W4 Reflection Post: Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS)

This condition “is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations” and occurs most often in middle-aged and older adults (PubMed Health). It is interesting that many of us in America did not know what restless leg syndrome was until we were bombarded by pharmaceutical marketing and soon after that stand ups and parodies which mocked its validity (Week 4: Lecture 1). Biomedicine does not have any specific tests or cures for restless leg syndrome, instead it treats simply treats symptoms (PubMed Health). The fact that doctors must solely rely on patient reported systems makes diagnosis imprecise. It shifts medicine from being a science of pathology into something of a therapy for feeling good. It makes the physician a provider of consumer goods. It is peculiar to healthcare where the provider of a good is also someone trusted to look out for your own good. We understand that the salesperson at your favorite department store is there to make you purchase, their recommendations are biased. But we trust our physician to be our representative when it comes to finding treatments, operations, or biomedical products such as prosthetics.

In my opinion there is definitely a connection between mind and body mostly in the relationship between perception and appraisal. This is seen in medicine between beliefs and healing. When you’re in a negative mindset it’s difficult to appraise things positively. When you are used to certain attributes belonging to a thing you will just recognize it as such even if those attributes are unrelated to that thing but something else entirely; this occurs in medicine with symptoms being attached to a disease when they can be related to any number of other conditions. With restless leg syndrome physicians often make their diagnosis by simply testing against other conditions (PubMed Health). If they rule everything enough conditions besides RLS out they will settle with diagnosing someone with Restless leg syndrome.

PubMed Health; Restless leg syndrome
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001810/

Week 4: Lecture 1
http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us12/week-4-lecture-1/

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