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It’s challenging to ignore powerful stories. In fact, it’s human nature to respond to stories. It’s something that’s biologically wired to the species. However, it’s important not to let storytelling affect your good health decisions.

Medical news is highly selected 

The medical news that ends up being aired or published is usually highly dramatic. It’s not informative or highly typical, neither is it even worthwhile. For example, can a spine fracture lead to back pain, or can you get a headache because of cancer? Definitely yes. Can palpitations mean atrial fibrillation? Absolutely. However, having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have a spinal fracture, cancer, or any other severe medical condition. So, while it is okay to know more about which palpitations, headaches, or backaches are likely to be symptoms of a dangerous condition, not every person with such symptoms needs to test for such conditions.

At first glance, your symptoms may both look and feel like what you read or watched on TV. However, those scary health stories might overlook or leave out altogether important information. For instance, the headache being accompanied by the loss of hearing or the palpitations needing to come with shortness of breath. All these small details matter and could be the difference between what you and someone else is experiencing.

The truth is people that share common symptoms and then end up having the same benign, common medical condition rarely make it to the screen or newspaper. You probably won’t hear about the person that has daily headaches and a stressful job who’s diagnosed with headaches caused by tension, even though that’s a far more common diagnosis.

Bottom line 

Unusual or dramatic medical news can prove detrimental to one’s health. You don’t need to take some of the medical stories you see in the newspaper or TV so seriously. Many of them only encourage unnecessary worry. They can also distract you from the more important and more common health issues.