Eat, Then Drive ( Diabetes )
If your blood glucose is low, you might feel some hesitation before you get behind the wheel. For years, researchers have tried to determine if there is a safe blood glucose level for someone who is going to drive a car or operate any type of heavy machinery. Until recently, the answer was unclear.
A recent study tried to shed light on this issue by having 37 people with type 1 diabetes operate a driving simulator while the researchers closely controlled and monitored their blood glucose levels. The patients were unaware of their levels as they took the simulated driving tests.
Researchers studied their driving ability at four different blood glucose levels: 110 mg/dl (normal), 65 mg/dl, 56 mg/dl, and less than 50 mg/dl. Surprisingly, the patients did not recognize that they were hypoglycemic until their blood glucoses were less than 50 mg/dl. However, their driving performance was worse at every level of low blood glucose when compared to the test taken when their blood glucose levels were normal. Thus, driving ability suffered even before the patients noticed that they had low blood glucose. With this in mind, always determine your blood glucose level before you drive a car. If your blood glucose is below 80 g/dl, eat a snack to avoid impaired driving ability.