DR. OZ AND FIBROMYALGIA – HOW HE GOT IT WRONG
Did you see the discussion on fibromyalgia on Dr. Oz last week?
I must confess – I never would have seen it without all the pre-show hullabaloo on Facebook. Very well-meaning friends and colleagues contacted me repeatedly asking if I planned to watch.
Since I don’t watch Dr. Oz (or much TV in general), I needed coercion. I finally realized that if my clients and the fibromyalgia community were going to be talking about it, then I needed to see it.
If you haven’t seen it for yourself, check out the Fibromyalgia Episode of Dr. Oz here.
First, the good things. It’s pretty darned powerful to have news on any particular health concern blasted to millions of TV viewers. There’s often quite a bit of grumbling in the fibromyalgia blog-o-sphere that fibro is rudely ignored by the media. Unless, of course, we count the silly references made on TV shows such as House and movies such as Identity Thief (that’s another post for another day).
It was also good to see the segment of the show that represented fibromyalgia “visually.” Sure, Dr. Oz’s representations were hokey (but did you really expect Hollywood-style CG effects?), but they adequately showed what the amplified pain of fibromyalgia “feels” like.
The burning question of the week:
Did Dr. Oz cover this topic satisfactorily? Was this a Thumb’s Up or a Thumb’s Down performance?
Here’s my take…
When it comes to Dr. Oz, PERFORMANCE is the operative word. It’s a SHOW. High ratings translating into advertising dollars is the focus. That’s not a judgment on his intentions; it’s simply a fact. His “job” is to create a buzz that builds a hype that generates interest for his advertisers. I have nothing against Dr. Oz, as he clearly “gets” edutainment. It’s TV – not rocket science. Just suspend your belief that all health-challenges should be resolved in a 60 minute time slot. Therefore, the real question here is – was there enough resolution to satisfy? I think not.
Building on the theme of theatrics, there were so many grandiose and over-the-top quotes in this show, that I’m still shaking my head. In fact this episode may have created its own entry for the next edition of the DSM – the syndrome of Shaking Head Health Hypothesis – (abbreviated as shhh)!
Here was Dr. Oz’s opening line: Fibromyalgia is the most controversial diagnosis out there. Seriously? THE most controversial? Give me a nano-second on Google to find a few more to add to the mix. He went on to say that women “complain” about it, but is it really real. Good heavens.
Even worse, what do you think about this one?
Fibromyalgia is life threatening?!?!
After a conveniently-placed commercial break, clarification of this statement was made. It was said that — for fibromyalgia patients — our quality of life is compromised, therefore, it’s life threatening. In my book, FibroWHYalgia, I state that fibromyalgia is lifeSTYLE threatening, not life threatening. BIG difference.
Because this post could go on forever, here are 11 more Head Shaker topics listed in no particular order. I’ve taken pains to be brief.
– Three visits to get diagnosed? Seriously? It took me more than a decade, more than a dozen different specialists, and who knows how many actual doctor visits to obtain my diagnosis. Apparently this is a “Your Mileage May Vary” issue.
– Spending an inordinate amount of precious air time articulating that fibromyalgia is “real.” No duh. Can we move on to something helpful? There is clearly ample medical evidence that proves that fibromyalgia is real.
– Consistently calling fibromyalgia a disease. It’s a syndrome. For me, personally, I don’t care. But, I got annihilated (via email) once for inadvertently calling it a disease on a radio interview four years ago. I’m now returning the sentiment.
– Hijacking the show halfway through to explore another, unrelated topic. Just as it seemed we were getting somewhere (like possibly revealing actual HELPFUL treatment options for fibromyalgia), the show segued into a superficial (literally) topic – skin care and anti-aging.
– After painting the picture of how frustrating, painful, and difficult fibromyalgia is to deal with, just a few (weak) treatment solutions were offered. Feeling “left hanging” was the consensus of opinion from those I polled on social media sites.
– Skipping over the enormous impactful issues of inflammation, nutrition, infections, toxins, body movement, stress, and emotional wellness.
– Slim pickin’ offerings on what specialists to see (standard rheumatologist and neurologist). Nothing new here.
– A strange demonstration of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. While this may be helpful, it’s far from being a typical treatment and at best, would augment other treatments.
– No explanation on what Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment is and how it relates to chiropractic treatment. Or does it?
– No holistic, whole body treatment solutions (big surprise).
– No mention of proven beneficial whole body strategies such as tai chi, yoga, fitness routines, etc.
Because there’s so much left to explore on this issue, stay tuned to next week’s post where I’ll interview two experts on their opinions on fibromyalgia treatments, Osteopathic Manipulation, and other topics. I’m sure I’ll also add information based on the feedback provided by YOU in the comments section below.
Did you feel let down by Dr. Oz’s coverage of fibromyalgia treatments? Start the discussion here!
Don’t miss out on the continued conversation! Check out Part 2 of this post HERE.