There are hundreds of articles parroting each other on the internet talking about what causes Restless Legs Syndrome. The two most agreed upon theories are an imbalance of dopamine (a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells in the brain) and low iron levels.
I'm going to present evidence that both of these conditions could be caused by the presence of inflammation. In other words, I believe inflammation to be the primary condition while restless legs, dopamine imbalance and low irons levels are simply effects of this chronic state.
This page provides scientific evidence that inflammation can affect iron levels.
For information on how inflammation can affect dopamine levels, please visit the page
Scientific Studies Showing that Inflammation has a Negative Effect on Dopamine Levels .
from Stop The Thyroid Madness "Iron and hypothyroidism"
|Ferritin is an iron-storage protein which keeps your iron in a dissolvable and usable state, making the iron non-toxic to cells around it. So when Ferritin is measured via a blood test, it is basically measuring the iron you have tucked away for safe use. 70 - 90 is often mentioned in literature as a goal, but other iron labs are important with it, as your ferritin can look good, but your other labs reveal the truth. Inflammation tends to thrust iron into storage, so you can't just look at Ferritin.
Inflammation can lower your iron levels. If you are having a hard time raising iron, or keeping it up, you may also have a chronic inflammation problem that needs discovery and treatment. Gluten can cause inflammation for those with Hashi's. Even without Hashi's, thyroid patients can have chronic inflammation in their joints. An allergy to what you eat can cause inflammation, as happened to thyroid patient Deb who discovered she was allergic to eggs. Once she removed eggs, her iron went up!
from "Towards explaining 'unexplained' hyperferritinemia" by Clara Camaschella and Erika Poggiali
It is well known that both acute and chronic inflammation, as occurring in infections, autoimmune disorders, chronic renal failure and also cancer - all conditions common in hospitalized patients - are associated with high ferritin levels.
from WEB MD "Ferritin"
Reasons you may not be able to have the ferritin test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Because inflammation in the body can cause high ferritin levels, a test result that is slightly high does not always mean a buildup of iron (hemochromatosis) is present.
- Having a blood transfusion in the past 4 months.
- Being a female athlete whose amount of activity has changed her menstrual cycle.
- Having conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as from illness or from a surgery.
- Having a radioactive scan in the past 3 days.
- Taking medicines, such as birth control pills and antithyroid medicines.
- Age. Older adults may have a higher ferritin value.
- Eating a diet high in red meats.
from "Interpretation of biochemical tests for iron deficiency: diagnostic difficulties related to limitations of individual tests"
by Frank Firkin, Director of Clinical Haematology; and Bryan Rush, Director of Laboratory Haematology, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.
The results of tests of iron status are relatively frequently distorted by other clinical factors. This is important to recognise as such distorted results may give a misleading view of the patient's iron stores. The impact of these factors can be recognised by combining the results of currently available tests.
Most cases of iron deficiency can be diagnosed with simple tests. The concentration of serum iron does not fall until the body's iron stores are exhausted. As the stores are depleted, the concentration of transferrin rises while the concentration of ferritin falls.
Caution is required when assessing patients with inflammatory disease as a low serum iron may not represent iron deficiency. These patients often have reduced concentrations of transferrin.
from "Influence of acute inflammation on iron and nutritional status indexes in older inpatients."
Chiari MM1, Bagnoli R, De Luca PD, Monti M, Rampoldi E, Cunietti E. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995 Jul;43(7):767-71.
To investigate the relations between acute inflammation, as shown by high C-reactive protein (CRP) serum levels, and laboratory indexes of iron and nutritional status and to ascertain whether the presence of acute inflammation affects the diagnostic reliability of these indexes.
Patients with acute inflammation present altered iron status indexes that resemble those observed in the anemia of chronic disease.