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Archive for the ‘Bad articles’ Category

When it comes to Migraine truth, nobody tells it better than patient advocate Teri Robert. On her blog at www.PuttingOurHeadsTogether.com, she’s started a new series that I absolutely love – Migraine Pearls or Onions?

She started this feature in late January, and it’s quickly become one I watch for. Here are her “Pearls” and “Onions” so far:

Go, Teri!

‘Nuff said.

Best,
Arabella

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So, thanks to Google alerts, I just came across one of the biggest crocks I’ve seen so far. The person who wrote the featured article, Common Myths About Optical Migraine Symptoms*, is either seriously misinformed or delusional.

First, as has been discussed here, the term “optical Migraine” may be used in many places on the internet, but it’s not a form of Migraine as recognized by the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II), which is the gold standard for diagnosing and classifying types of Migraine and other headache disorders. “Optical Migraine,” is misused all over the place, and depending on who you see us it where, it can be used to mean something different each time you see it. OK, let’s pause for a moment here. Why am I explaining this yet again, when I can just point you to an article that says it better than I ever could? To understand why I’m saying using the term “optical Migraine” is a bad thing, take a look at this article by Teri Robert: Ocular, Optical, and Ophthalmic Migraine.

In short, THAT ARTICLE is the biggest myth I’ve seen!

Here, please imagine a great television announcer saying…

But wait! There’s more…

A link at the bottom of this pathetic excuse for an article takes you to a web site that has a section on… Yes, you guessed it… Migraine types! Here are the types of Migraine this person lists, with the incorrect ones in grey, crossed-out type:

  • Hemiplegic Migraine
  • Basilar Migraine
  • Menstrual Migraine
  • Optical Migraine
  • Ocular Migraine
  • Migraine Aura (I’ll give her this one; it’s Migraine with aura.)
  • Retinal Migraine
  • Abdominal Migraine
  • Complicated Migraine
  • Hormonal Migraine
  • Tension Migraine
  • Transformed Migraine
  • Visual Migraine
  • Cluster Migraine

Six out of 14? I could go on, but why? What I’ve already written is enough to warn anyone that this article and the site it links to aren’t worth the time it would take to click on the link.

This article and site leave me with one question: Why the hell do people who haven’t a clue what they’re talking about insist upon writing articles and web sites?

Seriously!

Best,
Arabella

* Note: I have further reason to question the site this article was on. This morning, I found this blog deactivated. When I asked why, it was because of the link to this article. To keep my blog, I needed to remove the  link. Wow!
Note added 09/04/10

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See the woman to the left? That’s how I felt when I read the title above, the title of an article I came across today. Seriously?!

This article is on a site that calls itself “Migraines & Headaches Health Center.” Again, Seriously?!

There is one good thing about the title -we already know the article is most likely going to be worthless.

Before I proceed, I need to make a confession. I’m out of patience with all the misunderstandings, misconceptions, and outright lies that abound about Migraines on the internet. That means that I’m not in the mood to be even marginally nice and polite about this article. So, I’m just going to come right out and say this — The article sucks, and the person who wrote it is an idiot.

Allow me to quote bits of the article and comment on those bits, please:

The main symptoms of migraines are a pulsating headache accompanied by nausea and diarrhea.

Wrong. This person couldn’t have done any research. Neck pain, vomiting and photophobia are experienced more frequently than diarrhea.

The article then discusses triggers a bit, a section not really very accurate either, then comes the closing paragraph:

Once the person identifies the root of the problem and avoids those situations most people have had reduced migraines and there are positive results. Avoiding certain foods, excess alcohol consumption, intake of caffeine and any such foods that bring on migraines helps a lot. Know what causes your migraines and avoid it and you will be able to live almost without them in future.

Seriously?! Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that simple? There are many, many triggers that cannot be avoided. I’m sure you already know that, but obviously, the idiot who write the article either doesn’t know or just doesn’t care.

Even with the best trigger identification and management, there are millions and millions of use who will NOT “be able to live almost without them in the future.”

Ordinarily, I’d give you the link to the article, but this time, I’m not going to. The coward who write the article has “closed” comments, so we can’t even give him or her any feedback. Some people look to see how many times their articles are read, and typically, when articles are read many times, those who wrote them thing that means the article is good. Since I won’t feed into that kind of thinking on this one, no link.

