Stop this condition from progressing before it’s too late

A few weeks ago I began discussing a topic that is very pertinent to the fire service – heart health.

Aside from smoking, there are 5 major heart disease risk factors: obesity, low aerobic fitness, poor blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose.

Today’s topic is high blood glucose which develops into type II diabetes. Although type II diabetes is a very manageable disease, it is very hazardous for the cardiovascular system. Consequently, most individuals with type II diabetes have a shorter life span than average and die of heart disease.

Research shows that firefighters who have type II diabetes are 10 times more likely to die on duty of a heart attack or stroke.

Preventing diabetes is much better and easier than treating it.

Diabetes develops over time and can be reversed if in early stages, therefore it’s very important have your blood glucose levels checked regularly. People who have a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dL are “pre-diabetic” but still have the ability to ward off diabetes. However, once the disease has fully set in (fasting blood glucose of >125 mg/dL) it is not reversible.

Having a healthy body weight reduces risk of diabetes by 50-75%

The single greatest risk factor for developing type II diabetes is being overweight, particularly around the midsection (75% of diabetic people are overweight). Therefore, weight loss is the single most important objective for a person who has or is at risk for diabetes.

Exercising regularly (even just walking) reduces risk of diabetes by 30-50%

Exercise, even in the absence of weight loss, both prevents and treats diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. That means exercise does the same exact thing that diabetes medication does!

In fact, for pre-diabetic people, exercise and weight loss have been shown to be more effective than medication at preventing the development of diabetes. A diet high in fiber and low in fat and simple carbohydrates is recommended to avoid and treat high fasting blood glucose.

I challenge you to take the pledge to either have your blood glucose levels checked or take action to reduce your risk of developing type II diabetes. Please leave your name below so we can cheer you on.

If you’re not on my list to get more health tips like these, enter your name and email below.

By | 2018-06-04T17:58:52+00:00 September 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|2 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Karlie Moore has a PhD in Exercise Science and Nutrition and specializes in firefighter health. She has conducted fitness testing on hundreds of firefighters and has created the most comprehensive online wellness program for fire departments called the FitCulture program. Dr. Moore is also married to a firefighter and so understands their lifestyle and the health challenges associated with it.


  1. Jon September 4, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Great post Karlie

    Many people feel that with exercise it’s high intensity or nothing. Your reminder that even 30 minutes of walking can make a big impact is needed. I have seen some people be discouraged about making regular exercise a part of their daily lives just because they do not feel they can keep up with their colleagues. So get out and move, even learn a new activity, good for your brain and your body to learn a new skill.

    • Karlie September 4, 2014 at 7:36 am

      Thanks Jon!

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