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ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin

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Author Topic: ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin  (Read 11108 times)

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Anima

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ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin
« on: December 16, 2011, 11:25:56 PM »

My success with using dark therapy has inspired me to address my other problems by examining comorbid conditions.

I have ADHD and restless leg syndrome.  I found out that the two are often comorbid, which I thought was very weird (I just started Google-ing every ailment I've ever had with "ADHD").  Niacin is an effective treatment for RLS.  I've also heard that it's an effective treatment for alcohol cravings, which are also common in those who have ADHD.  Magnesium supplements are recommended for both conditions.

So, I have been taking a supplement with all the B vitamins in amounts much higher than typically recommended.  I have also been taking Epsom salt baths for magnesium.  I have not experienced restless legs AT ALL since starting.  This is quite remarkable to me, because it was such a problem.  My ADHD is also much improved.  This could be attributed to the placebo effect.  When I took Adderall, my "spinning" thoughts stopped immediately, but since I have limited blue light at night and started taking flax oil, I have experienced gradual improvement, and that improvement seems to have continued with the B vitamins and magnesium, but it is much harder to notice because it's gradual.  I haven't taken Adderall in a while, but I think that the combination of amber glasses, flax oil, niacin and magnesium produces an equivalent ability to concentrate.  I also feel more relaxed, and I have stopped performing "checking" behaviors common to those with OCD.  (I used to squeeze each of my fingers, one by one, all day, but I stopped without trying.  I just noticed that I had stopped.)

The B vitamin supplement didn't make me want to drink less, but an interesting benefit from taking it is that it seems to prevent hangovers.  A little research suggests that it's the Thiamin in the supplement that's responsible.  I highly recommend popping huge amounts of a B vitamin complex before and after a trip to the pub.

I conclude that taking a lot of niacin and magnesium are great for ADHD and RLS.  It's definitely better (and way cheaper) than Restulex for RLS, and maybe as good as Adderall.  My experiment is contaminated by my use of nicotine and caffeine (both improve ADHD), but it's inexpensive and low-risk.  This is the second time that I've been able to improve a mental problem by focusing on a comorbid condition.  The relief I have experienced is really amazing.

The problem is that now I trust doctors even less.  Why are psychiatrists still acting like neurological problems exist in isolation, when clearly they are all related?  I used to take Lamictal, Depakote, Adderall and Ambien every day.  That doesn't include all the meds I tried that didn't work.  I'm currently wearing amber glasses at night and taking a B complex, flax oil (SLD-style) and bathing in epsom salts three times a week.  My mood is more stable than it was on medication, and my ADHD is controlled about the same.  My sleep is much better.  My psychiatrist told me that I would be on medication for the rest of my life.  When I told him that I was using dark therapy and light therapy and had stopped taking my medication, he told me that I was "playing with fire," and that I would end up in a mental institution or commit suicide if I didn't resume my medication, despite the fact that I had stopped taking it for longer than it would be effective.  I asked him if he had read the research on dark therapy.  He hadn't, but he assured me that it is pseudoscience.  I guess the definition of "pseudoscience" is any treatment that doesn't make him money.  I puckishly asked him if I seemed manic or depressed, and he was forced to admit that I did not.
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Jolly

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Re: ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2011, 07:19:56 PM »

Mind explaining your Restless leg symptoms further?
(I don't know if I have whats classically deemed RLS or not.)  My legs tend to move themselves and fidget quite frequently - I've used it before as a marker to determine when adderall has kicked in for me or not.  
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Anima

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Re: ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2011, 09:20:18 PM »

RLS is very difficult to describe.  It isn't that your legs move themselves, but more like you feel compelled to move them because of extremely uncomfortable sensations that are very difficult to describe.  The best description I can think of is a sensation that feels like electricity shooting down my legs that is temporarily relieved by jerking them about.  It isn't pain, per se, but it is very uncomfortable.  I wouldn't call the movement in response to the sensations involuntary, but it is not something that you think about.  For most people (myself included), the symptoms only happen at night while in bed.  My RLS was always worse if I took Benadryl, for some reason.
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Jolly

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Re: ADHD, Restless Legs and Niacin
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2011, 08:49:05 AM »

Interesting. How much niacin/B-complex are you taking? 
I used to take Niacin for the HDL boosting effects - maybe I'll start back up. 

I'll go raid my families GNC store for supplements later today, and try the epsom salt baths in January :)

I've used the SCT-Orange glasses/blue light for a while, but mostly to keep myself from going to bed too late - rather than any RLS/ADHD impact.
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