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Migraine Pearls or Onions? 2/9/12


Looking for Migraine information online? You'll find it in abundance! The question is whether it will be accurate and unbiased.

Online infomation can be bright, polished, and valuable - like a pearl - or it can be... well... rough and stinky - like an onion.

This feature, "Migraine Pears or Onions?" highlights both the gleaming Migraine pearls I come across and the malodorous "Migraine Onions."


Today's Migraine Pearly goes to Tammy Elder Rome for proactively seeking information and answers about Migraine disease and speaking up when she sees online content that's wrong or could be better.

I met Tammy on Facebook, and although Migraines have a significant impact on her life, she works at staying positive and proactively learning about the disease and working toward better Migraine management. Brava, Tammy!


Yesterday, Tammy pointed out a piece on FoxNews.com that's today's Migraine Onion. Dealing with migraine headache in children is an answer to a mother with an eight-year-old child with Migraines written by Dr. Manny Alvarez.

Dr. Manny refers to Migraine as "an 'adult' illness that affects a young child," in the beginning of his article, and that's the first problem. Migraine isn't an adult illness; nor is it an illness of childhood. It's a disease that affects people of all ages.

Here are some other problems with Dr. Manny's answer:

  • He advises the mother to have her child seen by a board certified pediatric neurologist for diagnosis. A specialist isn't always necessary for a child to be appropriately diagnosed. Depending on the child and the doctor, their pediatrician or family physician may well be able to handle this. If a specialist is needed, a pediatric neurologist may not be the best choice. Neurologists aren't necessarily Migraine specialists, and Migraine specialists aren't necessarily neurologists.
  • Dr. Manny comments that it can be difficult to get a proper medical history from children. OK, but the accompanying point about medical history that he ommitted is that it's important to get the child's family medical history too because Migraine is genetic. Big omission.
  • He states, "Most likely, a physician will prescribe a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug such as Tylenol." Seriously? Tylenol isn't an NSAID. It's a simple analgesic.
  • His statement, "Prevention, of course, is even more effective than treatment," is quite accurate, but he had to go on to saythat there tend to be two cuprits in pediatric Migraine - nitrates and MSG. Again, seriously? Although those are fairly common triggers, to only mention these two triggers in relation to pediatric Migraine? Any doctor should be able to do better. Many children (and adults) have no food triggers whatsoever. One would hope that he'd mention other triggers including dehydration, irregular sleep patterns, and several others.

In the end, this answer just plain stinks - definitely an onion. Dr. Manny might do well to consult one of his pediatric neruolgist friends OR a Migraine specialist.

Live well,



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© Teri Robert, 2012
Last updated February 8, 2012.

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