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Blood Sugar Levels: Trucking Through the Confusion

Blood sugar level 235

Blood sugar level 235

As the trucking industry continues to lure new drivers into the vocation with promises of high pay and an exciting career, the fact remains that with a pitiful average annual salary of just $38,000 and fourteen hour work days, a driver can easily work thousands of hours per year and only average a rate of just over $8.00 per hour.

Combine this with the lack of proper sleep and rest, poor choices in healthy meals availability, coupled with the overall social abnormalities of the lifestyle, it is no wonder that professional truck driving is considered by many health experts as one of the deadliest jobs in America.

As the industry focuses on the importance of moving the freight on time, drivers are pushed to grabbing high calorie, carbohydrate junk food for a quick snack, often having to eat it down while still running down the road.  Thanks to the 14 hour rule, it is estimated that diabetes among truck drivers is increasing.

When one searches for a guideline to proper blood sugar levels, various charts can be found with very different ranges, leaving many in a state of confusion:

  • Source 1:

Fasting = 70-110

1 hour after meal = 90-150

2 hours after meal = 80-140

3 hours after meal = 60-110

This same source also advises the following “Acceptable” ranges:

Fasting = 60-120

1 hour after meal = 80-180

2 hours after meal = 70-150

3 hours after meal = 60-130

  • Source 2:

Fasting = 80-140

1 hour after meal = 100-160

2 hours after meal = Less than 180

  • Source 3:

Fasting = 70-100

2 hours after meal = 70-140

This source also provides changes in the blood sugar levels, depending on your age:

2 hours after meal:

  • Less than 140 (50 and younger)
  • Less than 150 (50-60)
  • Less than 160 (60 and older)

A well-known leading source for diabetes list the normal fasting range as 70-130 but yet, if the reading is higher than 126, then a diagnosis of diabetes is made. After 1-2 hours of a meal, they show the range to be less than 180. They continue to state that during a “random” test, if the reading is 200 or higher, then diabetes is also diagnosed.

I decided to put these charts to the test and after taking my own personal fasting reading, my sugar level showed to be 112, placing me as “in control” in the above example as well as per source two, but not “in control” per source one and three, although according to source one, the 112 reading is “acceptable.”

One hour after eating a high sugar meal, my level came in at 235 and according to the above example as in all sources, placing me as high or “not in control.”  Two hours after eating, my level showed to be 127, “in control” by all above sources.

Finally, after three hours from my last meal, my blood glucose reading was 109, acceptable with all above sources . . . except by one final guideline.

Blood Glucose Levels Confusion

All of my readings, every single one, from fasting to three hours after a meal are shown to be high or “not in control” by yet another guideline provided by the American Truck Drivers Diabetes Association.

To wrap up the final results of my tests, my fasting reading failed per source one but at the same time, was “acceptable.” It also was acceptable via source two, but failed per source three and was fine with the leading source but failed with the ATDDA.

My one hour reading failed per all sources and the two and three hour readings were acceptable by all sources other than the ATDDA.

So what exactly are the normal control ranges for blood glucose levels in diabetics?  According to the ATDDA, the confusion lies with the attempt to separate normal blood sugar levels between diabetics and non-diabetics.

They contend that normal glucose levels are the same for both individuals:

Fasting = 70-90

1 hour after meal = 140 or less

2 hours after meal = 120 or less

3 hours after meal = Under 100

High blood sugar levels lead to the complications in diabetics, not having diabetes itself. These complications include heart and kidney disease, stroke, neuropathy, blindness and amputation.  Many of these varied guidelines are not as strict for maintaining lower blood sugar levels nor do they take into consideration the abnormal lifestyle of the professional trucker.

Blood sugar level 109

Blood sugar level 109

Following a guideline that is closer to what a diabetic’s blood sugar level should be, will greatly reduce the risks for these complications. One should be concerned with staying as close to the “normal” range as possible, with that range being outlined by the ATDDA.


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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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3 Responses to Blood Sugar Levels: Trucking Through the Confusion. - Post a Comment

  1. R.W.

    I have been driving since 1978,I have never been paid an “average” working mans wage. The average worker works 2000 hrs a yr and earns on the average,$39k.The average trucker works approx.2556 hrs a yr.Oh by the way thats UNPAID TIME.The trucking industry Gives SHIPPERS/and CONSIGNEE 4 hrs To load or unload Their Freight/after the 4 hrs a driver MAY earn $10hr.Over a years time under this practice a driver can add up 2000Hrs UNPAID.The driver BY LAW is required to pre and post trip his equipment,avg 10 min each/thats 20 mins a day for 320 days or more equals 6400 mins or 106hrs UNPAID.So after loading and pretripping a driver has to fuel his truck which on the avrg takes at least 15min,over a period of the year he will have another 50 hrs UNPAID.A driver works another 200 hrs due to truck maintenence/breakdown/cleaning his HOUSE (truck)shop down time etc.UNPAID.So now he begins to paid,the average driver drives 100k a yr at 0.38 a mile is 38k.(of course that is the PAID MILES,he will in reality drive 110k/the REAL MILES.At avg of 50mph he drives 2200 hrs which another 200 hrs are UNPAID. To summarize The American Trucker WORKS AN AVERAGE OF 4556 hrs a year but is paid for 2000…
    38000 divided by 4556 is 8.34 cents an hour,thats right EIGHT DOLLARS AND THIRTY FOUR CENTS AN HOUR> To top that FEDERAL LAW EXEMPTS TRUCKING INDUSTRY FROM OVERTIME PAY!! I ask you reader,IS THAT ANY WAY TO PLAY a FAIR BALL GAME? by the way it costs a driver approximately 6k a year for his upkeep 320 days and nights away from home.
    rich w.

    • Allen Smith

      Thanks R.W. for your well laid-out picture of the professional truck driver and how the trucking industry uses them for cheap labor.

  2. R.W.

    Thank you Allen for the effort you put in to enlighten all of us truckers. By the way I meant to say in the previous note,high blood sugar is DIRECTLY related to how much a driver can spend to feed himself on the road/ chips soda candy fries burger/ funny how truck stops have changed to “grab it and run food”. think it might be cause A BUNCH OF TRUCKERS sitting down drinking coffee after a good meal under the big orange ball might stir up the OVERWORKED UNDERPAID unskilled TRUCKERS?

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