Please, please, pretty please, if you want to write articles about Migraines, do your research so your articles are accurate. Articles such as this one are no help whatsoever.

Best,
Arabella

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There’s a site that I’ve been watching in horror for a while now. It’s called “Migraine Symptoms Guide,” and is described as “Information on migraine causes, symptoms and treatments.”

One of the articles on it is “What is an Ocular Migraine?” I think we’ve covered before that the term “ocular Migraine” is used fairly commonly around the Internet, BUT when you see it, you’ll never know just by seeing the term what people are talking about. You see, it’s one of those “types of Migraines” that uninformed people talk about, but it’s not an “official” form of Migraine. For the sake of clarity, the gold standard for diagnosing and classifying the various headache disorders, including Migraine, is the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, Second Edition (ICHD=II).

I held off on writing about this particular article because Teri Robert had posted a couple of comments, and I wanted to see what the response might be. The first time she commented, Teri explained about the classification system and pointed out another error in their article. They had stated that “there is no treatment for these Migraines. The author posted a reply thanking Teri for the clarification and saying, “We have updated the article accordingly. Indeed, they had NOT. All they had done was add a couple of sentences about preventive treatment, preventive treatment without any research to support it at that.

Teri patiently posted a second comment that not only said that they’d missed her main point about “ocular Migraine,” but went so far as to give them a listing of the types of Migraine outlined in the ICHD-II. As I write this, their article remains unchanged.

Enter Teri’s colleague at MyMigraineConnection.com, Nancy Bonk. On Wednesday, Nancy wrote a fantastic post, “Ocular Migraine” – Not, and Why Not. Nancy wrote quite clearly and unequivocally that there really is no such thing as “ocular Migraine” and why using the term is such a bad idea. Yours truly went to the Migraine Symptoms Guide site/blog and posted a comment with a link to Nancy’s blog post.

Now, here’s the kicker! I just read the comments posted to Nancy’s blog. There’s one from the person who wrote the ocular Migraine article! Because of Nancy’s post, she’s “totally reworking the article.” Yes! Good job, Nancy!!

There is, however, something a bit sad about her comment to Nancy. It’s sad that she didn’t heed the TWO comments Teri left her. It’s sad that she totally ignored those, and she only felt moved to do something after I posted the link to Nancy’s blog post.  Was it ego that made her ignore Teri’s comments? Is it such ignorance of the leaders in the field that she didn’t recognize Teri? Whatever the reason was, it’s sad that this article is still online. I can’t tell when it was first written, only that the first comment on it was posted on January 16. If Scarlett, who wrote the article, were genuinely concerned about its inaccuracies, she’d take it down until it was reworked and corrected. AND, if she’s serious about wanting it to be accurate, she’ll do better research this time. Oh, Scarlett, maybe you should try talking to Teri OR reading her book.

Now, I’ve spent a good bit of time talking about ONE article on Migraine Symptoms Guide. When you go to the main page of the site/blog now, you find the article, “Different Types of Migraine.” I wish I could say that article is better, but it’s not. It lists more types of Migraine that aren’t accurate diagnostic terms:

  • Exertion Migraine: That’s not a type of Migraine. Exertion can trigger ANY form of Migraine.
  • Ophthalmoplegic Migraines: Nope. Check the ICHD-II. It’s not there.
  • Basilar Artery Migraine: Has been called Basilar -Type Migraine for 10 years or so now, and the description is inaccurate.
  • Abdominal Migraine: Description is wrong. Says, “This is the only kind of Migraine that doesn’t involve pain in the head.” Absolutely wrong. You can have lots of different types of Migraine without the headache. When that happens, the DESCRIPTIVE term is “acephalgic” or “silent.”

If the people who write this site/blog were docs, we might call them “quacks.” I don’t think they are, so let’s just say they’re pathetically misinformed and don’t know good research from well… I won’t go there.

Best,
Arabella

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imitrex-smallThere are articles / blog writings that are wrong and annoying, and then there are those that are potentially harmful. I’ve come across one at healthylivingrx.org that falls into the latter category.

