Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Fake Cures For Diabetes

KERRI walks to the center of the living room and sits down on the couch, across from SIAH, who is sitting in the corner, staring aimlessly at the wall.

KERRI

Oh Siah, I just received an email!  About a chocolate shake with glucose-reducing powers!  And how, if I purchase the family pack of chocolate powder mix, I’ll get a free personal blender and I will also be cured of my diabetes!

SIAH

(blinks)  Meow?

KERRI

I know!  Diabetes cures apparently are everywhere.  Even in my spice rack, because it seems that just a spoonful of cinnamon, added to every meal and smeared on my face like Noxema, will help me achieve good blood sugar control.  Man, if only I had known that these diabetes cures were there the whole time!

SIAH

(licking her paw) You know this is a load of crap, Kerri.  Cinnamon doesn’t do anything for your diabetes and chocolate shakes?  Come on!  Even I know better!  And I’m a cat!

KERRI

You make me crazy, you.  I’m being sarcastic.  Sausage, there’s been a lot of snake oil peddling going on, for years.  Emails coming in, left and right, about how all these fake cures.  Serums, supplements, glucose regulation pills that claim to give you a fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dl and perfect skin.  Bunch of crap. So frustrating.

SIAH

Like the guy with the Bible cure that Kelly wrote about?  Dr. Toolshed?

KERRI

Exactly.  That guy is preying on people’s faith.  

SIAH

(aside) Decent pun.  

KERRI

Thanks.  But he is.  He’s selling this book about how God and faith can cure diabetes, and he actually says, in the book, that God can choose to cure type 1 or type 2, if he wants to.  Like all I need to do is pray all day long, and of course buy Dr. Toolshed’s book, and I’ll be cured of type 1 diabetes, no problem.  Also, this guy has dozens of books, all claiming to be the answer to how to cure different diseases.  He’s either miraculously talented as a medical professional, or he’s a charlatan padding his bank account with the faith of others. 

SIAH

I lick my own behind, and even I’m not dumb enough to buy into that guy’s ruse.  

KERRI

I have faith, Sausage.  And I have a lot of respect for people who have more faith than me.  But George said it best:  “I believe in God and seatbelts.”  I think that prayer is good for the soul and that insulin is good for my body.

SIAH

Can I have some tuna fish?

KERRI

Wait, you know the word “ruse?”

SIAH

I use the Internet.  Wanna see my favorite sites?

KERRI

Hang on, I’m still on my soapbox.  All these false cures are so disheartening.  Just a bunch of companies and individuals trying to make a buck off of our chronically ill community.  I believe in prayer.  I believe in tea.  And I sure as hell believe in chocolate.  But none of those things will make my pancreas get off its unemployed behind and make insulin again.   

SIAH

How about you get off your behind a get me some tuna?

 KERRI

Fine. 

(She gets up and opens the pantry, retrieving a can of tuna fish.)

But my point is that I cannot stand the cure peddlers.  Unless they’re working at the DRI or some other research facility that’s actually working to cure type 1 diabetes, I don’t want to hear about supplements that wean people off insulin or a book marketed towards the faithful, promising a cure for whatever ails them.  It’s depressing, watching all these people make a bundle off the hope or the miseducation or the desperation of people who are living with diabetes.

SIAH

I agree.  And once you dismount from your soapbox, wanna think about busting open that there can?

KERRI

You are obnoxious.

SIAH

(grinning in a weird cat fashion)  Meow.

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »