Patient groups have launched a campaign to warn people against trying untested remedies.
Many of the organisations believe that misleading information on the internet is leading to an increase in the number of vulnerable people turning to alternative treatments that cost them a lot of money and do not work.
When Daniela Muallem was first diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis ten years ago conventional treatments were of limited help. She was left exhausted and immobile for periods. In desperation she turned to alternative treatments.
These included reflexology, applied kinesiology - which involved listening to the sound of vitamins she might be lacking - and seeing a nutritionist. At the time she felt she had nothing to lose by trying them - but now she feels cheated.
"I started these things with huge hopes," she said. "Week by week you are investing energy and time, but you are getting more and more demoralised because you are still not improving. Practitioners will often imply that it's sort of your fault - that if you had the right attitude it would be working."
It was a similar story for Jane Chippendale in Kent whose husband Mark has MS.