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HGV Medical: Diabetes Explained

HGV Medical Diabetes Explained 2023

HGV medical diabetes: HGV drivers who have diabetes are understandably worried when they are coming for HGV medical.

Simply Medicals is here to help you through all the requirements.

HGV Medical Diabetes Explained 

What is HGV Medical Diabetes?

Diabetes is when the body is no longer able to process sugar properly. This causes a build-up of sugar in the blood. The sugar then can cause damage to different parts of the body.

There are 2 types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1
  2. Type 2

Type 2 diabetes

This is when the body fails to produce insulin, the hormone responsible for managing sugar levels. This is normally treated by replacing insulin itself in the form of injections.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is normally developed later in life. Here, your body does not react to insulin properly. Therefore, causing your blood sugars to rise. This is normally treated with medication.

DVSA requirements for diabetes

The requirements for the DVLA depends on what medication you take.

Medication that need blood sugar monitoring

If you are taking medication which can cause you to have a low blood sugar, you need to monitor your blood sugars.

These medications include:

  1. Insulin
  2. Sulphonylureas – E.g. Gliclazide, Glipizide, Glimepiride and Tolbutamide
  3. Glinides – E.g Repaglinide and Nateglinide

If you are taking other medications like Metformin, Sitagliptin or Dapagliflozin, the DVLA do not legislate checking your blood sugars. Although, it is still recommended to monitor your blood sugars regularly, if you feel unwell or if you are starting a long journey.

Always ask your doctor if you need to monitor your blood sugars.

How you need to monitor blood sugars

Your blood sugars need to be monitored using a finger prick test machine. This needs to have 3 months worth of readings. Libre or skin monitors are not accepted.

How often to check your blood sugars

Lorry Drivers are at risk of having low blood sugars as they can go hours without eating.

The DVLA requirement, therefore, is you must:

  1. Check your blood sugars twice a day, even on days you are not driving
  2. Not go longer than 2 hours whilst on shift or driving without checking your blood sugars
  3. Carry fast release sugar within arms reach in the event of your blood sugar dropping. Moreover, this could be a chocolate bar or glucose gels / tablets.

General rules for Lorry drivers with diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to different parts of the body. Therefore, your doctor will be monitoring your eyes, kidneys, small blood vessels and nerves on your annual medical with your GP.

However, for the HGV medical, we need to ensure that you meet the following criteria.

  1. There is no complication of diabetes that would effect driving
  2. You can feel if your blood sugars drop, if you’ve had a low blood sugar before. For example, if your blood sugars you get symptoms which tell you your sugar level is dropping. Hence, this would include, palpitations, feeling unwell, sweating etc.
  3. You must not have had a low blood sugar when someone has had to assist you in the last 12 months.

What complications do we look for in the HGV medical?

The doctor will check the following for diabetic patients.

  1. Visual fields – To check your peripheral vision. This is normally done by seeing how far you can see in the periphery whilst looking straight.
  2. Check if you have numbness in the feet that could cause a problem with driving.
  3. Ask about previous laser treatment for your eyes.

You can find full guidance for drivers from the DVLA here.

Ultimately, It all starts with your HGV medical.

Your feedback is most welcome! Feel free to email us on hello@simplymedicals.co.uk so we can help you. I hope you will enjoy our videos and articles. Please like our facebook page and subscribe to our youtube channel. Therefore, If you need to book a HGV medical please click here.

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