MedlinePlus: Preparing for surgery when you have diabetes


After hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes is probably the most common problem encountered during the DOT physical examination.  In the last group of drivers we evaluated, approximately 4 drivers in a row tested positive for glucose in their urine.  Some confessed that they were previously diagnosed but didn’t disclose it right away and others were completely unaware.   The urine dipstick test is useful in the office as a screening test, and is a required part of the DOT physical exam.   Many drivers confuse it for a drug test and invariably become nervous and start asking questions (and sometimes suddenly start having difficulty producing a sample).  Nonetheless, you can not certify a driver who has not provided a urine sample for testing.

An abnormal urine dipstick test for either glucose, protein or an abnormal specific gravity (measures urine concentration) can indicate kidney disease, heart disease or diabetes and require further testing such as full laboratory analysis and blood work.   See the MedlinePlus article Glucose urine test for information on how the test is performed and how to prepare for it.  The article also explains the meaning of the findings on the dipstick test.  For more detailed explanations on these findings see the following article Urine Dipstick Analysis from

So drivers, just relax when asked for a urine sample.   The dipstick test is not only a required part of the DOT physical, but it can help uncover some medical conditions that are potentially dangerous to your health, and affect your ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

In the Medline Plus article highlighted below, a closer look is given to diabetics who are preparing for surgery.  Since diabetics have poorer vascular flow and are more at risk of infection, they should prepare carefully prior to any surgery.  The article gives some advice on how to accomplish just that with your treating physician.

MedlinePlus: Trusted Health Information for You.

About Randolph Rosarion M.D.

Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Certified National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) Certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) USCIS designated Civil Surgeon Certified Examiner of Divers (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society) FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

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