Fibro Treatment Scams
The discomfort and disability that comes with fibromyalgia and the lack of success of most available treatments may lead you to explore alternative treatments. There’s nothing wrong with alternative or natural treatments as long as you check with a medical doctor to make sure your chosen treatment is a safe one. There are lots of evil people out there who hope to make money off of your pain, so you need to be careful that you don’t end up taking bogus cures that don’t work, empty your wallet, and even worse, make you sicker.
Take Kevin Trudeau, for instance, whose 600 page book, “Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About,” sold millions and found its way onto the New York Times best seller list where it stayed in the number one spot for 25 weeks. Trudeau has no medical training and in fact, is a several times convicted felon who formed a multi-level marketing firm called Nutrition for Life with his former cellmate. Trudeau and his partner/cellmate were sued by the Illinois Attorney General for running a pyramid scheme. The two squeaked out of this difficulty by offering a settlement of $185,000 to Illinois and 7 other states.
Trudeau then went on to push several commercial ventures using, as his medium, the infomercial, which led to regulatory action by the FTC, and was settled by Trudeau for $2 million.
Next, Trudeau started writing self-help books containing quasi-medical advice, including, in 2005, “Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About,” the aforementioned New York Times bestseller. The book sold more than 5 million copies by offering up wild, unverifiable, and just plain bad advice.
For instance, Trudeau says we should all stop using vaccines. Now, who wants to be first in line to get polio? Trudeau also advises us to stop using all prescription and nonprescription medication (what about insulin for diabetics?).
While some of Trudeau’s advice concerns appropriate (and obvious) lifestyle changes, for instance, don’t eat fast food, and get lots of exercise, some of his advice is downright dangerous, for instance his suggestion of oral chelation as a cure for heart disease. Then again, there’s the silly advice that has no basis in fact. In this last category are two supposed cures for fibromyalgia: crocodile protein peptide and magnetic mattress pads. Of course, you can’t buy the crocodile protein peptide anywhere except on Trudeau’s website, where you can obtain membership for “only” $499 a year.
And, by the way, according to Quackwatch.com, one lawsuit against a magnetic mattress pad company by the California Attorney General seeks more than $1 million in civil penalties for unfair business practices and making false claims; $500,000 in civil penalties for transactions involving senior citizens; and full restitution for purchasers of the products. The suit also seeks to ban the defendants from future unlawful business practices in California.