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Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

Dairy-Free for Restless Leg Syndrome

Posted on by Alisa Fleming in Dairy-Free Success Stories with 13 Comments

Joan ~ I have been reading your wonderful “Go Dairy Free” book, which I was able to get from our library. I have been dairy free for about 6 years for a rather unusual reason which is never mentioned in the other books I have read….or on any web site.

Back in 2007 when I was desperately looking for help with my Restless Leg Syndrome. I looked on the internet and discovered a site called “End Restless Legs Forever”. I did spend $29 to get the information offered on that website. Can you believe, the man’s claim is that the casein in milk is the culprit. I thought it was worth a try, and I did discover that eliminating all dairy products really keeps the restless legs at bay.

My family hates the inconvenience I endure with the special diet….but it is far better than the awful suffering from restless legs. I thought you might be interested in this, and also wonder if you have ever heard of it.

Yes, Joan. I have yet to find a study on dairy consumption and RLS, but have heard personal stories from two other people that dairy-free helped to resolve their condition. ~ Alisa Fleming

About Alisa Fleming

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

View all posts by Alisa Fleming →

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living


  1. PatriciaAugust 30, 2013 at 3:56 amReply

    Hay alguien en espanol que me pueda dar informacion de que se trata Dairy free for Restless. Gracias, tengo una nina de 8 anos y trata de buscar como puedo ayudarla.

    • Alisa FlemingAugust 30, 2013 at 9:04 amReplyAuthor

      No se. Lo siento.

    • LilySeptember 22, 2014 at 6:58 pmReply

      Hola – hablo español suficiente para traducirlo. El autor dice que cuando terminó tomar comida o bebidas lácteas, sus problemas con Restless Leg Syndrome también se terminaron. Dice que es difícil cocinar y preparar comida con la familia porque tienen que acordar no usar productos lácteos en su comida. Pero vale la pena porque ahora el Restless se terminó.

  2. David WimbleAugust 30, 2013 at 10:34 pmReply

    Hi Alisa

    In regard to Joan’s comments, I have a website that has a lot of information about Restless Legs Syndrome and how it is caused by inflammation. http://www.rlcure.com

    Dairy is considered one of the main “triggers” of RLS.

    It is also proven to be inflammatory.

    Here are excerpts from scientific studies that have shown that dairy is inflammatory.

    “Milk products also cause inflammation. Modern dairy cows eat grain-containing diets producing excessive omega-6 fats, creating a pro-inflammatory imbalance. In addition, a substantial percentage of our population (some estimate 50%) is allergic to dairy, often unknowingly. Frequent consumption of dairy causes chronic allergic reactions, creating chronic inflammation.”

    “Inflammation: A Common Denominator of Disease” Raymond Francis, Well Being Journal, November/December 2008

    “Studies indicate that cow’s milk increases both intestinal permeability and production of proinflammatory cytokines. Some evidence suggests that a milk-borne infection may play a role in the development of Crohn’s disease. Bacteria called Mycobacteriaum avium, which are commonly found in milk products, are known to survive pasteurization and cause a Crohn’s disease-like illness (Johne’s disease) in dairy cows. Interestingly, these bacteria have been found with far greater frequency in patients with Crohn’s disease than in those with ulcerative colitis or healthy people.”

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Nutritional Considerations, NutritionMD http://www.nutritionmd.org/consumers/gastrointestinal/ibd_nutrition.html

    “The reasons dairy products are inflammatory are too lengthy to list here (yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, butter, cheese etc.). Today’s dairy products are packed with hormones, antibiotics and other harmful ingredients so avoid them as much as possible.”

    “Top 12 Foods that Cause Inflammation” from ” Arthritis-Proof: The Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation.” by Michelle Schoffro Cook


    • JOAN WHITTENBERGERSeptember 2, 2013 at 2:00 pmReply

      Thank you, David for that good information about RLS. Finally I have information that may prove to my family and friends that my dairy free diet is not “crazy”

  3. Betsy PhillipsApril 15, 2014 at 8:48 pmReply

    I just came across these posts on restless leg syndrome after googling dairy and RLS to see if there’s a connection. I have just been 2 weeks free of symptoms, which happens every once in a while, and I kept asking myself, “what’s different?” and realized I haven’t had cheese for awhile. I have suffered with this for 40 years. Could this really be the answer? It’s nice to have hope. Thanks for being there.

    • Alisa FlemingApril 16, 2014 at 7:16 pmReplyAuthor

      Hi Betsy, I’ve heard of many people who’ve seen RLS vanish with dairy-free (including me!), so I hope it helps you, too!

      • Betsy PhillipsApril 16, 2014 at 8:27 pmReply

        Thanks so much, Alisa! I’ll continue off the dairy and report back in a couple of weeks. If symptoms stay away for that long, it will be a record. Btw, I quit sugar and caffeine several months ago. It wasn’t until I stopped the dairy that things started getting better.

        • Alisa FlemingApril 16, 2014 at 8:33 pmReplyAuthor

          Very interesting – yes, please do keep us posted!

  4. Betsy PhillipsMay 14, 2014 at 9:19 pmReply

    Well, Alisa, it’s official. I’m convinced cheese is the culprit. I said I’d get back to you in two weeks, but just at that mark I had a mild restless-leg night, and I was bracing to be disappointed again. But that was it! One uncomfortable night in 6 weeks. (Maybe I had dairy in some disguised form, or it was residual toxins.) I have spent so many years trying to figure this out. I’ve taken Requip, quit caffeine and sugar, taken magnesium (even rubbing it on my legs), gone to a chiropractor who was sure he could help me, and slept with a bar of soap at my feet. Thank you so much for this blog. I hope many other people will find you like I did, and finally get some relief. This is life-changing, and I will always be grateful to you for going before me, and validating my suspicions.

    • Alisa FlemingMay 21, 2014 at 10:25 amReplyAuthor

      Betsy, I am SO happy for you!! I battled restless leg for years (prior to going dairy-free), and understand the frustration. I don’t think it was as severe for me as in your case, but irritating nonetheless – I can only imagine what you must have been going through! I hope that the good health continues for you. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions in the future!

  5. RuthAugust 11, 2014 at 7:29 pmReply

    I caught a bug and ended up with sinositus. As a result I went off eating and kept my diet simple (BRAT). But I found a “bi-product” was an absence of RLS and the terrible fibromyalgia pains I’d be suffering. I wondered if it could be dairy as I love cheese? While I have not completely eliminated dairy from my diet, (milk in tea and coffee) I have drastically reduced it and three weeks later have noticed the health benefits.

    • Alisa FlemingAugust 12, 2014 at 6:37 amReplyAuthor

      That is such good news that you are doing better Ruth! I hope that it keeps up for you!

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