The title of this article is Looking  At Imitrex As Migraine Prevention Medication. Now, the author of this travesty, Cristina, isn’t  talking about a special circumstance where Imitrex might be used for prevention; she is under the mistaken impression that Imitrex actually IS a preventive medication. She says…

Unlike many other migraine prevention medications that doctors and neurologists prescribe, Imitrex has always been a migraine medication. You can get it in three forms, as a pill, injectable needles or as a nasal spray…

See what I mean?

Cristina is also way behind in other areas of her knowledge and research. This article is dated November 9, 2009. At the end, she says, “A generic version is supposed to come out in December, 2008.”

Is this woman one fry short of a happy meal or what? She’s writing about the past as if it were the future. Duh. Yeah. The generic has been out for some time now. And guess what? It’s STILL NOT a preventive medication!

‘Nuff said. The woman is an idiot. The owner of the site is an idiot for publishing the article or allowing it to be published.

This article is potentially harmful. In my eyes, that makes the entire site potentially harmful. Who knows what other information there may be as inaccurate as this article or even more inaccurate?

For Cristina, or anyone else who is confused about the different types of medications for Migraine, I recommend this article by writer and patient advocate Teri Robert, Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications – What’s the Difference?

Best,
Arabella

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StopSign200Thanks to a Google alert, I came across yet another blog  / site where they need to either do better research or keep their advice and opinions to themselves.

HealthyLivingRX is a site built with WordPress, the same blogging software I use for this blog. WordPress is great because it allows to you build an entire web site with their easy-to-use interface. It’s just a shame that some people have discovered this.

The specific article I found is titled Ocular Migraine Treatment: Is it Really Necessary? Yeah, here we go again with the “ocular Migraine” bit. Doctors who know what they’re doing generally use the International Headache Society’s International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II), to assign diagnoses to Migraine and other headache disorders. This makes a lot of sense because it keeps everyone on the same page. In the ICHD-II, there is no diagnosis “ocular Migraine.” Sure, we see it in many places online, and some doctors use the term. The problem is that the doctors and sites who use the term don’t use it to mean the same thing. Thus, my first problem with this article is that the information is inaccurate and not helpful to Migraineurs who really need an accurate diagnosis.

I have an even bigger problem with this statement in the article:

“Ocular migraines can be disturbing to experience, but they are generally not harmfull.”

Aside from the fact that they misspelled “harmful,” this statement COULD BE harmful. New research is showing that Migraine might be a progressive disease. It’s showing that some Migraineurs develop lesions on their brains, and we don’t know yet what problems those lesions might cause. Experts in the field advise preventing as many Migraines as possible AND stop the Migraines we do get as soon as possible. So, this statement pretty much tells people it’s ok to NOT treat these Migraines, and that might be quite unsafe.

Please remember that these people are NOT qualified to give us medical advice. In the case of this site, I can’t even say that I’d read it at all again. I simply do not trust it. It’s really a shame there’s no way to get such nonnsee removed from the Internet.

Don’t believe everything you read. Be safe!

Best,
Arabella ♥

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Bella-logoOn July 12, I wrote Disappointing: Bella Online Headaches / Migraines.

Well, I have to say that I don’t find Bella’s Migraine site disappointing today. Today, I find it downright frightening.

Today, I came across Robinson’s article Topamax For Migraines. I think we’ve all been taught that prepositions such as “for” don’t need to be capitalized in titles since at least junior high school, but it’s not her lack of writing skills that frightens me. What frightens me is that she really doesn’t seem to know much about her topics. Allow me to quote from this Topamax article:

Today, Topamax is growing in popularity as a migraine treatment not only because the product works but because the side effects are less serious.

What? The side effects of Topamax are less serious than what, Ms. Robinson? She doesn’t mention that some of the “visual problems” include glaucoma that can result in permanent loss of vision. She doesn’t include some other potential side effects that have earned serious FDA warnings:

  • oligohidrosis (decreased sweating) and hyperthermia
  • birth defects if taken by pregnant women

I don’t know Heather Robinson, and bear her no ill will. However, I find it disturbing that she writes for an online network and publishes pieces that are incomplete at best; incomplete to the extent of being inaccurate.

Please, if you’re one of her readers, verify any information you find in her writings before accepting it as correct. Be safe. Be healthy.

Best,
Arabella ♥

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