When I talk to people around me without RLS about it, I always mention the massive divide between the two camps which based on the number of posters, not number of posts, seems to be around 50/50. This post is inspired by comments about of all things, compression socks. I have used socks, but I prefer knee wraps as a tourniquet, or for tight compression. They are fantastic to stop symptoms and it is impossible to ‘lose a limb’, but that is not the subject of this.
The first camp are all about doctors, neurologists, sleep studies, quoting papers about RLS as a neurological condition, dopamine, glutamate and brain iron (BID), rock star doctors and researchers, sites that promote this view, and lots of pharmaceuticals as the only real solution. Also they dominate on forums as moderators for endless posts on how great the drugs are, combined with augmentation, bad side effects and never seeming to get any sleep.
The other camp reads the papers on RLS and goes ‘say what?’ You get dopamine down regulation and elevated glutamate from sleep deprivation, low dopamine from SSRIs, BID from oxalates and in autism, yet no RLS en masse in these groups. There is also recognition of the numerous papers on irregularities in the regions of symptoms. This group experiments, and often has success with diet, supplements and physical treatments. They feel normal when they get enough sleep, as if there is no underlying neurological issues. Drugs are an absolute last resort or for never. Doctors are well, for other things.
There is no point to start a debate on the validity of the different views, as these are entrenched, but it would be interesting to see which camp RLS sufferers are in and why.