Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome is an illness in which the individual feels the need to move and walk around. As described in a clip in the first lecture this week, the woman feels some kind of “electricity” running through her legs and she can no longer sit still. She claims that she must walk around in order to feel better. In our culture today, restless leg syndrome is seen as a legitimate illness and medications to help treat it is advertised everywhere. People often see commercials for different pills one can take to relieve symptoms. One pill and the person is able to sit still. There are other cultures, and even some people within our culture, that don’t see restless leg syndrome as a problem. An example is shown in the MAD TV clip in the first lecture from this week. It is a play on a commercial for a pill to help restless leg syndrome, and the woman with RLS is running through a restaurant kicking everyone and everything. This pill then makes her completely lose feeling of her legs and she must army crawl everywhere.

This current view on RLS seems to make it difficult for those suffering from it since some people do not see it as an illness that needs treatment. Therefore, it is not seen as a big deal and a lot of people don’t seek the available treatment. Most people just try to manage it themselves. My mother actually suffers from RLS and I see her get up in the middle of the night and walk around because she can’t lie in bed any longer. She doesn’t see it as an important problem so she doesn’t seek treatment for it.

I think belief plays a strong role in the process of healing. As the placebo clip in the first lecture talked about, if a placebo effect can occur, there must be something more to healing than just biomedicine. Even though there isn’t any proof for it, keeping upbeat and positive can help a person heal in my opinion. If someone has a negative outlook on life, it can suppress their immune system and make a person more apt to be sick.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Keiana Smith says:

    HI Jacqueline, I absolutely agree 100% with your post. I am a person who believes that RLS is a sickness, but most people do down play it because they believe most of the time its just leg cramps. A lot of people get the idea “oh it’ll wear off” and they go on with normal routines and activities. However, if the pain is constant and keeps you up at night, then it is time to seek medical attention. Cramps, on any part of the body, come and go, but constant pain is not normal. I am glad that most medical professionals now are treating RLS as an actual illness, and they are not longer looking at it as the patient is making this up. Some people may feel that illnesses are made up just for someone to get attention or to find a reason to receive medication. We know that other society’s may dismiss RLS, but it is funny that American society sees it as a joke and write parodies about such as the MAD TV clip. I believe this is one of the main reasons why most people do not discuss their illnesses with anyone because of the fear of not being taken seriously. Lastly, I am a firm believer in belief and healing. As I said in my post, if you speak sickness into your life then it will come. If you speak healing and believe that you will be healed, then healing will prevail. Our mind is so powerful and we don’t even know the extent of that power. It is very important to keep a positive attitude and outlook on your health and life. Negativity is and always thinking the worse does play a part in suppressing the immune system because your mind is always consumed with an illness. This was another great posting. Keep up the good work.

  2. phill612 says:

    Currently, I am uncertain in my opinion of Restless Leg Syndrome. I have read equally as many articles and blogs that are for and against the condition. Articles I have read against the disease have been similar to the ones in the beginning of the course blaming the pharmaceutical industry for creating diseases that don’t really exist. Both sides are very persuasive and give adequate rational to support their cases. However, I am leaning more in the direction of classifying this syndrome as a true illness because I don’t believe that these individuals have the power to make up how they are feeling. Through the placebo video I learned how powerful the mind can be but I don’t believe anyone would want to make themselves ill or make others believe they are ill when they are not. Whether I believe in the condition itself is irrelevant as long as those who have been diagnosed are able to find ways to manage their symptoms despite the social disbelief is the most important. I too have a few friends who have been diagnosed with RLS and have chosen not to pursue treatment. Like your mom they don’t see it as enough of a problem to risk the side effects of medication when it isn’t disrupting their daily life. Individuals suffering with moderate Restless Leg Syndrome have been my experience with the disease and the woman in the video who describes it is by far the most in depth and severe description of the condition I have encountered.

  3. Moe Aqel says:

    I personally believe that Restless Leg Syndrome is not necessarily a disease as much as it is a medical condition that should be at least diagnosed and treated properly through proper ways. If not the medication at least by taking natural supplements to help with the issue. I have read that Restless Leg Syndrome is a known issue due to having a magnesium deficiency. Now not every person will have the same issue, but by taking natural supplements, vitamins and minerals, one is at least working on some sort of approach of treatment. Some look at it as it is not a problem and they let it be hoping that it will go away on its own. If the issue remains, then the issue is a problem, needing medical attention, therefore it’s a medical condition that should be treated for properly. One of my buddies has RLS. He will not go to the doctor and get treated. Even though it can be as simple as maybe a better exercise routine for him to help the muscles relax at night or a few pills, he will not go get it checked out. IN his eyes that if its not affecting him healthwise he is fine and its not an issue. I feel that though it is a health issue when he starts loosing sleep because of this. Loss of sleep effects your daily life and too much will start hurting everything else that is part of that chain. I think that if there is an issue, it needs to be checked out and treated properly.

  4. Meghan Kinter says:

    Before watching the lectures for week four I was unaware of the existance of Restless Leg Syndrome. I am little skeptical about the disease biomedically, just because it seems to be a “condition” that has surfaced more recently. I don’t think I would consider it a disease, I think of it as something that develops through poor lifestyle choices and I believe that there are natural solutions for this issue rather than a person immediately turning to medication. These poor lifestyle choices are greatly influenced by today’s Western culture, where everything seems to geared towards moving faster. People get fast food instead of cooking a healthier meal because its convient, and instead taking the time to try different natural remedies people immediately run to doctors for a prescription. This upbeat lifestyle creates stress in our lives without us even noticing it, which is why I think Western culture has a lot to do with the development of this condition.

    These perceptions are greatly influenced by my family, frends and other social structures in my life. Majority of my family is in the medical field and I hear them complain about how they believe that a lot of the new conditions arising come from the changes and advancements in society and technology. That is most likely what influenced my opinion the most, which is why I think that simple lifestyle changes could possibly be the solution for conditions that are becoming more common like RLS.

  5. Brannden McDonnell says:

    Hello, I do agree that restless leg syndrome is an actual illness, while I can see why some people may think it isn’t and could just be a lack of self control. I do not claim to have ever had restless leg syndrome, but I have had some periods in time where I have worked so much that my legs actually felt worse when I sat down in bed rather than continuing to stand or walk around. I imagine that is what having restless leg syndrome would be similar too.

    I do think that people with restless leg syndrome are lazy and allow themselves to have it as it can be easily treated. Making an appointment with a professional to speak for maybe half an hour to discuss ways to stop RLS or even get on medication if you refuse to change your current lifestyle/ it is too severe is very easy. I almost feel like RLS is perceived as similar to tourettes; which many people believe can be stopped by the person. I agree with this because my family believed I had a very mild tourettes when I was younger where I had urges to just scrounge my nose together my move it around, but I eventually stopped it before I even got to middle school on my own.

Leave a Reply