Diabetes Snake Oil.
There is no way I’m going to name the person who contacted me, nor would I even think about linking out to their ridiculous product. But I received an email over the weekend from a tool who I will call Peddler.
Peddler started their email to me by saying, “Hello Kerri. You can cure diabetes.” Then there was a link to a YouTube video. (With instructions on how to cure me, I assumed.) I clicked through and watched their video and did the whole “rolled eyes” routine.
I am a relatively well-educated patient. I am by no means a doctor, but I could pretend to be one for at least 8 minutes (until someone asks me to recommend treatment options or draw blood, and then I pass out and they find out I’m a lowly editor). False claims of a “cure” don’t sit well with me, so I decided to email Peddler back and see what kind of web he would weave.
“Dear Peddler. I have type 1 diabetes. I have been diabetic for over 22 years. Are you telling me I missed a cure? Best, Kerri.”
His response: “Yes, it must be possible. Although it’s not easy. Did you watch the video? You can try [product name] and [other product name] to cure diabetes type 1? The [product 2] keeps my blood sugar between 5 – 6 (European measure). When normally it will go like a roller coaster. It are the most advanced products ever made. I use them myself. You can find them here. [Link]. “
My response: “You can cure my type 1 diabetes when no doctors at the Joslin Clinic, no researchers, etc. have that ability? Can I stop taking insulin when taking your recommended product? My body doesn’t have active islet cells – you can reverse this? How much does your product cost and what is your personal involvement?”
Peddler’s response: “No sure, you can’t stop taking insulin. But if you take the product it might reverse it over time. I have absolutely no involvement into this. I just use it myself. Have been looking for years to try and find a cure myself. But you must read the information and watch the video. But there are a lot of products and research outside of the conventional research.”
Then Peddler loses it a little bit, emailing again: “[Another guy’s name], the health ranger, healed himself of type 2 diabetes through dieet and supplements. You can read a lot of information on [website]. Do you know anything about farmaceutical companies and their research? They only want to make money. They cannot use natural vitamins and minerals because they cannot pattent them. It’s a big money industry. I was a shareholder, been very active on the stock market. I know a lot about these companies. It’s just like the oil industry.”
The snake oil industry that wants in on my “dieet” and “pattents” and “farmaceuticals?” And what the hell is a "health ranger?"
I emailed him back: “It will reverse my need for insulin? Type 1 diabetes means my insulin-producing cells were attacked by my own immune system. This product can reverse my own auto immunity? I am shocked. Are you involved with this supplement company, because I have to be honest - I doubt the integrity of your intentions.”
Radio silence. Maybe he had to call back the Mother Ship for guidance.
Then Peddler comes back out at me.
"Ok, no I'm really not. I'm 27 years old, working in a pipe factory here in Holland. I really am not involved into this company, I'm a person just like you."
Then he sent me YouTube clips of different people talking about the supplement, and others of people showing how a certain diet plan "cured" their diabetes. How if I just authorized some payments from my PayPal account, I'd be right ready for a life without diabetes. (Come on, Mr. Pipe Layer from Holland.) After clicking around for a while, I had a good sense of how much snake oil is being peddled to people with diabetes.
And the thought made my stomach spin.
I can't help it. This shit makes me crazy! Don't market your false cures to me. Nothing I eat is going to cure me. No amount of raw vegetables or coffee or protein powder or amino acids or special high-fiber, low carb, strapless, backless nutrition bars. Unless you have a way to keep my immune system from taking out my body's own insulin-producing cells, do not email me. Stop preying on people with diabetes.
And for crying out loud, use spell check, would you?