Falling for Fake Diabetes Cures

A woman with diabetes shares how she tries not to get hooked by false promises.

Magician trick rabbit pop art retro style. Magic hat. The illusionist trick circus. Circus rabbit.


“Diabetes cure!! Click for details.”

I always click.

Always. Because…diabetes cure!

God knows it’s easy to fall for the siren song of the products you see advertised on TV or in flashy pop-up ads. Who doesn’t want a quick fix? And if something comes endorsed by one of your favorite celebrities? Bonus!

But as with so many other things in life, you really need to take such claims with more than a grain of salt. Or, actually, take them with a healthy dose of skepticism – your blood pressure doesn’t need the extra salt.

But speaking as someone who has watched her fair share of those “Miracle Cure for Diabetes” videos (don’t judge), once you wade through the sales pitch there’s not much left. With the rate of Type 2 diabetes soaring, opportunists are coming out of the woodwork. A generation ago, these were the companies selling tapeworms in capsules for weight loss and anti-wrinkle skin creams made from crushed pearls (and priced accordingly). Now, it’s diabetes’ turn.

The FDA is trying to crack down on the people selling these bogus products and offering these quack claims. They’ve established a health care scam alert service for consumers to stay informed. In the meantime, if you see a product advertising itself as a “scientific breakthrough,” ask yourself these two questions:

Does the product make unbelievable claims?
Does it promise to reverse diabetes, or even cure the conditions? If it seems too good to be true, it’s too good to be true.

Is the science backing the product vague or just plain gobbledy-gook?
I don’t have a degree in endocrinology, but it doesn’t take higher education to pick apart research that comes from unnamed doctors working with an unspecified sample size and operating out of a university you never heard of.

Trust me – if someone comes up with a pill to cure diabetes, you will be reading about it in the New York Times, the South China Morning Post, Le Figaro, Der Tagesspiegel, and every broadcast, cable, and online media outlet there is. You’re not going to have to get your information from sites normally dedicated to celebrity gossip and conspiracy theories.

Have Type 1 Diabetes? Try Insulin Nation, our sister publication.

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Katherine Tomlinson is a former magazine writer and editor who transitioned to online publications at the beginning of the millennium and has never looked back. She writes for sites as diverse as BellaOnline, Criminal Elements, Gourmet Food Garden, L.A. Reviews, and Horror Snark. She is the author of A Study Guide to Heart of Darkness and several short story collections, including Suicide Blonde, Toxic Reality, and Just Another Day in Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles and sees way too many movies.