Diabetes is a very treatable condition and many people who have this illness are able to drive successfully and safely. However, if you have just been diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor may tell you to stay off the roads until your condition is under control. This is because diabetes can make your blood sugar levels too low or too high. This can cause many serious symptoms, including seizures, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, blurry vision, and even loss of consciousness. Obviously, all these symptoms can be very dangerous when you are driving a car.
In a few cases, diabetes may cause complications or permanent problems that prevent a patient from driving. Some diabetes patients, for example, experience nerve damage to the hands or feet or lose their eyesight. In cases where diabetes complications are severe, a doctor may recommend a suspension of driving privileges.
It is important to communicate openly with your doctor about your diabetes. Ask how diabetes may affect your driving and report any new symptoms promptly. Your doctor may ask you to check your glucose levels before driving. If your blood sugar levels are too low, you may have a hard time controlling your car and driving safely. Your doctor can help you understand how to test your glucose levels and can help you manage your diabetes so that your levels remain relatively stable.
With time, you will learn to manage your diabetes and you will be able to recognize signs of a low blood sugar. If you have trouble recognizing the signs of low blood sugar, you might seek out glycemic awareness training, which will help you detect and manage changes in your blood sugar.
It is a good idea to keep snacks and sources of glucose with you in your car at all times. You will also want to buy a blood glucose meter for your car. Keep both items in your glove compartment. When you feel that your blood glucose level is low, pull over and test your levels. You may need to rest and eat a snack before retesting. If your blood glucose level increases after 15 minutes, eat a snack containing protein. Once you feel better and your glucose levels are stabilized, continue driving. Avoid driving on a low glucose level to get home – you could be in an accident and sustain injuries while driving with low glucose levels. Due to your diabetes, you may have a harder time recovering from some types of personal injuries.
If you are anxious about driving with your diabetes, you may want to consult with a driving rehabilitation specialist. You can work with your doctor and your driving rehabilitation specialist to ensure that your condition does not affect your driving. Your driving rehabilitation specialist can check your driving skills and can work with you to ensure that your diabetes does not affect your driving.