Migraine Pet Peeves: Coverage on Doctor TV Shows
By Diana Lee—December 14, 2012

While on one hand it’s theoretically great for the mainstream media to increase the public profile of migraine disease, we want any information they share to be accurate. Unfortunately most of what we’re seeing on the increasingly popular medical talk shows on TV is outdated at best and often misleading or inaccurate.

Recently a nutrition expert appeared as a guest on one of these shows claiming you could prevent migraine attacks by eating pumpkin and chia seeds because they both contain magnesium. This is so incredibly misleading. While magnesium does prevent migraine attacks in some patients, the level of magnesium in these foods is not sufficient to create that result. Perhaps worse is that by making it sound like migraines are that easy to treat and/or prevent, the show reinforced the stereotype that migraines are no big deal.

As popular as these shows are with the daytime viewing population, I can’t be the only one among us who has noticed the bad coverage of migraine disease and felt frustrated. The good news is that by speaking out when we see poor coverage, we can correct their unfortunate tendency to spread misinformation and hopefully eventually condition them to do their homework.

Here are a few tips:

1. If you see an episode of a TV show or an article (online or off) that shares misinformation about migraine disease, contact the show or publisher to let them know they are spreading outdated or wrong information.

2. Ask your friends, family and fellow migraineurs to do the same. Email, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all great tools for alerting your circle and calling them to action.

3. If a friend or family member shares an episode or article containing misinformation about migraine disease, politely let them know and direct them to accurate information, such as the articles we publish here at Migraine.com.

Do you have other ideas for combating inaccurate coverage of migraine disease? Please share them in the comments.

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About Diana Lee

Diana Lee is a blogger, lawyer & health advocate who's been disabled by Chronic Migraine. She's passionate about educating patients & combating stigma

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