Since many diabetics are ignorant about the disease, they may turn to quacks and their “miracle” cures without knowing that these could harm – if not kill – them.
In the 1930s, a popular remedy for diabetes promoted by the Kaadt Diabetic Institute turned out to be a worthless mixture of vinegar and salt pepper. But that didn’t stop people from buying the concoction that earned an estimated $6 million for its promoters, Drs. Charles and Peter Kaadt.
The home remedy was in itself harmless, but the advice that went with it wasn’t. The Kaadt brothers told patients they could forget their diet, eat anything they want including ice cream, cake, and other sweets, and not waste time monitoring their blood sugar levels. This led to the death of several patients.
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Better Business Bureau stepped into the picture, the Kaadts admitted they had no idea whatsoever of the role of a blood glucose test or a diabetic diet. The two brothers went to prison in 1948 and were fined $7,000.
The Kaadt brothers are no longer with us but there are many others who are making money out of the diabetic patient’s misery. These are the people who promise to treat diabetes with herbs, magic, pseudoscience or plain chicanery. To the diabetic in search of a miracle cure, the following advice is offered by Dr. Augusto D. Litonjua in Diabetes Watch, a publication of the Philippine Diabetes Association:
“Patients and their relatives must not believe in cure-alls and remedies which they may hear about, especially those which seek to diminish the value of diet and exercise. There is no miraculous cure for diabetes.”
Below are some popular quack cures for diabetes that you should avoid:
DMSO or dimethyl sulfoxide has been used since the 1940s as an industrial solvent. Its therapeutic use started in the 1960s when it was prescribed for a variety of diseases, including diabetes. Diabetics were told they could reduce insulin requirements by as much as 50 percent and they could consume sugar regularly if they took DMSO. This chemical can be taken orally, rectally, rubbed into the skin, or injected.
Despite its appeal,what is dmso used for there is no evidence that DMSO can cure diabetes or other diseases. After reviewing thousands of articles on DMSO, the FDA and the National Academy of Sciences concluded that DMSO has very limited uses but plenty of potential hazards when taken in large doses.
With topical applications of DMSO, the patient could experience burning, itching, local and general dermatitis, and bad breath. Possible kidney and eye damage may follow the use of large amounts while using DMSO as an enema could be fatal.
“The FDA has approved DMSO only for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, an uncommon bladder disease. DMSO has not been shown to alter the course of any other disease. For some diabetics, (using DMSO) could produce acidosis, possibly progressing to coma,” warned Dr. Stephen Barrett and the editors of Consumer Reports Books in Health Schemes, Scams and Frauds. (Next: More quack cures for diabetes.)
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