W1 Activity: Restless Leg Syndrome

My definition for health was, “A person’s physical state based on different criteria. It is a measurement, whether it be good or bad.” While my definition for illness was, “An issue, physically or mentally, that causes a decline in an individual’s health, or ability to maintain good health.” The criteria for these two definitions came from my own life. I look at health and base it off of someone’s ability to stay in decent shape and not get sick. You look at weight, doctor visits, blood pressure, and many more measurable components of one’s body, and you can determine their health. As for illness, I just took it from personal experience. Hearing other doctors, my own mother, and others around me, I determined that an illness was an issue. Whether it be physical or mental depends on the individual, but it causes a decline in one’s health.

From my definition, I believe that cancer is an illness, because this condition has a negative affect on an individual’s health. It can cause a decline in one’s health, but can also be treated and cured. It causes many alterations on the human body, and depending on the culture it can be treated differently. I also believe that anxiety is an illness. The decline in mental health that it causes, and overall exhaustion of the brain and body causes many problems. I also believe it is an illness because it is entirely based on the perception of the person it is affecting, as well as the culture and community that the individual is from. Some societies deal with anxiety by saying to tough it out, or move on and get over it, while other societies help the individual.

Restless leg syndrome to me was a gray area illness because I’m not entirely sure what actually causes it. I know that tight muscles can cause strain and irritation, and can lead to discomfort, but I don’t believe that it leads to an overall decline in quality of life. Adding to that, there are not very many social/cultural problems that arise from RLS.

One thought on “W1 Activity: Restless Leg Syndrome

  1. Hi Mitchell,
    I decided to reply to your post about Restless Leg Syndrome. Admittedly, this syndrome is not one I am very familiar with. I’ve yet to mean anyone diagnosed with it among my family or friends. During my research, however, it appears to be gaining popularity both in getting funding for research and in number of diagnoses. In the publication Epidemiology of Restless Legs Syndrome in Korean Adults by Yong Won Cho, it appears that of 373 individuals who were interviewed accurately, 7.5% showed symptoms consistent with RLS, and they also concluded that they believe RLS is highly under-diagnosed in their country. In another publication, Cho discusses a treatment that was tested in Korean patients, the use of low molecular weight iron dextran, which provided great relief to many patients suffering from RLS. I think before really knowing much about Restless Leg Syndrome, I would have agreed that it doesn’t have the ability to lead to a decline in quality of life, but I am now thinking otherwise on that. It is my understanding that this disorder causes more distress than one might think – especially because sleep is so vital for our well-being, and lack of sleep can affect us socially and culturally. For example, a poor nights rest could mean an individual oversleeps for his early alarm, since we are a culture that tends to often work a 9-5 type schedule. Additionally, I think other illnesses/diseases that cause disrupted sleep are not taken very seriously either, but I think it would be a step in the right direction to extend more empathy towards those sufferers.

    Cho, Yong Won, Won Chul Shin, Chang Ho Yun, Sung Bong Hong, Ju Han Kim, Richard Allen, and Christopher Earley. “Epidemiology of Restless Legs Syndrome in Korean Adults.” Sleep 31 (2008): 219-223. Accessed July 8 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2225579/.

    Cho, Yong Won, Richard Allen, and Christopher Earley. “Lower Molecular Weight Intravenous Iron Dextran for Restless Legs Syndrome.” Sleep Med 14 (2013): 274-277. Accessed July 8 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23333678.

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