Unlike Utah, Texas says chiropractors shouldn't treat diabetes, other disorders

Health • Battle heats up between MDs and DCs.
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Texas is on its way to expressly banning chiropractors from treating conditions such as thyroid disorders and diabetes.

Calling chiropractors who solicit diabetics with "secret" treatments "hucksterism," the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners has been working on new rules since 2010. The questionable ads run by Texas chiropractors were similar to ones currently appearing in Utah, said Yvette Yarbrough, the board's executive director.

Texas' new rules may allow chiropractors to co-manage such diseases through nutrition and exercise. But she anticipates that the new rule will ban "outright treatment" of diabetes, thyroid disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, asthma and other conditions.

The proposed rule is part of an ongoing battle between the Texas Medical Association and chiropractors. Medical doctors say chiropractors are illegally treading on their turf.

"Everybody wants to practice medicine but nobody wants to go to medical school," said David Bragg, the medical association's attorney. "Chiropractors are excellent marketers. ... They believe chiropractic is the answer. Texas law doesn't agree with that."

Tyce Hergert, public relations chairman for the Texas Chiropractic Association, said chiropractors should be able to help patients through nutrition and exercise.

"As far as sitting down with a patient that has diabetes, going over their diet, [offering] lifestyle coaching," he said, "we have plenty of training in that."