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By Victoria Alwin

Health Fair advantage

Nutrition Corner


On Saturday, Oct. 3, Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District will be holding its annual Health Fair. I have been working at these fairs for the last 4-5 years. I have watched folks pass by the various booths: some actively taking part in what’s offered and others just picking up whatever literature or goodies are available.

While I normally write about all things nutrition and exercise based, dietitians are also concerned with everything dealing with a person’s overall health. Health Fairs are great opportunities to speak to the experts involved in certain areas, including nutrition, for FREE. Even dietitians charge for speaking to clients, usually at $60-100 per session. FREE is still a great price.

I have heard some people say that charging $35. for the Complete Blood Test is a lot of money, let alone getting the blood test for prostate cancer for an additional $25. Sixty dollars is way too much to pay. Reality check: if you get the same information without insurance, the information runs about $450. without the prostate test and about $500. with it. Yes, you have to come to the hospital or clinic to get the blood drawn, but you have the week from Monday, Sept. 28th to Friday, Oct. 2nd to get this done.

Now, I can hear you say that you are healthy, don’t need to know more and can’t afford the $35. -$60. out of pocket. According to the American Cancer Society, IF prostate cancer is found early, there is a 100% 5-year survival rate and a 94% 10-year survival rate. That is up to at least 10 more years to see the kids and grandkids grow or just hang around. The key is catching the potential cancer EARLY, which the PSA helps to do. As I have written previously, studies show that the average diabetic has diabetes for AT LEAST 3-4 years BEFORE they are diagnosed. The only way to find out early is to take the blood test. Same with finding out your chances of heart attack or stroke because the blood test includes your cholesterol and triglyceride (blood fats predicting blood vessel health.) The panel also shows if you are anemic or if your thyroid is funky, either of which can make you feel tired. The Complete Blood Test will tell you all about that because the results are mailed directly to YOU. If there is a problem or question, you have a great discussion starter with your doctor or Primary Care Provider.

There will be free blood pressure checks. Newest studies show that better control of blood pressure can decrease your chances of heart attack or stroke by up to 30%. Not bad for a FREE test. If you already know you have a problem or concern, I will be there to answer any questions, again, for free.

Any way you look at it, the TVHD Health and Resource Fair is a bargain all around.


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