Health Watch — Spring Break: Diabetes and Driving

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about having a safe and healthy spring break. If you’re planning a road trip this year — whether driving to the beach or the ski slopes or taking a family trip to visit relatives, you need to take extra precautions if you or your driver have diabetes.

Hypoglycemia — a drop in blood sugar — can be dangerous for drivers because it can slow reflexes. Joyce Barnett, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s especially important for drivers with diabetes to avoid skipping scheduled meals or snacks, especially when taking insulin. Diabetics should keep carbohydrate-rich snacks handy in case of a drop in blood sugar — hard candy, glucose tabs and regular sodas are good for a quick sugar boost. Doctors recommend that you test blood sugar, eat something with sugar if blood sugar is low, then test again fifteen minutes later.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical service in nutrition. 


March 2008

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