If you want to hold a job within the Department of Transportation, you will need to pass a physical. This physical can be conducted by any doctor, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional who holds an FMCSA certification. A DOT physical is required every two years in order to ensure that all drivers on the road are able to safely drive under the long-hours and grueling conditions required for commercial drivers.
In order to ensure you pass your DOT physical and are able to keep your job, there are a few things that you can do in order to make sure you pass your physical.
Stay Away From Caffeinated Drinks 24 Hours Before Your Appointment
Do not drink any caffeinated drinks, from coffee to energy drinks to soda, before you show up for your physical. When you drink caffeine, it raises your blood pressure. Your blood pressure has to meet a certain benchmark in order for you to pass your physical. If your blood pressure is too high, you will not pass your physical. You don't want to do anything that will unnecessarily raise your blood pressure before your physical, so take a 24-hour break from all caffeine.
Next, you are going to want to try to limit the salts that you eat for the week ahead of your physical. It takes about a week for your body to process and flush salts out of your system. Avoid eating processed foods as much as you can. Have a little fun and take a week to enjoy a whole-foods based diet, where you only eat fruits, vegetables, and meat you cook yourself.
Avoiding salt will help ensure your blood pressure is within the right range during your physical. Even if you pass the rest of your physical, you will still fail if your exam if your blood pressure doesn't meet DOT requirements.
Drink Water Before Your Exam
A couple of hours before your exam, drink a glass or two of water. You are going to be required to provide a urine sample during your exam, so you want to make sure it is easy for you to use the restroom. You don't want to be stuck in the doctor's office for hours because you forgot to use the restroom before your exam.
Eat a Light Meal
Before you go in for your exam, eat a healthy but light meal. Overeating, especially sugary breakfast foods, can increase the sugar in your urine sample, which can then serve as a potential warning flag on your file for diabetes. Avoid this by eating a light, non-sugary breakfast.
Before your DOT physical, take steps to keep your blood pressure in line by limiting salts and staying away from caffeinated drinks. Drink lots of water before your exam and enjoy a light meal. Schedule your exam with your chiropractor or regular doctor; just make sure they have an FMCSA certification.