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Diabetes Snake Oil.

Snake oil - he haz it.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 goodness. 

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?  


I think I am going to be a Health Ranger for Halloween. Can you just see it?

I hate this crap BTW.

OK, I definitely laughed bawdily at "Mr. Pipe Layer from Holland".

I think you handled this guy very well. Much better than I fared with that Nigerian bank scammer.


I had a guy tell me once that eating okra would "make blood sugar go DOWN!". LOL!

The really sad thing about this is that there are some people who will fall for this stuff. That's just sad.

I just don't understand how he can promise you a cure in one e-mail and then tell you that you would still need to take insulin in the next. HELLO, NOT A CURE!!!

But I have to admit, that paragraph at the end has me dreaming of a cure where drinking coffee would make my body produce insulin. :)

LOL! OK...am I the only one who just got visions of George in a Superhero costume with a big HR on the front? Hahahaha!

Kerri~ Great job stomping down that pathetic nimbwit! YAY!

Wasn't Health Ranger a pseudo hard-rock band in the 80s?

I can only pray I get one of these jokers emailing me.

Sure, MR-P-L-F-H has a cure that will reverse type 1 over time - he just neglected to mention that "time" in this case means "the time it takes for h*ll to freeze over".

BTW I believe a Health Ranger costume would look more like a Lone Ranger - white cowboy suit, mask, ammo belt full of syringes...

What the???? How can people do stuff like this is my question? It is sad that people would be willing to bother other like this with a false cure just to get money. Where is the world's integrity? I love that you emailed him back though just to see where it would lead. I always ignore things like this! Thanks for sharing!

I hate slugs like this and well meaning do gooders . The whole lot of them make me sick and I take my hat off to you cause you actually took the time to email this slimeball back and listen to his garbage rhetoric . Gawd I cant imagine how you could have the nerves to listen to him and I hope you gave him what for . what a jerk .

Wasn't Health Ranger a pseudo hard-rock band in the 80s?

I can only pray I get one of these jokers emailing me.

Maybe he's spending too much time smoking those pipes?

"farmaceutical" had me cracking up. I picture cows sitting around in lab coats working up a cure (ala click clack moo)

A pox on these crazies!

My mom once referred me to a chiropractor for a hip issue who, upon meeting me and taking my history, claimed he could cure my diabetes. I was appalled! And thought, "Did this guy skip his science classes?!" I argued; my mom argued. She even brought him some diabetes-related articles so that he could "brush up" on his knowledge before spreading more craziness and breeding false hope.

Needless to say, he didn't help my diabetes or my hip!

I hate the Snake Oil Salesmen too, but this story irritated me for another reason:

The ambiguity of Type 1 and Type 2 both just being called "diabetes"

They are not the same disease. They have different causes, and even different symptoms (when's the last time a Type 2 checked in at 38mg/dL?).

Maybe you can control/"cure" type 2 with diet and exercise, but certainly not type 1 obviously. The terminology ambiguity lets these people get away with it.

Isn't amazing what lengths some people will go to make money.Unbelievable!

My daughter's high school health teacher told her in class that type I is reversible and according to him "can be turned on and off like a light switch" WTF??? He's a HEALTH TEACHER!!! When my daughter questioned him if he was sure about this he said that she should research this and that Duke University found a cure in 2004...where have I been for the last 5 years, no one told me there was a cure.

Nice, calm & clever response Kerri, I would have typed "so somehow you can cure WHAT NO OTHER DR ON THE PLANET COULD, EVER, well done, inform the media"!

Plus WELL DONE Amy & Cathy, I think I would have been arrested for aggressive assault in both of your circumstances!

Sorry for shouting, its 1 of those days!

Farmaceuticals made me lawl, and then I just lost it when I found out he lays pipe for a living.

its so sad, the only thing more pathetic are the people who actually believe all that c###.

I received the same email and many like it and it makes my skin crawl and blood boil! I don't respond as I don't want to waste my time, but your tete was amusing so I might try responding some time, just to see if I get the same pipe layer in Holland!

Well, they have to lay pipe on the farm to irrigate the farmaceuticals! They are all natural and organic you know.

Seriously, I get something similar at my site with people trying to "sell" memes. My favorite is all the uproar over the pain I'm causing by reviewing products with Splenda because everybody knows that Splenda causes cancer! Just like Pop Rocks and Mountain Dew.

And this SCAM is not only directed to people with diabetes ..." they " pray on the elderly , the vunerable ones ...thanks for getting the word out Kerri (signed : coming originally from the Netherlands , not Holland , ah, ah )

I am apparently an immature teenager because his job is the part that really cracks me up!

Kerri my dear, you had me in stitches!

How you manage to "keep yourself in check" when responding to people with questionable intelligence, in person or via email, is simply amazing.

And really, simply LOL funny Every time!

It can be enlightenedly funny to poke at someone's bubble and see what flows out.....

(btw: spell check in the comment area does not like enlightenedly But dictionary.com says it's an adverb)

Either way, thanks for sharing another Great post!

Even though I laugh at the audacity at people like this, I also get angered that some people will do anything to make a buck at the expence of others. My son is 13 and even he would know better than to fall victim to someone like this guy. It is really sad that folks are falling for stuff like this.

I get this kind of crap about diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It's infuriating when it comes from a scam artist just wanting my money. It's heart breaking when I have to explain to a friend or a loved one that the great new suppliment that they just tried isn't going to fix the congenital deformity in my heart or cure my stage 4 cancer. That I wouldn't stop my diabetes medicines in favor of an herbal suppliment. I know they only want me to be well and they are being scammed by the snake oil peddlers. I wish that we could shut down that whole industry.

I have had the same claims made to me but by a relative. I was in her neck of the woods two weeks ago and she had to introduce me to her witch doctor. I asked the same questions you did and all the anwsers were well no not really but these cleansing drinks will help you get rid of you diabetes. What a crock

I live in Holland and he hasn't found me yet! I will say his 'typos' are actually dutch words though ;)

I wish there was a cure I'm 17 and I've had it for 7 years I've almost died 3 times in the last 2 years and I'm super sick off it someone needs to discover a working cure!!!!

More than a year later, I'm rolling on the floor laughing. Of course, my stomach is now turning - but your humor and handling of Peddler/Mr. Pipe Layer was outstanding... and I love G's suggestion of being a Health Ranger for Halloween. Oh boy.

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