Diabetes is a disease where the body doesn’t produce or effectively use insulin – a hormone the body requires to move sugar (glucose) from the blood into cells so it can be burned for energy.

There are two distinct types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 (previously known as juvenile diabetes) – where the body can no longer produce insulin. Therefore, the patient must inject insulin under their skin several times a day as replacement therapy.
  • Type 2 (previously known as adult onset diabetes) – where the body still produces insulin but can’t use it effectively. Therapy for this type of diabetes sometimes includes insulin injections, but not always.

The primary objective of all diabetes treatment is to maintain blood sugars within a range close to what your body would achieve in the absence of diabetes. In other words, the goal is to prevent low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugars (hyperglycemia).

To accomplish this goal, diabetics should frequently measure their blood sugars (using a blood glucose meter) and carefully balance the following five parameters:

  • Food intake
  • If using insulin, the frequency and dose of injections or, if taking oral diabetes medications, the drug/dose prescribed
  • Physical activity
  • Emotions
  • Other illnesses

Diabetes is now considered to be a global disease epidemic because of the rapidly rising incidence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes throughout the world. Just in the United States, the incidence (number of cases per 1,000 population) amost doubled between 1980 and 2005. Globally, the number of cases of diabetes has gone from 30 million in 1985 to over 170 million in 2005. Experts predict this number will increase to 366 million by 2030.

Sadly, in parallel to the growing incidence of diabetes, there has been a dramatic increase in deceptive Internet advertisements and sales of products misrepresented as cures or treatments for diabetes. In fact, in late 2006, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working with government agencies in Mexico and Canada, announced they had sent over 180 warning letters and other advisories to online outlets of fraudulent diabetes cures and treatments.

Margaret Glavin of the FDA was quotes as saying, “We will not tolerate practices that raise false hopes and bilk consumers of precious health care dollars. Diabetes requires effective treatments and aggressive management, not bogus and unproven products.”

People with diabetes deserve better — truthful and unbiased information about the prevention and treatment of diabetes (there are no cures).

If you want a good laugh, check out this website which is one component of the FTC’s campaign to teach consumers how to avoid phony diabetes cures.