Restless Leg Syndrome is a condition in which a person’s
limbs become extremely uncomfortable during periods of inactivity. It is most
commonly associated with lying down and sitting at night time. The disorder is
also known to effect individuals during the day as well. Culture and
biomedicine have a large effect on the illness experience of Restless Leg
Syndrome. American culture seems to be more accepting of “conditions” like RLS.
Internationally, RLS is not as accepted and often looked down upon as a fallible
disorder. Even in the U.S., as indicated in lecture, RLS has a garnered a good
amount of skepticism. People question the validity of the disorder, in my
opinion, because there is not an accurate or precise way to technically
diagnose it. Patients come in and describe symptoms, and are essentially
diagnosed based off those symptoms. There isn’t a way to test for RLS.
Diagnosis is strictly based off the patient’s description of his or her

In terms of biomedicine, there are drugs on the market for
RLS. Iron deficiency is sometimes correlated with RLS. A common treatment
centers around taking iron supplements which has improved the condition in some
cases. However, the treatment has not been consistently proven effective.
Doctor’s recently have also treated RLS with Parkinson’s disease drugs. This
type of treatment affects dopamine levels and is believed to have a calming
effect geared towards the extremities. In my opinion, the cloudiness and grey
areas surrounding the science and behind RLS greatly affect how RLS is treated
and perceived. The medical community has not committed or agreed upon an
effective treatment of RLS and therefore the jury, I believe, remains out on

I believe there is an enormous and currently unknown effect
behind belief and healing.  We have studies that clearly indicate the effects of placebos, yet we don’t know why they are so effective. What causes a person, biologically, to heal from fake surgery as in the film? Why would taking a pill that has no physiological or chemical effect on a person, cure one’s depression? Personally, I have had a number of
sports related injuries. Having a positive attitude and belief that I would
return to full strength, certainly aided in my healing process. Understanding
the depths of the immense effect belief can have on healing and health is
something the science has been unable to understand thus far.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/restless-legs-syndrome/DS00191/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

1 thought on “RLS

  1. I have to say I never really took restless leg syndrome all that seriously. I did not think that is not an illness at all, instead I just thought it was more annoying than anything. I had no idea it could be painful. I have never actually known anyone who has it so I have never learned anything about it. I think that anything like that skit from “Mad TV” is going to add to the view of it not being an illness. Usually anytime you start joking about something you are going to make others take it less seriously. I also think the name itself might have been a cause too. I mean Restless Leg Syndrome does not sound all that horrible compared to some other illnesses, like Exploding Head Syndrome. According to the American Sleep Association, “the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head.” It’s not painful or anything but the name makes it sound pretty bad. Also the name Restless Leg Syndrome seems somewhat self explanatory so not many people are going to go and learn about what it actually is, and considering it is usually ignorance that causes the stigmas that go along with some illnesses I’m not really that surprised that people don’t take it that seriously. That’s not saying that they shouldn’t take it more seriously.


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