High blood pressure is said to be the silent killer. It’s a condition when the force of the blood pushes too hard against the artery walls. Many times, there are no symptoms, until you have a heart attack. Hypertension damages your arteries and restricts blood flow. Poor blood circulation can lead to brain damage, impairment, stroke and kidney damage. Truck drivers are checked for high blood pressure as part of the DOT physical.
Truck drivers who have high blood pressure can drive, but they will have to lower their blood pressure to under 140/90. Although BP medication is an approved method to treat high blood pressure, there are other methods to help you lower your BP for better health. Drivers with hypertension will have to get recertified yearly to keep their CDL.
Lowering Your Blood Pressure Before the Physical
- Drink water. More water in your system lowers the sodium levels in your body, which does cause high blood pressure.
- Watch your salt intake.
- Stop smoking. Smoking raises blood pressure.
- Don’t drink coffee. Studies show that caffeine raises blood pressure.
- Don’t drink alcohol. Ditto.
- Eat foods high in potassium. Bananas, sweet potatoes, pomegranate and dried apricots are all high in potassium.
- Reduce your stress. Meditate. Pray. Do whatever you need to do to maintain good stress levels.
- Up your vegetable and fruit intake. Foods high in nitrates and nitrites help maintain blood pressure. Beet juice is highly recommended.
- Get enough sleep. Take a nap.