The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers about a flood of bogus diabetes "cures" promising to prevent, treat, and even eliminate the metabolic condition.
This month the FDA issued letters warning 15 companies
about selling products for diabetes in violation of federal law. The products are sold as dietary supplements, alternative medicines, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including homeopathic products.
Examples of claims made by makers of such illegally marketed products include:
- "Lower your blood sugar naturally."
- "Lowers A1C levels significantly."
- "You'll lower your chances of having eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and heart disease!"
- "It can replace medicine in the treatment of diabetes."
- "For Relief of Diabetic Foot Pain."
The (FDA) is advising consumers not to use such products, noting they may contain harmful ingredients or be improperly be marketed as over-the-counter (OTC) products when they should be marketed as prescription medicines.
"People with chronic or incurable diseases may feel desperate and become easy prey. 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 risky products," said Gary Coody, national health fraud coordinator for FDA. "Failure to follow well-established treatment plans can lead to, among other things, amputations, kidney disease, blindness and death."
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Among the questionable products identified by the FDA: Anastasia Diapedic Foot & Leg Treatment, Exermet GM, Galvus, Nuzide, Triexer, unapproved versions of Januvia, Glytain, Zostrix Diabetic Foot Pain Relief Cream, Sugar Balancer, Diabetes Daily Care, Glucocil, Nepretin, and ProBeta.
About 26 million Americans have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Millions more have pre-diabetes, meaning they have higher than normal blood sugar levels and can reduce their risks of developing diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.
"Products that promise an easy fix might be alluring, but consumers are gambling with their health. In general, diabetes is a chronic disease, but it is manageable and people can lower their risk for developing complications by following treatments prescribed by health care professionals, carefully monitoring blood sugar levels, and sticking to an appropriate diet and exercise program," said Coody.
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