It is a call for early detection, if not prevention. Health officials warn diabetes is taking a disproportionate toll on the health of Latinos.
More than 8 percent of the nation's population has diabetes. However, nearly 12 percent of Latinos have been diagnosed with the disease.
The reason? For one, health experts say it is genetics.
"Now add on top of that, ignorance, lack of access to proper health care, that's important too and that delays the diagnosis as well,” says Dr. Steven Edelman, with the UCSD School of Medicine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control Latinos are 64 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over every one else.
Dr. Steven Edelman is the founder and director of the Taking Control of Your Diabetes organization and a professor at the UCSD School of Medicine. He says while developing type 2 diabetes may be in the genes for Latinos; the good thing is that it is preventable.
It comes down to portion control and choosing healthier options, combined with regular exercise. But he says early detection is just as important. A simple glucose test from your primary doctor can show you whether you have diabetes or not. Anything under 200 is a normal reading.
While there may be some confusion between the treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, there is one common denominator.
“If you don't treat it your blood sugar gets too high and blood sugar circulating in your body for years and years that's too high can lead to complications. Eye, kidney and nerve disease,” said Edelman.
The good thing is you can prevent those complications. You can get all the information you need this coming Saturday November 12, 2011 at the 17th Annual Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference and health fair.
It is from 9am to 5 pm at the San Diego Convention Center. For more information you can go online to www.tcoyd.org.