No one knows the exact number of professional drivers with diabetes; however www.truckersfund.com reports that 70% of truckers have one or more serious health problems, including diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are three types: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. In Type, the body does not make insulin, a hormone used to convert sugar and starches into energy. In Type 2, the most common form and often occurring later in life, the body does not produce enough or cells ignore insulin. Diet and exercise can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2. Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. In all types, glucose builds up in the blood, which can lead to many other health complications.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that must be managed through regular monitoring of diet, exercise, and glucose testing. However, only 37% of Type 2 patients are achieving the recommended levels of control, according to www.welldoc.com. Successfully managing diabetes is the key to helping patients live longer and reducing complications. Since 2005, truckers with insulin-treated diabetes must demonstrate that they can manage their diabetes when applying for a CDL with a Diabetes Exemption. Listed below are many options that can help.
WellDoc, is a mobile phone solution, approved by the FDA, that becomes a virtual personal health coach. Patients share test results and information and receive real-time feedback from their doctor through a data-enabled phone. Blood sugar levels are monitored more effectively, which will help patients to achieve diabetes control. It will be available from employers this fall and from your doctor next year. See product demos at: http://www.welldocinc.com/Products-and-Services/Demonstrations.aspx
There are several Diabetes Application Managers available for download to your data-enabled cell phone, iPad, or PC (some are free). You can also download applications that provide nutritional information on food, including food purchased at restaurant chains or grocery stores nationwide. Click on the links below for reviews of the most popular apps: Glucose Buddy, WaveSense, OnTrack, Track3, and LogforLife:
• American Diabetes Association (iPhone & Android)
• GOOMEDIC (Android)
• Medpedia Answers (iPhone & Android)
• VitalmHealth (iPhone)
An increasing number of Bluetooth-enabled or USB-connected meters that sync with cell phones are becoming available (FDA approval still pending in some cases). Click on the links below to review the details of each meter:
• MyGlucoHealth Meter
• WaveSense Jazz Meter
• Telcare Blood Glucose Meter
Maybe you feel you didn’t have control in getting it, but how you manage diabetes today is in your hands. For drivers with insulin-treated diabetes, it’s imperative to demonstrate good management in order to keep driving. If you’re a diabetic not yet on insulin, learning how to manage your diabetes well may help you avoid insulin treatment in the future. In either case, modern day technology could very well become one of the best tools to help you stay safe and on the road. We’d love to hear your tips. Driver, share with us how you do it while you’re on the road. Click here to comment.
For help in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, see your doctor or check out one of our Resource Partners, EconoLabs or The Man In White on our Resources page or contact us. You can also call our toll-free Trucker Prayer Line at 1-877-797-PRAY (7729). We’re here for you.
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The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care. Further, it is not intended to be a substitute for physician’s advice. Always see the advice of a licensed physician concerning any question you have regarding any content obtained from this blog and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or someone else. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.