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Ask Dr. Gott 5/1
Medication causes mental fog
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 66-year-old woman. Three years ago, my RLS started bothering me to the extent that I had to take medication. I take one Requip tablet before I go to bed. Over a period of several months, I've noticed that my long-term memory is failing. Is it possible that this is a side effect of Requip? If so, can you suggest another treatment for RLS that is effective but less harmful and can be obtained without prescription?
    Maybe one of your readers has a suggestion regarding this dilemma.
    DEAR READER: Requip is a dopamine agonist, which is a compound that activates dopamine receptors, mimicking the effect dopamine. It is used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome.
    Requip is associated with a long list of side effects, including confusion, depression, trouble concentrating and memory loss. If you are experiencing memory loss because of the medication, I urge you to stop taking it and make an appointment with your physician. Discuss your symptoms and concerns. He or she may send you to a neurologist for further testing to rule out other causes, such as Alzheimer's disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus or dementia caused by a vitamin deficiency. If your memory loss is truly a result of the Requip, you should see results within a few days or weeks after stopping it.
    To the best of my knowledge, there are no other approved medications for RLS. However, some of my readers have had great success using quinine. Quinine is a common ingredient in tonic water. Eight ounces before bed should provide results. If it does not, you may want to try my soap-under-the-sheets therapy. Unwrap a bar of regular bath soap and place it under the sheets near your legs. This works for only some RLS sufferers. (It works better for nocturnal leg cramps.)
    If your RLS symptoms are truly bothersome and interrupt your sleep several times a night, see your primary-care physician. He or she may know of other treatment options of which I am unaware.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Dr. Gott's Compelling Home Remedies."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I often read about people with urinary-tract infections. I want them (and you) to know about my mother's experience.
    More than 30 years ago, my mother had one UTI after another. Antibiotics would help her for a while, but the infections always came back.
    After many years of this, she went to Mayo Clinic. They told her that the inside of her bladder was acting like chapped hands. When it would crack open, the bacteria would enter and cause an infection. The told her to follow a low-acid diet (no dairy, corn or citrus fruits). She rarely had a problem once she was on the diet. She lived to be 100. They also encouraged her to drink cranberry juice.
    I hope this helps some of your readers the way it helped my dear mother.
    DEAR READER: The approach your mother took in response to chronic bladder infections was wonderful, so I am sharing it with my readers. Thank you for writing.
    Readers, if any of you have had success using this method or want to try it, please let me know what happens.
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