blood pressure and the DOT physical

Discussion in 'Driver Health' started by daddybear, May 30, 2008.

  1. chicadriver

    chicadriver Light Load Member

    May 5, 2008

    Hawthorn Berries 565mg from Walmart (vitamin section) works! Be sure you identify it if you go take a random test. The bottle says you can take up to five supplements per day and there don't seem to be known side effects in any age group.

    Do an internet search if you want to find studies conducted in the U.S. and Europe.

    You can't beat $5.00 for 100 capsules!

    Good luck to you!
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
    Baack Thanks this.
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  3. crookiz

    crookiz Bobtail Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    So hawthorne berries may cause a dirty urine screen?
  4. Area904

    Area904 Light Load Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I'm 58 and have been going to the same medical staff for 25 years, so naturally I went to them for my DOT physical (I wanted to make sure I wouldn't fail one before starting training).

    Afterwards, I figured out that I should have done some more research beforehand! I didn't know for sure what the limitations were other than every school website states 140/90 as max blood pressure, and I can walk without dragging my knuckles, so I wasn't concerned about much anything else. An assistant (nurse) I'd never met before took my BP before the Doc came in and announced it was 150/70 (it had been 140/60 all week, taken at home). I asked for a retake on the other arm, and she refused! I told her the exam was over then, because I couldn't pass the physical requirements unless the BP was 140/90 or below! She said wait to see what the Doctor says.

    One of my regular Doctor's had retired, and this was the first time I'd met his replacement. Now, don't get me wrong... some of my extended family is Latino and I love them like the rest, but this guy had an attitude, and a thick accent that made him hard to communicate with. Once he figured out I was there for a DOT physical, he asked a nurse what forms he needed (that should have been a clue for what was to come.) I explained my problem, and he had no solution other than to start me on an ACE inhibitor and retest in a couple of weeks! I insisted on another check with another nurse (another newb) and this time it was 180/90! I was obviously experiencing "white coat syndrome" and was upset besides. At one point I asked him to verify that the limits were indeed 140/90, and he acted like I had just asked him to commit fraud (I'd never do anything like that)! I paid my co-pay and left depressed and feeling cheated, then stopped to fill the prescription and drove home.

    I got on the web and FINALLY looked up the DOT requirements as I should have done before. Imagine my astonishment and anger to discover that 140/90 and above DOES NOT disqualify anyone from getting a DOT medical card, but only limits it to either 1-year, 6-months, or 3-months duration, depending on BP. It's a little complicated, but if I read it right, I am QUALIFED for a 1-year card, but this unprepared Doctor apparently didn't know that! The form itself is downloadable ( and gives specific limitations for the Doctor to follow. As high as 159/99 would have been OK for a 1-year card (must be below 140/90 for the recert, or you then get a 3-month card). Even 179/109 is good for a temporary 3 months (but then you have to wait 9 more months without certification for the recert, which must then be 140/90 or less! You'll lose your job while waiting!) 180/110 or above is disqualifyng, but a retake after 6 months from the date of the original exam with a BP equal to or less than 140/90 can result in issuance of a 6-month card, with a 6-month recert if it stays 140/90 or below. I assume a normal 2-year card after that if it stays low!

    Okay, so recertification will eventually require my maintaining 140/90 or below, and I am confident I can reach that goal with medication, diet, and exercise, but this Doctor's ignorance may have cost me time and money that I can ill afford while trying to arrange training ASAP! Make sure the facility you use is well practiced and knowledgeable in DOT physicals and regulations.

    Now, I have a couple of questions for those who have been there: Will most companies still consider me for tuition assistance for training with my 1-year medical card, or will I now be considered too big of an "investment" risk?

    If I show up for school with my 1-year card, will they automatically require that I retake the physical (and send me home if I haven't improved)?

