Diabetes Expo offers services at Convention Center


She walks six days a week, so when Anne Mayer got her blood sugar tested a month ago, she couldn't believe she was pre-diabetic.

"This has brought a complete change about for me. It's really very difficult to stop eating sugar and to pay attention to everything you eat," said Mayer.

The American Diabetes Association says 79 million Americans are on the doorstep of diabetes. Many of them are young people.

"We are in trouble today because we have youngsters, 9, 10, 11 years old, that are type-2 diabetics. As a nurse, in my experience, we didn't have youngsters that were pre-diabetics," said Lurelean Gaines, vice president, health care and education and director, American Diabetes Assoc.

A blood sugar level of over 100 is considered borderline. But the important message here, experts say, is type 2 diabetes can be reversed if you catch it early.

"You've got to modify how you eat. You've got to change your lifestyle," said Gaines. "You would be amazed at the number of people that don't want to hear the information, also. Denial is a major factor in dealing with people that may be pre-diabetic, that are diabetics, and they just don't want to change that behavior."

Gaines is organizing this weekend's Diabetes Expo at the L.A. Convention Center. They're offering free health screenings, cooking demonstrations and information to help you reverse the disease process.

Experts believe diabetes rates are soaring because few people realize how serious the condition is.

"And the bottom line is when you're injured and someone steps on the toe of a diabetic, that person may lose that foot. And oftentimes we find we start with the foot and we move up the leg," said Gaines.

Anne Mayer is working hard on lowering her blood sugar and she plans to attend the Expo to get it checked.

"I'm not completely there, but I'm working on it because I really do not want to be diabetic," said Mayer.

The /*American Diabetes Association Expo*/ takes place Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the L.A. Convention Center. Besides diabetes, you can get free screenings for vision, dental and cholesterol. There'll be lots of fun things like yoga and line dancing.

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