Free Diabetes Screening Offered

Diabetes is on the rise in the Latino Community

It's all too familiar to Dr. Gregory Talavera. He sees the symptoms in patients at The San Ysidro Health Center.

Sometimes they are very subtle. Having to get up at night to go to the bathroom, or frequently feeling thirsty. "A common myth is that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar", he says, "but in reality, it's just excess calories". He's talking about "type two" diabetes, which often occurs later in life, if the body can't handle glucose in the foods we eat.

Add to that, a lack of physical activity, and a diet that is high in calories, and it's a very bad recipe. If diabetes worsens, it can lead to heart and eye trouble, as well as pain and circulation problems.

He's seen dramatic increases in the number of Latinos with diabetes. It's partly due to genetics, and family history, he says. But it's also food.

"In our modern society, rather than preparing traditional ethnic foods in a manner that our immigrant parents did, more and more Latinos are turning to the traditional U.S. diet, which includes fast foods, high in fat, high in calories".

As a result, Dr. Talavera says, Latinos have a 70 percent higher rate of diabetes than the general population.

So, the San Diego office of The American Diabetes Association is trying something that worked well last year.

Free diabetes screenings at an event called "Feria de Salud por tu familia". "Health Festival for your family". Health care professionals will be at Kimball Park in National City on Saturday, March 7 from 10 AM to 2 PM.

"It's really life changing, to get them in the system, and get them connected with a physician", says Ana Gonzalez of The Association.

The test involves a tiny pin prick, that produces a blood sample. The sample is then analyzed, and the person is contacted with the results within a week. "Really the only way to find out and confirm diabetes, is with a blood test", Dr. Talavera says.

This weekend is a great time to get that done. And at Kimball Park, certainly the price is right.

Contact Us