Medical Advice Should Come With Citations

Posted: February 22, 2016 in Disability
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I took the afternoon off work (YAY finally having a job with paid time off!) to get some doctor appointments out of the way. Sadly only managed to fit two in- neurology and podiatry.

Neither was particularly exciting. Neurology was more adjusting and changing meds as usual, because my migraines still very frequent. Also my abortive prescription has stopped working for me, so switching to another (that my doctor has to try to convince my insurance to cover by explaining that their preferred medications for me were tried and not effective.)

Podiatry was for my foot pain. Mostly just suggestions to do the things I’ve been doing :-\ (insoles in my shoes, and stretches). But I also got a steroid shot that supposedly will help with the pain temporarily.

But also after my neurology appointment I got a sheet with info on “headache hygiene” with suggestions of things that are supposed to help prevent migraines which included such things as waking up at the same time every day and going to bed at the same time everyday, getting regular exercise, and avoiding skipping meals.

For me personally the one that stood out was not skipping meals. For those who haven’t read posts where I’ve mentioned it before I practice intermittent fasting- so I frequently go 16- 24 hrs without eating anything. I like this method and feel much better with it typically. So I’m curious what the evidence is that fasting will cause migraines, and has me wishing that advice like this came with citations to the research to back it up for patients who want to look into it.

This isn’t specific to just this particular piece of advice but I notice this happens a lot with doctors is that things just generally considered good and healthy become advice for any ailment, regardless of if there is evidence it is actually linked to that ailment. Just like the doctor did on Voyager.

fluids

Photo of the doctor in the television series Star Trek Voyager with the text “Everybody should drink plenty of fluids”. In context Kes, an alien species the Doctor was unfamiliar with, had medical complaints, he told her he had no frame of reference for what she was experiencing but she should drink plenty of fluids. She responded “fluids?” and he states “everybody should drink plenty of fluids”, indicating his advice was not at all specific to her complaints. 

 

It would be nice if doctors had to provide citations just like academics. Instead looks like I’m off to do my own research on this.

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Comments
  1. I feel you on this. I’ve learned to question medical advice over the past few years. Sorry about the migraines – I hope that improves!

    • ebay313 says:

      Thanks. I’ve been getting migraines since I was about 10 so it’s nothing new to me. I’ve actually been approved for medical marijuana in addition to the medication changes. It’s supposed to be very effective for migraine pain, but even being legal (medically) in my state, that doesn’t mean employers are ok with it on drug tests, which sucks.

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