Blood pressure and DOT Physicals
“How does my blood pressure affect my DOT Physical certification?” This is one of the most common questions we get in our clinic regarding DOT Physicals. The answer is clear and relatively straightforward.
A blood pressure reading under 140/90 is qualifying for a 2-year medical certification
A top number of 140-159 and a bottom number of 90-99 is qualifying for a 1-year medical certification.
A top number of 160-179 and a bottom number of 100-109 is qualifying for a temporary 3-month medical certification. The driver’s primary care physician may recommend blood pressure medication, and the driver can be tested again at a later date for a one-year certification if blood pressure has reduced to below 140/90.
A blood pressure reading of 180/110 or higher is considered stage 3 hypertension and DOT medical certification may not be possible. The driver will be referred to their primary care physician to discuss treatment options. The driver may test again at a later date to receive up to a six-month certification.
DIY Ways to Lower Blood Pressure for your next DOT Physical:
Eat healthy – Eat more veggies, some fruit, quality meat, and less carbs.
Exercise – 30 mins/day. Start slow, just walk.
Lose weight – If you eat healthier and exercise more, you will lose weight.
Reduce sodium intake – avoid packaged and processed foods while on the road.
Reduce or remove alcohol consumption – better sleep, less empty calories.
Stop smoking – Take it a day at a time, find support systems, stay busy.
Cut back on caffeine intake – Start slowly, be mindful of your intake, try and reduce over a period of time.
Reduce stress – Add activity into your day to day that you enjoy. Do things for you. Breathe, meditate, walk, run, lift. Find things that inspire and bring joy to your life.
Dr. Carson Durr, owns and operates DOT Bozeman, a Federal Medical Examiner in Bozeman MT and Yellowstone National Park WY.