Type 2 diabetes is one of the United States’ fastest-growing health problems, and lately, many chiropractors across the country have begun to tap into this expanding medical market. But doctors warn that many of the alternative therapies and wellness plans these health professionals offer are at best ineffective treatments, and, at worst, could potentially hurt people living with the metabolic condition, the LA Times reports.
Chiropractors are licensed to manipulate and adjust the spinal column, joints of the body, muscles and connective tissues. In addition, under some state laws, they may also help people treat any condition, disease or injury as long as these methods of treatment do not constitute them practicing medicine.
But type 2 diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and frequently requires medication to control. While a chiropractor with a background in nutrition and wellness may help people with diabetes lose weight or cultivate healthier habits, medical professionals are now warning that many of them are misrepresenting themselves as diabetes experts.
For example, some chiropractors offer patients with diabetes treatment plans that include “cleansing” diet programs or “high potency” herbs and supplements. In general, these plans do little to help type 2 diabetes patients. Doctors also warn that these expensive diet and pill plans—which can cost upwards of $15,000 per treatment—can harm people living with diabetes by stopping them from accessing proper medical care.
“They’re just taking people’s money for something that’s probably going to have very little effect,” said Tom Buchanan, PhD, MD, head of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “It seems dangerous that people would seek this type of treatment for a very serious medical condition.”
To learn more about the pros and cons of alternative medicine, click here.