When you’re a truck driver, there are plenty of things you need to watch out for. Dangerous four wheelers. Coercive dispatchers. Unsavory characters at a rest stop.
But don’t forget, some dangers lurk within! Dangers like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
High blood pressure is a condition in which the blood pressure of the arteries is increased. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, but is severe if the pressure is greater than 180/120.
Because it lacks obvious symptoms at first, hypertension often goes unseen. It can cause heart disease and stroke if it goes untreated for a long time.
HBP and Truckers
Hypertension can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, eye damage, and atherosclerosis. If you’re a truck driver, all of these conditions can disqualify you from getting your CDL.
Not only can your health deteriorate, you can lose your job! It’s not worth the risk, we think.
Take time to learn more about hypertension with the American Heart Association.
Treatment and Prevention
So how can you prevent and treat high blood pressure?
First up, start eating a healthier diet with less salt and exercising regularly. If you already have hypertension, taking medications can help lower blood pressure.
Let’s break this down a bit:
- Diet: With extended hours on the road, there are plenty of drivers who would rather pull into a fast food joint than go for the healthier alternative. Being high in sodium, fat, and calories, fast food raises your risk to hypertension. Try cooking your own food in your truck for healthier meals.
- Exercise: Yeah, we know. After driving for 11 hours straight, you don’t want to get out and jog. But if you can wake up with time before it’s time to drive, you can at least start your day with a workout.
- Stress: Loneliness, traffic, accidents, finances, and sleep deprivation are all stress factors truckers have to contend with daily. When your stress levels go up, your blood pressure can go up. There are several ways you can reduce your stress, like hobbies and time management.
Once they have hypertension, truckers will require medical certification to stay on the road. Your physical examination record will be electronically filed to the DOT and become a part of your driving record in the Commercial Driver’s License Information Systems (CDLIS). When we say hypertension is serious stuff, we mean it!
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