What to Know About Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can cause health issues. But it can also affect your driving career and hurt your chances of passing a DOT physical. Here are some ways you can lower and manage your blood pressure to help you pass your physical:
- Commercial drivers with high blood pressure can be medically certified to drive if they drop their BP to under 140/90.
- Blood pressure medications are an acceptable way for commercial drivers to control high blood pressure
- Certified commercial drivers with high blood pressure are required to recertify once a year
- Commercial drivers with high blood pressure should consult with their physician before any drastic change in diet or alteration of lifestyle
Short-term Methods to Lower Your Blood Pressure Before Your DOT Physical
There are many precautions you can take to maintain low blood pressure before your DOT physical. Consult your general practitioner about long-term suggestions they recommend.
But, if your DOT physical is coming up soon, review these common-sense tips to lower your blood pressure quickly:
- Drink plenty of water. Improper hydration is a medically accepted cause of high blood pressure.
- Avoid coffee, cigarettes, and drinking. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol consumption increases blood pressure, especially in the short-term.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. There are numerous health benefits in eating fruits and vegetables and measurably reduce high blood pressure.
- Eat potassium-rich foods. Foods that are high in potassium have been proven to help lower blood pressure within a couple of hours of eating them.
- Try meditating. Reducing your stress helps lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association has acknowledged that meditation can also help lower blood pressure.
- Get some sleep. Sleep disorders or lack of sleep can cause hypertension, raising blood pressure. A daily 30 to 45-minute nap has been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Long-term Methods to Lower Your Blood Pressure
Commercial drivers who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or are taking prescription medication should consider improving their health. Some suggestions include:
- Start eating a healthier diet and reduce salt intake. Eating healthy is important. Employ a menu of salads, fruits, and vegetables, and stop eating greasy fast food.
- Reduce caffeine intake. Heavy coffee drinkers spend extended periods with elevated blood pressure. However, caffeine affects everyone differently, so consult your physician about your specific caffeine intake.
- Limit alcohol intake. Drivers must be limited in their use of alcohol. Alcohol abuse significantly raises blood pressure.
- Quit smoking. Every cigar or cigarette that you smoke raises your blood pressure and adds stress to your cardiovascular system.
- Get better quality sleep. Studies have shown that poor sleep quality raises blood pressure. Eating a better diet, getting some exercise, blocking out light and sound, and investing in a higher-end mattress are all proven methods for improving the quality of sleep.
Overall, even small changes in diet, weight, exercise, and sleep patterns can help lower and manage your blood pressure, both short and long-term. Please consult your physician before embarking on any new regimen or plan.
For all questions, concerns or to schedule your DOT CDL Physical Examination, please contact Charschan Chiropractic and Sports Injury Associates.