LETTER:High hopes

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The Independent Online
From Ms Suzanne Lucas

Sir: Your article "How to be healed" (Section Two, 16 November) stated that "Tibetan medicine is particularly effective in the treatment of diabetes".

The British Diabetic Association recognises that "alternative" medicines are becoming increasingly popular and may fulfil a need not met by current orthodox diabetes care. However, it is important that any alternative treatment is seen as complementary and on no account should conventional medication be stopped.

Diabetes is a chronic condition, and at the moment incurable, and although there is effective treatment available many people find it difficult to adapt to diagnosis. It is vital that diabetes treatment is given once prescribed and if this is stopped for any reason it could lead to life- threatening consequences. The search for a miracle cure is not surprising, but it is important not to raise people's hopes.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Lucas

Director of Care

British Diabetic Association

London, W1