting better at it.  And my restless legs seem better, if it's not too early to tell.


Stefan said...

Hi Tom,

you may want to check your Vitamin D level. I myself suffered from a lack of sunshine for about 10 years. I also suspect that my low Vitamin D (19.9 ng/ml) level worsened my gums disease, because the immune system fails to work properly with a low level. An optimal level is around 50-90 ng/ml or better yet 60-80 ng/ml.

I highly recommend an enlightening talk by Dr. Gominak, who discovered the epidemic Vitamin D deficiency by accident and thereupon fully dived into the topic; it's a wonderful talk:

The best collection of resource about Vitamin D, grouped by disease:

Here's an article about the restless legs and Vitamin D:

Thomas Gail Haws said...

Stefan, I wanted to acknowledge your comment though I haven't look at it in depth yet. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Pink Lady said...

I too have a pin-pointed oats as well as refined sugar to my restless leg syndrome. You are not alone! This has been a huge journey for me over the past year of avoiding and reintroducing foods. I look forward to trying soaked oats to see if I can handle them.