    Please, be honest but gentle! (I don't want to raise my blood pressure!)
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
    mstabosz and Cybergal Thank this.
  5. Area904

    Area904 Light Load Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Update! How quickly things change! I was right. This afternoon I was pre-hired by PTSI (P.A.M. and affiliate companies) to start school July 7 at C1 Truck Driver Training in Indianapolis, despite my BP problem which I disclosed. They will hire with BP up to 160/90, but it has to be below 140/90 on next years recertification in order to avoid the 3-month temporary card. I can do this! Sorry if you read all 3 repetitive posts, but this can help other "old men".
  6. MedicineMan

    MedicineMan Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Woodville, TX
    most companies send you someplace they use exclusively and they will do anything they have to in order to pass you. The place Arnold sent me was a TOTAL joke. the guy didn't even notice the big scar on my back from my back surgery.
    Everyplace I have gone has let me sit in the exam room with the lights out for a few minutes to get my BP down. it's right on the edge and if I have any coffee or they take it right as I walk in then I will fail
    Area904 Thanks this.
  7. Willocouple

    Willocouple Light Load Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    When was your back surgery? Why would the doc see the scar? Just asking cause I'm in the same boat.
  8. Markvfl

    Markvfl Road Train Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Apopka, FL
    A good roll in the hay always relaxes me... :biggrin_255: For medicinal purposes only of course!
  9. 8tuesday11

    8tuesday11 Bobtail Member

    Jun 10, 2008
    Have you ever noticed the blood pressure cuff available at lots of pharmacies and grocery stores for a free sit-down reading? I find those helpful. The grocery store I shop at has one and I get several readings in a row each visit.

    I have found even one or two days of eating 2-4 tablespoons of peanut butter each day effective in getting my blood pressure into a normal range. I find it best also to minimize high-starch foods (bread, beans, rice, cereals or potatoes). That still leaves fruit, other vegetables, meat and eggs, milk and butter as they do not have high starch content. Some people with experience examining the effects of eating say it's not high fat that's the problem; rather the combination of high fat with high starch.

    I've found other nut butters to also be effective. Almond nut butter, macademia nut butter, cashew nut butter or just plain old peanut butter. Most of these are available only in health food or natural foods grocery stores. They are all "high-fat", but the type of fat is what many nutritionists call "good fat" these days.

    Real nut butters will separate out into an upper oil layer and a lower protein layer, so just be sure to stir it well first.

    Most peanut butter brands sold in ordinary grocery stores do not separate out into layers, because the manufacturer has added "hydrogenated oils" (read the label), which are considered unhealthy these days. So most peanut butters at the ordinary grocery store are best avoided. Smuckers does make a natural peanut butter.

    Also, the day of your official blood pressure measurement, don't eat anything until the appointment. This should keep your blood pressure in a lower range. And make sure they let you be seated for 5-10 minutes before getting the blood pressure reading (common practice at most doctor's offices).

    Also, if you feel any bladder pressure at all (need to go to the bathroom) and are using your bladder muscles to try to "hold it in", this can be enough tension to elevate the bp reading, so go take a leak before the appointment.

    Finally, before, and during the bp reading, visualize the interior of your gut and chest cavity expanding in all directions (out, back and to the sides--even up and down), to promote relaxation (because mental and physical tension is usually accompanied by some tightening in the gut and chest cavity). I have found this effective comparing bp readings before and after this kind of visualization and find it can result in some reduction in bp. Don't try to make the expansion happen physically. Instead, just imagine it happening--picture it in your mind's eye.

    To Summarize:

    1. Nut butters: 2-4 tablesoons for a couple days, minimizing starches (most important)
    2. Pee first, and don't eat anything before the appointment, to minimize tension.
    3. Visualize relaxation (inside of the gut expanding) before and during the blood pressure measurement, also to reduce tension.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  10. SLIDER999

    SLIDER999 Light Load Member

    May 11, 2008
    Fire this jerk & get someome knowledgable about DOT & get somebody fluent in English! Remember it is your life, not his! De just wants to "manage" it. Also, look up all adverse side effects. Often they cause impotence.
  11. tucker

    tucker Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    I bought a tester and at home I'm always around 120/80, but I spike in the doctors office. Before I get tested I take garlic and flaxseed oil pills. It lowers my blood pressure so I pass. I always put down that I take vitamins, when they ask.
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