Islets of Hope alternative and complementary treatment for persons with diabetes
Article by Lahle Wolfe, Founder, Islets of Hope.
For article use and reprint permission please contact:
Alternative & Complementary Therapies for Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes Treatment & Management
Insulin Pump Therapy
Insulin Therapy & Shot Therapy
Conventional vs. Intensive Insulin Therapy
When a cure is truly found for diabetes we will be among the first to announce it.!
Consumer World offers an online, extensive resource directory for consumers who have had problems with companies.
Alternative & complementary treatment for diabetes
Mini site index
"Cures" for diabetes
Wouldn't we all love one? And wouldn't someone out there be absolutely-beyond-your-wildest-dream-rich if there really was a cure for diabetes? But there is no cure. Yet.
Be wary of anyone who claims their product or service will cure any type of diabetes -- none have known cures. However, pre-diabetes may be reversed, as well as the effects of insulin resistance, and the degree of how diabetes of all types manifests can be managed.
Type 2 diabetes may appear to go away with proper lifestyle and medical management but it is still not cured -- you fall "off the wagon" and your symptoms will return. Type 1 diabetics will always need insulin to live no matter how well they manage their lifestyle.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have such tight control that you don't appear to have type 2 diabetes any longer you still have it. You should be applauded for your excellent management, but you are still type 2. Sorry.
It is important that you carry all your medical supplies and medical identification with you at all times. Should there be an emergency situation where you were unable to tell a medical professional that you are diabetic you could receive the wrong care.
Complementary vs alternative therapy: A big difference
Alternative medicine reports to be a substitute for conventional medicine. Complementary therapies do not make this claim. Complementary therapies may help you better manage diabetes -- but do not purport to be a cure. Don't fall for gimmicks from people who sell herbs and remedies and say that they can completely cure you with natural or traditional remedies. The medical institutions of natural methods simply do not, and I repeat do not, make that claim even if you run into web or other vendor that does.
Persons who claim using complementary therapies can cure you are making unsupported, false claims not true with the tradition philosophies and standards.
Examples of traditional medicine and complementary therapies that may offer help with managing diabetes, but do not make claims to cure diabetes, include, but are not limited to:
Read and decide for yourself
Sometimes products, especially books, have the word "Cure" in the title to catch your interest. But upon reading further you may find that they back off the claim. If something is sounds too good to be true, it often is, but don't necessarily judge a book by its cover either. The word "cure" may be used, for example to define reversing or halting progress of a disease or perhaps even one particular facet of the disease. Such claims may in fact, even be true. Still, advertisers who feel that they have to bait you like fish, even if their product really is worth a second look, just bug me.
Examples of tricky advertising using the word "cure" to lure you in
Do a simple Google search using "diabetes cures" and you will see what we are up against. But not all companies advertising cures to lure you in really make such claims once you are there. An example is the supplement market. Supplements, vitamins, herbs, all have their place in diabetes management plans, but will not cure you.
Here is an example from a Google search:
Natural Cures for
Diabetes Products Symptoms Herbal Remedy ...
Note the phrase "Natural CURES FOR DIABETES" to lure you into their site. Click on the link page (or visit the company link page referenced above at Health-MarketPlace.com. Notice something interesting? On this page there is no claim to cure anything, only an offer to sell you products. In fact, notice at the bottom of this page they make two statements...
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended
to diagnose, treat, cure, or
Well, how come they boast CURE for diabetes to get you there, but once there say the complete opposite? Simple. There is no cure for diabetes and they know it. All I am trying to emphasize is that not all companies with bad advertising campaigns are selling snake oil (this site sells reasonable products) but I am suggesting that their advertising marketers have a lot to learn about ethics.
