The number of visits to a doctor made by patients with diabetes jumped by 20 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC found that doctor appointments for diabetes patients increased from 94.4 million to 113.3 million over the five years, translating into 1 in every 10 primary care visits.
The biggest rise was seen among people ages 25 to 44 years, where 33 percent of visits revolved around the blood sugar disease, marking the growing prevalence of diabetes in adolescence.
About 29 million Americans have diabetes, up from 26 million in 2010. Since Type 2 diabetes is linked to many other conditions such as heart disease, stroke and foot ulcers, it's essential to keep diabetes under control.
"Approximately 35 percent of visits made by patients age 45 and over were by patients with four or more chronic conditions," said Dr. Jeffrey Powell, chief of the division of endocrinology at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Diabetes is a serious disease that may be managed through physical activity, diet and use of insulin and diabetes oral medications. Getting active may raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol. It can also help prevent blood flow problems and heart issues, reducing the risk for heart disease.
The CDC advises that individuals with diabetes engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week. Some possible exercises include biking, walking briskly, dancing or swimming. The best advice: Find an activity that you enjoy - chances are you'll do it more frequently and for longer sessions.
You should also try to get in some workouts every day if possible. It's better to bike 10 or 20 minutes each day than one hour per week, according to experts.
Things to avoid
With exercise regimens in mind, it's important to point out that certain activities may be harmful for people with diabetes complications. Lifting heavy weights is among them, as it might prove deleterious for those with blood pressure or eye problems.
Physical activity can cause a drop in your blood glucose, resulting in hypoglycemia, particularly in people who take insulin. Hypoglycemia can occur during exercising, afterward or even a day later. You might get shaky, hungry, weak, tired or sweaty. Some people come down with headaches.
To prevent hypoglycemia, check your blood glucose before you exercise. If it's below 100, eat a small snack. After exercising, check it again to see if you need to eat.
On the other side of the coin, experts suggest not exercising when your blood glucose is too high - because that could push it even higher. If blood glucose is above 300, avoid exercising.
Talk to your doctor about the right ways to make diabetes and exercise coexist in your life. Remember, they're far from mutually exclusive!
To learn more about children and diabetes: