Friday, August 28

Driving and Diabetes

Can diabetics drive? Yes, we can! Diabetics, especially with those whose sugar levels are controlled, can drive. However, there are main concerns to be addressed when diabetics take the wheel. Take for instance the often unannounced incidences of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Our senses and reflexes are greatly affected when our blood glucose hits the extreme low or high levels.

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can weaken the senses and even cause a diabetic to lose consciousness. Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, on the other hand, affects our vision and reflexes. In addition, excessive stress can alter the blood sugar levels.

Although I keep close watch of my blood glucose levels with oral medicine, exercise, and diet, I still feel that I will be safer when I'm on the passenger seat. I do drive, but I limit my driving to near distances and I don't drive at night. I also freak out when large trucks the size of a cross country movers get near my car. I lose concentration completely. My car's a manual transmission automobile and it's hard to change gears when my reflexes go haywire. I guess, I'll be keeping the same set-up until I get a car in automatic transmission which I think will be easier to manage.

I am not aware if there are driving laws associated with diabetes here in the Philippines. In other countries like the UK and Australia, for example, diabetics are required to inform their licensing authority that they have a condition and they are taking medications. In Australia, a diabetic's driver's license is reviewed every five years.

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