My eyes went directly to the advertisement, featuring a free gourmet meal and a promise to attendees to “discover the hidden secrets about how to potentially reverse your Type 2 diabetes.” This was the most exciting thing I’d come across in some time and it was happening at a location near me. Was this the answer? I mean, who wants to pass up a free gourmet meal and an opportunity to reverse this chronic disease? Reading the advertisement more closely, it was being promoted by a diabetes company and it was being held at a convenient evening hour.
I continued reading the paper, only to come across a second advertisement offering to reverse diabetes. This truly was my lucky day. This seminar, again with a free meal and promise to reverse diabetes, was being offered by two chiropractors in a location within a reasonable commute.
Armed with my two advertisements, I presented these ads to my CDE inquiring as to their legitimacy. Something inside me knew the answer, but don’t we all long for the magic pill or magic solution that will make “it” get better, go away, or simply improve?
I immediately questioned the expertise, education and clinical research of chiropractors. Do they have the knowledge and answers to make such claims, when my own endocrinologist hadn’t offered any solutions remotely similar? The other ad didn’t mention any doctor’s name, so it was difficult to check out the background of the individual presenting the seminar. I decided both ads were too good to be true.
Days later, you can imagine my shock to see another article on “Pitchman facing charges brings seminars to Arizona.” That’s right. Authorities said the pitchman was a criminal, who bilked the elderly through questionable diabetic therapy. The pitchman actually brought his seminars to Arizona while out on bail and was not a doctor of medicine at all.
Many of the attendees at the events booked one-on-one consultations, where the pitchman would promise to reverse their diabetes and scare them into accepting diabetes treatment by telling them they could die, have limbs cut off and could go blind. The pitchman was also accused of applying for credit in the names of his patients without their knowledge.
Another doctor, who published a book on reversing diabetes, was recently on the Dr. Oz show. I was intrigued to hear his talk and learned that he was promoting the same book content for patients with Alzheimer’s as he was for diabetes. It appeared that the one-size-fits-all remedy was the same for whichever illness was up for discussion.
Long story short, how do you know when something is legitimate? Let’s first remember that the diet industry is a multi-million dollar business and that any disease group can be targeted for profit. It is important to be your own health advocate and investigate. Ask your doctor or CDE for their opinion on new treatments, drugs, or alternative therapies. Get the facts.
Vicki Christensen resides in Tempe, Arizona, and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August 2011. She has become an advocate for change in the diabetes community and would enjoy your comments.