Got a case of the Jimmy Legs?
Some people believe Restless Leg Syndrome is one of those fancy new afflictions that people think they have because it's trendy and sometimes it seems that one must suffer from some kind of syndrome or other to belong!
I may have been one of those cynics until I became pregnant with my first child and suffered from it myself. I was unaware that Restless Leg Syndrome can be triggered by pregnancy. I still suffer ('suffer' being a bit dramatic in terms of my personal experience of it) from it now but not as much as when I was pregnant with all three of my children.
So what is Restless Leg Syndrome?
In my own words, it's a compulsion to move your legs, especially at night, while at rest. Some have the feeling that ants or spiders are creeping around their legs. I don't have this. Instead it almost feels like I have a tick. Not the bug kind, but an involuntary movement of my legs. I feel like I am getting minor electric shocks. The sleepier I get, the more I want to move my feet. My husband says he always knows I'm minutes away from sleep when my legs start jerking around. Sometimes a jerk will actually wake me up as I drop off. When I was pregnant, I absolutely HAD to move my legs. Always in the evening, always when I had my preggo legs up or was in bed. And I was almost always in a relaxed or sleepy state. Sometimes I'd watch a little TV and my legs would jerk around the sofa and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I just had to move them and it was always a jerk, rather than a soft movement.
It drove me mad at times. But I put it down to a pregnancy thing - like my sciatica and my heartburn. They both left but Restless Leg Syndrome remains, albeit now a milder case of. Those mini electric shocks remain too, but not being pregnant has taken some of the sting away.
Some medical professionals doubt that Restless Leg Syndrome (first identified in 1945) needs medication. Rather, they feel it's a natural part of the human condition. They don't feel drug companies should advertise medication to stop a condition that they deem harmless and pretty normal.
Last year, sales of almost half a billion dollars were recorded for the medication Requip (made by GlaxoSmithKline) that helps suffers of RLS.
Now that generic versions of Requip have been approved by the FDA, some believe sales of any kind of drug for RLS will go down, because advertising will too. Skeptics have seen a correlation between heavy advertising of this medication and greater numbers being diagnosed, and higher drug sales. Once generics are allowed in the picture, the drug company eases up on it's advertising for it's brand name equivalent.
Others are grateful that medication has eased a lifetime of terrible discomfort, particularly at a time when one is supposed to relax and rest.
For more information on Restless Leg Syndrome, visit the Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation at www.rls.org and for more information on this story, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24603237/
Does anyone else have RLS? Or think they may have? Did anyone get it in pregnancy? Did it go away after birth? Is anyone taking medication for this and is the medication working?
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