NBC still hyping restless leg syndrome

NBC apparently doesn’t understand the concept of disease-mongering. Or else they don’t care. Because they keep practicing the same flawed reporting on restless leg syndrome.

See my entry on The World Health Care Blog.

And for anyone with legitimate restless leg syndrome, please read the entire column before writing to me. I’m not questioning your symptoms. I’m questioning news coverage. And if you represent a drug company that makes a drug for restless leg syndrome, don’t bother to write. I am aware of your astroturfing campaigns.

You might also like


Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.


August 3, 2007 at 11:30 pm

I understand your perspective…Our country is one that its citizens and the media are constantly over dramatizing any bit of useless information they can get a hold of. I would stand in you corner on this topic if I did not suddenly become overwhelmed with symptoms of RLS in Augusts of 2001. I will never forget that month, because since-I rarely get an undisturbed night of sleep. I suffered with it for four more years before I complained to a doctor while I served in the AF. Her diagnosis was a HUGE relief, because before that date, I had never mentioned it because I was embarrassed and completely convinced that I was just being a hypochondriac. I soon became pregnant and my symptoms became so severe that I was getting no more than 1-2 hours of sleep throughout my entire pregnancy. I was given an indefinite prescription of Ambien, but refused to take it because I was afraid of risking my unborn child’s health for the sake of a good night sleep. Truth be told, towards the end my pregnancy, I was so sleep deprived I truly considered suicide-I simply couldn’t take the sensation anymore and the sleepless nights. (Thankfully I made it through and my symptoms are less frequent) I did then and sometimes still do resort to tying my husbands tie or a belt around my thigh so tight that eventually my legs go numb and I can finally fall asleep. I know it is a drastic remedy-but truthfully, it is the only one that helps. Warm baths, walking around ALL night-RLS does not give. So, all that being said-I don’t care about the genetic possibilities for its existence, truthfully-I think it is something in our environment that we are being exposed to that are increasing the number of victims of RLS. Why else would an otherwise mentally and physically fit 25 year old have a sudden attack of RLS and since have no relief? So, please tread lightly on this subject because it seems that anyone can suddenly be a victim of RLS and it is a VERY real and debilitating disease ~HH~

The Publisher

August 4, 2007 at 9:12 am

I have published the preceding comment, although I am suspicious of why the comment was signed “HH” but posted by someone listed as “LT.”
I post the comment because it may be an example of someone too close to the issue to see my point.
This commenter may, indeed, have symptoms of restless leg syndrome that should lead to treatment. But there are many expert observers in this country who question the restless leg drug ad campaigns that try to inflate their market beyond the serious cases to the worried well with an occasional leg twitch. Drugs have harms and drugs have costs. And when news coverage is more cheerleading than questioning, I’m going to continue to raise questions.