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TRAVELCENTERS OF AMERICA KICKS OFF TENTH ANNUAL ‘BAND TOGETHER FOR ST. CHRISTOPHER FUND’ CAMPAIGN

DONATIONS HELP SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS IN NEED

WESTLAKE, Ohio – July 1, 2019 – TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) (Nasdaq: TA), operator of the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® brands, today launched its tenth annual campaign in support of the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF), a non-profit organization that helps truck drivers suffering financial hardship as a result of being out of work due to illness or injury. The month-long campaign will run at participating TA, Petro and TA Express travel centers through July 31.

Throughout the month, guests and employees of TA, Petro and TA Express will be invited to make a donation of $1 or more. Commemorative wristbands will be given to those making a $1 donation, while $5 donors will receive celebratory die-cast metal keychains. One hundred percent of donations go directly to the SCF to provide financial assistance to over-the-road and regional professional truck drivers, who are unable to work due to medical issues. The SCF assists with mortgage/rent, utilities, vehicle payments and insurance bills while drivers are out of work.

“Drivers who suffer from an illness or injury are coping with treatments and trying to recover,” said Barry Richards, President and COO of TravelCenters. “The stress of a financial burden can get in the way of that recovery. The St. Christopher Fund provides medical and financial guidance and assistance so drivers can fully focus on their health and wellness. It’s an honor to be in our tenth year of supporting the ‘Band Together’ campaign,” he added.

TravelCenters began its support of the SCF in 2010. The ‘Band Together for SCF’ annual campaign marks the largest single contribution the Fund receives each year. TravelCenters purchases and donates all of the wristbands and keychains so that 100 percent of donations can be contributed to the SCF.

“We are forever grateful for the support we have received from TravelCenters for the last ten years,” said Dr. Donna Kennedy, Executive Director of the SCF.

“Truck drivers look forward to the ‘Band Together’ campaign every year so they can make their donation to help their fellow drivers. There are also many drivers who have received our assistance — now back on the road and back on their feet — who make donations to pay it forward,” she added. “In the last ten years, the SCF has become a common name in the trucking industry, and we thank TravelCenters for their part in helping us achieve that.”

As of June 2019, the SCF has helped more than 2,700 truck drivers and their families with monthly bills totaling more than $2.7 million. Professional drivers who are suffering from financial hardships due to medical problems can apply to the SCF for assistance at www.truckersfund.org.

About TravelCenters of America LLC TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), headquartered in Westlake, Ohio, conducts business in 43 states and Canada, principally under the TA®, Petro Stopping Centers® and TA Express® travel center brands. For more information on TA, TA Express and Petro, please visit www.ta-petro.com.

About St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that provides assistance to over-the-road semi-truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury has caused the driver to be out of work and suffer financial hardship. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment for mortgage/rent, utilities, vehicle payments and insurance. The SCF also provides programs to benefit professional drivers and the trucking industry. For more information, please visit www.truckersfund.org or call (865) 202-9428.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – May 20, 2019 – Nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) is teaming up with CMA and ACM award winning, 3 time Grammy nominated country music artist Joe Nichols to help raise awareness for the organization’s mission to help promote health and wellness for the 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., and provide financial support and guidance to drivers who are unable to work due to health issues or injuries.

“We are so excited to be working with Joe especially given his personal connection to our mission,” stated SCF Executive Director Dr. Donna Kennedy. “We hope that by working with Joe and his team we can help raise the visibility of our organization’s mission in order to bring more help and support to the men and women who keep our country and our economy moving every day.”

Joe Nichols’ father, Michael Nichols, was an over-the-road truck driver for 13 years when he was diagnosed with idiopathic cardiac pulmonary fibrosis in 1999, an incurable lung condition doctors at the time attributed to his exposure to diesel fumes during his career as a trucker. Michael died in 2002 at the age of 46 from complications due to his illness.

“Truck drivers are some of the hardest working men and women in this country and they deserve our support. I look forward to doing anything and everything I can to help St. Christopher and their cause,” said Joe Nichols.

Donations to SCF help provide financial assistance to ill or injured semi-truck drivers. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance. SCF also provides health and wellness programs for drivers in hopes to prevent some medical illnesses. Some of these programs include health challenges, smoking cessation, and free flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

Truckers needing assistance from SCF may apply by clicking here. To donate to SCF’s mission to support truckers and their families in financial need, click here.

About St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent illness or injury. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses such as, rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance.  The SCF also provides health and wellness programs such as free vaccines and smoking cessation. For more information, visit TruckersFund.org.

About Joe Nichols

Multi-platinum recording artist Joe Nichols is one of Country music’s most praised traditional Country artists. His latest album NEVER GETS OLD is available now, a follow up to Nichols’ album CRICKETS, which debuted in the Top 3 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and spawned the two multi-week #1, RIAA gold-certified hits “Yeah” and “Sunny and 75.” Nichols has six #1 hits and five Top 10 singles to his credit, including chart-toppers like “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Gimmie That Girl,” and Top 10 smashes like “If Nobody Believed In You,” “What’s A Guy Gotta Do,” “Size Matters,” and “I’ll Wait For You.”

The 3X Grammy nominee is the winner of the Academy of Country Music’s “Top New Male Vocalist” award, the CMT “Breakthrough Video of the Year” award, and the prestigious “Horizon Award” from the Country Music Association. Nichols is currently touring the U.S. performing his own headlining dates.

https://www.joenichols.com/

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Knoxville, TN – May 6th, 2019

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund is kicking off the first ever High $5 campaign starting Monday, May 6th running through May 8th, and we need YOUR help! We’re looking for 100 new monthly recurring donors and we want YOU to become one for just $5 a month.

For the next three days we want you to help us hit our goal and make a gift in honor of those that you love.

Monday, May 6th, 2019 – We want you to make a gift in honor of Mom. Give a gift that gives back – a donation to help a trucker in need. Become a recurring donor for just $5 a month. Donate today and dedicate your gift to the fantastic wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, godmother in your life.

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 – Donate today in honor of your pet and help us provide relief to truckers in need. Dedicate your gift to your best friend, road buddy, co-driver, fido, pup, cat, in your life. Become a recurring donor for just $5 a month.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 –Make a gift in honor of a loved one who’s passed away. Make a monthly donation to help truckers in need of your help. Become a recurring donor for just $5 a month and change a life. Donate today and dedicate your gift to in honor of a loved one who’s passed for Memorial Day.

Give a High $5 every month and help change the life of a fellow trucker in need.

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Well, here we are, 11 years to the day that the first St. Christopher Fund driver received assistance.  It’s hard to believe how much we’ve grown during this time!  Just to give a quick example of this: we helped 28 drivers in 2008 versus 364 in 2018!

For those who aren’t familiar with our history, I’ll give you a short explanation of how this organization came to be.  Dr. John McElligott (“Dr. John”) was operating truck-stop clinics, called Professional Driver Medical Depots, so that truck drivers could have easy access to medical care.  During this time, he started doing a show on Dave Nemo, “Coffee with the Doc”, where truckers could call in and ask him medical questions.  This combination of exposure to the lives truck drivers were living and the medical problems they were experiencing, led Dr. John to have a talk with Dave and his partner Michael Burns about the need for a charity to help this group of people.  Dr. John recalls calling Michael from an airport and asking who the patron saint of travel is: turns out, it’s St. Christopher and hence the name of the organization.

Speaking of our name, most drivers know of us as, St. