One trucker with five diseases adds up to big trouble
I have seen as many as five diseases in one trucker. The driver was still logging 600 miles a day, but with difficulty. The day after we saw him and wanted to put him in the hospital, he was found dead. He logged his last 600 miles from Knoxville, TN and died in his sleeper. If he would have stopped, he would probably still be alive today and enjoying his family.
This driver had Metabolic Syndrome, which encompasses as many as five individual diseases, and each can cause disability and death. If you have any one of the following diseases, have your doctor get busy and protect you against the others. Three out of five of these diseases together qualify you for Metabolic Syndrome. The five diseases follow:
Defined as a BMI over 30.
Defined as BP > 130/89 on 10 readings over a one month period, or end organ changes of the eyes (retinopathy), heart (S4 gallop), edema (swelling of the ankles) or protein in the urine with one reading 140/90 or greater. End organ changes take at least five to 10 years to develop, so make sure your doctor addresses each of these issues pertaining to hypertension.
Professional Drivers Medical Depot (PDMD) follows Dr. Shelly Sal-peter’s definition as two consecutive days of fasting blood sugars of > 126 mg%.
Defined as an Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) > 8 with any one of the above disease or without if desaturation of oxygen levels < 90. Without diseases listed, an AHI of > 10 is recommended by DOT.
The same as Type II diabetes, associated also with morbid obesity.
So you Kings of the Highway and you Queens of the Interstates, be safe and see you family doctor at least once a year.
Dr. John McElligott is the founder of Professional Drivers Medical Depot (pd-md.com), a planned nationwide network of medical clinics located at trucking stops and travel centers.