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BROWNSVILLE – CHANNEL 5 NEWS is taking an in-depth look at a disease that’s spreading across the Rio Grande Valley.

One out of every 4 people in the Valley has diabetes. Experts say that number may be higher because a lot of people don’t even know they have it.

This is why we are taking a closer look at the disease, how to prevent it and how to manage it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers it an epidemic. They say it all comes down to genetics and most importantly, diet and exercise.

Obesity isn’t just linked to diabetes; it’s also linked to heart attacks, strokes and even cancer.

Anita Jenny, nutrition coordinator at Casa Del Mar, says the group ensures the education and meals they provide encourage a healthy lifestyle.

“The meals that they come and eat at the center, they love them,” she says. “We have testimonies where they tell us, ‘I used to weigh 280 pounds and now I’m 80 pounds lighter due to these healthy meals.’ So, it’s fulfilling to us to see them continue their journey on that healthy life.”

The number of diabetes cases continues to grow as more people develop and are diagnosed with the disease every year.

If you feel the following symptoms, it could indicate you may have diabetes:

  • Weakness

  • Tiredness

  • Thirst

  • Blurred vision

  • If you cut yourself, sometimes it takes more time to heal than usual

Free diabetes screenings are available across the Valley starting Monday.

The RGV Food Bank will also be giving out healthy food at Casa Del Mar, located on 2575 Russell Drive in Brownsville.


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