Here is another example of misleading advertisement. On Kevin Truedau's website, one main header ads boasts "Natural Cures They Don't Want you To Know About" (also the title of his book). Sounds like a cure for diabetes being hawked in the UK but the internal wording is a little more vague:
..."2. Eliminates insulin resistance: Diabeticine™ repairs cell receptors to better recognize insulin which virtually eliminates insulin resistance. Most medical sources agree that insulin resistance is the root cause of Type 2 diabetes. Cells are now much more successful at metabolizing glucose which further normalizes blood sugar levels. "
..."In this book Kevin refers to a combination of natural herbs researched at the University of Calgary by a Dr. Yung Su Kim in Canada who revealed this formulation. Dr. Yung Su Kim's research at the University of Calary showed that this combination of natural herbs can regulate blood sugar and in many cases eliminate the need for insulin injections."
Mr. Trudeau's book and product may or may not be something that can offer reasonable complementary support to a person with diabetes; I am not qualified to judge his book as being good or bad because in fairness to Mr. Trudeau, I have only read his web information and not his book. My intent is, however, to demonstrate that sometimes advertising can be contradictory and confusing. (Editor's update: 08/01/06 - The product named Diabeticine is now sold under a new name, Diamaxol.)
I also really need to make clear that, while pre-diabetes can be reversed, there is no cure for people with type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes. Once you are insulin dependent due to pancreas failure, you will always be insulin dependent (unless you receive a miracle, or pancreas transplant or beta cell transplant).
Note: Insulin resistance is when a person makes insulin, but is resistant to the effects of the insulin. People that are insulin resistant tend to over produce insulin to compensate. Some nondiabetic persons with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome X, polycystic ovarian syndrome) may have normal blood glucose levels, or only slightly elevated blood glucose. What is abnormal is their level of insulin production -- they are hyperinsulinemic (which in itself is a bad thing). So while it is true to say that decreasing insulin resistance can help the body better utilize the insulin it makes (and producing normal amounts of insulin is a good thing), it may or may not have an impact on blood glucose levels in people who only have elevated insulin (insulin resistance) levels and normoglycemia.
Don't judge a book by it's cover
This same misleading initial claim is often found in book titles. If the book seems promising go beyond the title and read the inside; you may find a different story from what the title indicates. Editors and publishers have a lot of control over book titles; the author may not have been content with the final title. In fact, I once received an e-mail from author Dana Carpender that, although her latest book is in fact low-carb, her publisher would not permit the term "low-carb" on the cover or in the title because Border's Book Store and Barnes and Noble were refusing to stock any more low-carb cookbooks. Under the new title, her book was stocked -- even though it is in fact, another low-carb cookbook.
What to do if you get taken
Don't blame yourself. We all want to believe that something out there will really make diabetes go away. The shame belongs not on the consumer, but on the seller.
Persons offering services who make claims that they have a cure for your diabetes may not be properly trained in their practice (they should know better), or, may be deliberately misleading you to get your money. Either way, steer clear and find someone who understands what complementary care is and how to administer it. If anyone tells you to give up your diabetes medications or insulin or to ignore your physician's advice ... run! Complementary medicine is not against taking insulin and not against surgical practices either. A combination of Eastern and Western therapies seeks balance, not exclusion; they should work in tandem, complementing each other, to help you manage your diabetes or related disorder.
Islets of Hope recommends that you contact reputable organizations to obtain accurate information about the type of complementary care you are interested in learning more about before finding a provider. Stay away from the obvious snake oil companies; be open-mind, but realistic. The herbal remedies of TCM or homeopathy can be complicated and it is not something you should try to prescribe for yourself. While homeopathic remedies are generally considered safe, you could be wasting your money.
We are not happy about companies or service providers making claims that they can cure your diabetes in order to get you to buy something. This is why IOH gave up hosting Google ads. We LOVE Google, but the way their program works IOH had numerous "Cure Diabetes" ads popping up all over the place. Every time I saw one it infuriated me. If there is a cure why is my 6-year-old daughter still getting 10 or more finger sticks per day and has to live hooked up to an insulin pump with a needle stuck in her bum?
Claims for diabetes cures are often illegal and you should be entitled to a full refund. If you cannot get a refund please contact us, we might be able to help. If nothing else, we will report the company's fraudelant behavior on our website to warn others.
Page Updated 03/14/06