Hope it is okay if I start this discussion regarding the last episode about Big Pharma. I didn’t see any previous thread…
I liked the show.. as always. But, I have one important correction to make. "Restless Leg Syndrome is NOT a made up illness by big pharma to sell a drug, And it is NOT just twitchy legs or "excess energy".
I suffered (and I mean SUFFERED) from RLS for about three months 2 years ago… and came close to killing myself because of it. My doctor had no idea what was wrong with me. I was prescribed muscle relaxants.. sleeping pills.. anti-depressants and eventually I self-medicated with alcohol, but nothing worked.
This is what it was like: Imagine that you are falling asleep.. and the second you actually doze off, you wake up and leap out of bed because you feel like if you don’t you will DIE! It became so severe that not only did I need to move my legs.. but my arms would flail about as well. I became seriously sleep deprived.. and as you can imagine, depressed.
Like I said, my doctor didn’t know what was wrong with me. I started researching my symptoms on the internet and found that there had been a study done (people with RLS had donated their brains after death to the study) that found a correlation with metabolism of iron in the part of the brain which deals with dopamine, OR severe anemia. I won’t go into all the science here, but you can read about it at:
So.. I returned to the doctor with my research and she ordered blood work. Turns out I was so anemic she said I was on the verge of needing a blood transfusion. The anemia was due to a difficult menopause. I immediately began taking iron and vitamin C (to help with the absorption of the iron) and within 4 days my RLS disappeared and has never returned.
Now.. is Big Pharma still wrong to try and sell via TV ads treatment for RLS? Not sure. Thank goodness I was able to treat my RLS with some cheap vitamin supplements. There are people who have normal iron levels in their blood, but their brains can’t metabolize the iron properly, so they end up with RLS. After what I went through, I would do ANYTHING to not suffer RLS. Maybe one of the problems is that the name of the illness sounds so trivial. It was not trivial for me. And, I bet if you had it, it wouldn’t be trivial to you.