The FDA is advising consumers with diabetes to avoid illegally marketed treatments. They say that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
The phrases on products and dietary supplements to watch out for include “lowers your blood sugar naturally,” “inexpensive therapy to fight and eliminate type II diabetes,” “protects your eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels from damage,” “replaces your diabetes medicine,” “effective treatment to relieve all symptoms of diabetes,” and “natural diabetes cure.” If a product has these claims on the label, it’s probably a scam.
In addition to not meeting label claims, these products can contain harmful ingredients. They may be marketed as over the counter products when they require a prescription.
And if people with diabetes rely on these fraudulent products instead of getting real help from a doctor, they are at greater risk for developing serious health complications such as loss of eyesight and heart disease. The disease can be managed with proper care.
More than 29,000,000 people in the United States are diabetic. And about 7,000,000 are undiagnosed. Millions more have pre-diabetes, which means they have higher than normal blood sugar levels and are at risk for developing the disease.
Jason Humbert, a commander with the U.S. Public Health Service of the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs said in a statement, “People with chronic or incurable diseases may feel desperate and become easy targets. Bogus products for diabetes are particularly troubling because there are effective options available to help manage this serious disease rather than exposing patients to unproven and unreasonably risky products. Failure to follow well-established treatment plans can lead to, among other things, amputations, kidney disease, blindness, and death.”
The FDA does look in the marketplace for illegally marketed products that promise to treat diabetes and other serious diseases. Consumer complaints can help find these products and protect others.