A cure for diabetes is the Holy Grail for patients, healthcare resources and budgets, not to mention some pharmaceutical companies.
However, at this stage a widespread and effective cure does not exist.
To the dismay of both the international diabetic community, and the concerns of many healthcare professionals, a number of (primarily Internet-based) sites have appeared selling diabetes cures.
These sites can often be recognised by their jargon and language used, and prey on understandably hopeful diabetics.
Usually sold under a brand name and touted as being ‘100% effective in curing diabetes’, these cures are often not what they appear.
Usually, the cures are sold as being a natural combination of a variety of herbs that can aid in lowering and controlling blood sugar levels without the need for diabetes medication or insulin.
Don’t jeopardise your health
The really insidious nature of such claims is that it can urge diabetics to jeopardise their health by going off their medication, normal diet, or exercise routine, and relying on unproven products.
The Internet, for all of the good aspects and information it can offer, can also hide scams and phonies.
Diabetes.co.uk received reports of some sites urging diabetics to ‘throw away your insulin’.
The American Food and Drug Administration have gone out of their way to clampdown on the fake cures, sending warning letters and considering enforcement.
Many of the herbs and components of these cures are unregulated, and their efficiency for treating diabetes unproven.
Diabetes UK has also weighed in to highlight these dangerous scams.
What about people who really have come off insulin?
It’s true that people have been able to come off insulin.
Typically this involves either someone with Type 2 diabetes who has got their diet under control and no longer needs to rely on insulin or other diabetes medication, or in the case of type 1 diabetes, it can be thanks to an islet cell transplant which has seen a number of recipients come off insulin for a certain period of time.
In the case of type 2 diabetes, it is far from being an easy cure and involves a lot of work and discipline.
Some supplements may help to an extent with blood sugar control but without following a healthy diet, a supplement on its own will not have the desired effect.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, promises of a miracle cure are even more dangerous.
The amount of insulin a person with type diabetes produces is not enough to survive o, therefore they need to inject or pump insulin or they would need to have an islet cell transplant to produce insulin of their own.
How to recognise bogus diabetes cures
Websites which purport to be able to cure diabetes with minimal time or effort should ring alarm bells.
Look out for hyperbole in the claims of the product such as those that call their drug to be a ‘miracle’ or contain unspecified secret ingredients.
Case studies of people who have found the treatment to be life changing should be taken with a pinch of salt.
It is easy for a company to find people to advocate even the most bogus products.
Other warnings to be wary of are with products which pressurise the reader into taking urgent action, such asking you to not waste a moment and buy now or describe the product as being for a limited period only.
If you are unsure, ask your doctor to verify the claims made by the drug or product in question.
Can I report a website offering fake cures?
If you spot a website offering what you believe to be a fake cure or if you feel you are a victim of a bogus cure, you can contact Action Fraud, a part of the government’s National Fraud Authority.
- Call them on 0300 123 2040 or visit the Action Fraud website at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-medical-scams