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Key Tips When Facing an Important DOT Physical

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Many commercial truck drivers deal with health conditions that could leave them questioning whether they’ll pass their next DOT physical. If this is the case for you, consider the following tips:

Give yourself enough time: The morning of your test, wake up with plenty of time to shower, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast and get to your appointment. If you feel rushed, it could impact your test results – especially when it comes to your blood pressure.

Avoid medication and energy drinks: Try not to take any over-the-counter medications or drink beverages with a lot of sugar and caffeine within 24 hours of your test. An energy drink, for example, may increase your blood pressure reading 20 points, enough to raise red flags if you’re right on the border.

Don’t eat big meals: Eating a huge meal right before your test can cause your blood sugar to spike. If your urine test reflects this, your doctor may decide to order more tests, which may take you off the road until these tests can be completed at a later date.

Bring medical documentation and clearance note: For example, if you have sleep apnea and are on a CPAP, bring a compliance report, a printout from the machine or a doctor’s letter. If you have heart disease, bring a letter from a cardiologist with reports and a recent stress test or echocardiogram. With diabetes, bring a note from the doctor that it is controlled and there have been no hypoglycemic episodes.

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