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How to Prepare for DOT Physical if You Have Diabetes

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Drivers with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) must pass a blood sugar test during the Department of Transportation (DOT) Physical to obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. This certification, to be renewed annually, is important for maintaining a commercial driver’s license (CLD).

If you have diabetes and you drive a commercial vehicle, either within the state or interstate, here is what you need to prepare before getting a DOT physical in Hernando County.

1. Have your treating physician fill out the Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form MCSA-5870. 

This form applies to drivers with diabetes who are insulin-dependent or moving on to getting treated with insulin. Your healthcare professional, or the doctor who prescribes your insulin medications, must fill out the assessment form from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

This should outline and describe how stable your insulin treatment program is. It should also clearly define how you’re taking control of your diabetes. 

Examiners for the DOT Physical of drivers with diabetes will look into your A1C level. Ideally, it should consistently be at 7 to 10 percent for a period of two to three months, which will be indicated in your attending physician’s assessment. 

Thus, you’ll need to visit your diabetes doctor at least a few months before you get your DOT physical in Hernando County, so that you have enough time to work on your blood sugar level logs. Drivers with no glucose logs ascertained by their doctor might still get a medical certification on the condition that they have to work with their doctor for the next few months. 

2. Try to Lose 5 to 10 Pounds Before the DOT Physical.

One way of keeping your blood sugar under control is to watch your weight through proper diet and exercise. Losing some five to 10 pounds will be a big improvement in the stabilization of your glucose levels.

Doctors in Lifeguard Urgent Care and Spring Hill walk in clinic advise patients to limit their intake of foods rich in processed fat, additives and preservatives while increasing their diet of vegetables and fruits. Patients may also do 20 to 30 minutes of fitness workout every day, such as brisk walking, biking, swimming and even household cleaning and other chores.

3. Avoid smoking and drinking.

It’s high time to avoid vices that may only complicate your diabetes. According to the Harvard School of Health, nicotine can increase your diabetes risk by as much as 50 percent so it’s worth making a conscious and active effort to curb your smoking and drinking habits as early as possible. 

If you’re having a hard time quitting smoking or drinking, you might want to enter into health programs that encourage you to slowly stop craving nicotine or alcohol. If you can’t make drastic changes in your alcohol intake, at least try to drink a maximum of two glasses a day (for male drivers) and a glass a day (for female drivers).

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Who May Not Qualify for a Medical Certification

Some drivers with insulin-treated diabetes may not be given a certification if: 

  • They suffer from stage 3 or 4 of an eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy
  • They have complications of diabetes like severe neuropathy (nerve damage) or kidney failure.

Drivers with diabetes who experience severe hypoglycemic episodes and pass out may be asked to undergo another examination from a specialist.

Getting a DOT physical in Lifeguard Urgent Care Spring Hill walk in clinic

A DOT physical has many benefits, especially to patients. Our doctors are focused on ensuring that the patients meet the minimum federal criteria. However, your employer could have more stringent requirements. If you need to get your DOT physical hassle-free, come to Lifeguard Urgent Care. Located in Spring Hill, we accept walk-in patients without an appointment.

Still have questions about the DOT physical, or want to be sure you’re prepared? Check out our FAQ or contact us at (352) 515-6000.



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.