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    « Stringing pearls... | Principale | Touched by angels. »

    mercoledì 12 novembre 2008


    Amy Wing

    Wow, Chel! You did an excellent job of describing this syndrome - I hope it will help people understand. I'm a physician assistant for my "day job," and I work with mentally ill people. We actually are on the lookout for all kinds of twitchy restless behaviors in our patients because they can signal side effects of antipsychotic medications. Now, I'm not up on all the current research or treatment of RLS, but I can tell you that most antipsychotic medications increase dopamine (schizophrenics tend to have too little dopamine), while anti-Parkinson's medications decrease dopamine (Parkinson's Disease involves too MUCH dopamine). Sometimes, the antipsychotic medication can tip the balance a little too much toward the "Parkinson's" side of the equation, and get side effects we call EPS (extrapyramidal symptoms ). I won't get into why we call it that - it's all tied up in neuroanatomy and usually not at all interesting to laypeople (or even professionals, necessarily). Anyway, EPS involves symptoms like uncontrollable need to move or pace, muscle twitches, facial tics, strange muscular positions, shaking or tremoring, and at worst even stuff like the patients smacking their lips or shooting their tongues out repeatedly (yes, it looks silly).

    Sounds like a tangent, I know - but the way we treat these side effects (if we can't lower the antipsychotic medication, of course) is with medication that helps bring the dopamine back into balance.

    Does there seem to be any connection between EPS and RLS to you? I think it's obvious there is a dopamine connection there somewhere. Our bodies are finely tuned machines, and some of us are more sensitive to some things, some of us are more inclined to some things, and some of us have brains and other body parts that function differently than others. It's easy to point and laugh at someone who has a condition you don't understand, to minimize it as unimportant or not-possibly-real. Your explanation goes a long way towards educating people that there are things of which they (thankfully) know nothing about, and hopefully it will help remind us not to judge others until we have a bit more information.

    You know, on a more entertaining note, this post and my response remind me of a short film written and produced by my good friend Anne Continelli called "Big Talking Heads." You gotta check this out:

    It's only 7.5 minutes long, and it's totally hilarious! Of course, this has nothing to do with you or RLS. :D

    Donna Cook

    hmmmmm....I keep thinking of many illnesses that "other folks" think are our imagination, it is nice to have validation. I am glad that someone found benefit from the pharmacutical advertising. When they started to market prozac as "sarafem" for premenstrual symptoms, I asked my doctor about it. ( i was already taking prozac, and didn't know that sarafem" was prozac, and they didn't tell you that in the ad) She had internet access, and we looked it up and low and behold, it was prozac, with a new name for a new market, which is cool. but I was really already was...but anyway. We then decided I should try hormone replacement therapy, which was WONDERFUL! but then they decided that would kill you, so I stopped it...cold turkey, really dumb, but as time passes the hormones start to balance out on their own, which is great if you don't kill someone in the meantime (lol) I survived and so did everyone else. but I'm always reading those silly magazine articles about some strange syndrome, and then self diagnois. I try to see if symptoms subside before I call the

    but seriously, that is exactly why the pharmacuticals advertise. sure, they want to make money, but it's also about informing consumers, and there are lots of folks out there that think they just have to put up with stuff, and sometimes you don't. I'm glad you have found some relief. I always love reading your blog!


    Chel, I am so sorry to hear about your Restless Leg problem. I had symptoms for years and yes, I do understand that you have to just get up and walk the floor until you get so exhausted that you can just fall back to sleep for a while. And, no, advil, etc. does no good. But, I was reading somewhere one day that it could be a symptom of a magnesium deficiency. So, I started taking High Potency Magnesium supplements every day and when I take them, I have zero issues. Sometimes I forget and bam, well, it's there again. Just try it Chel. It's not a drug, it can't hurt you and who knows.


    Thanks for the thoughtful remarks, everyone!

    I know I've heard that there is a magnesium / leg cramp correlation. I haven't tried it Glenda, but you make a good case for giving it a go.

    : D

    xoxo - Chel


    well, first of all, i am so sorry to hear about your suffering in silence with your illness for so long. i think now that you have talked about it, you will find many more people (online) who has it or know someone who has it. i didn't realize that there were jokes being made about it on TV and i agree that only adds to the embarrassment. i see nothing funny in the suffering of others. how happy i am to hear that you are finding relief with your medication; congrats to you!

    trace minerals

    Any person experience their sufferings in life sometimes more of a disaster. But i always believe that every step we make is a lesson to learn.

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