Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States of America. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 9.4% of the U.S. population has diabetes. Every year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. Truck drivers are even more susceptible to diabetes. According to the CDC, truck drivers are at a 50% greater risk of diabetes than the national average. Fortunately, there are ways truck drivers can reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Here are five diabetes prevention tips for truck drivers.
1. Check for signs of prediabetes
According to CDC, you are more likely to have prediabetes if you:
- Have obesity,
- Are 45 years or older,
- Have a family history of diabetes,
- Have or had gestational diabetes,
- Have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Here are some most common signs of prediabetes:
- Swollen or tender gums
- Dry, itchy skin
- Blurred vision
- Frequent urination
- Lack of energy
- Unexplained weight loss
If you are having one or more of these signs, you should immediately visit a doctor. This online quiz may also help in determining whether or not you are prediabetic.
2. Make healthy food choices
If you are prediabetic, you should do your cooking in advance and bring your balanced meal on duty. Here is the guide by the American Diabetes Association about what kind of a plate you should create for a safe meal.
Set a goal of getting moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes every day for five days a week. A combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise is believed to produce the best results for preventing diabetes.
4. Stop smoking
Smoking increases the risk of hypertension, which is a major factor in type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence that smoking leads to abdominal obesity, which is also a known risk factor for diabetes as it encourages cortisol—a hormone that increases blood sugar.
5. Enrolling in a diabetes prevention program
Managing prediabetes alone with no guidance can be complicated. You can register yourself in the National Diabetes Prevention Program initiated by CDC.
Many organizations like Healthy Trucking Association, Omada Health, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) are also supporting the program. They are providing educational resources, tools, and content to help healthcare professionals and affectees combat Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is common in U.S. truck drivers. However, the risk of diabetes can be reduced by following the tips mentioned in this article. Motor carriers should also create awareness about diabetes, promote healthy habits, and initiate diabetes prevention programs.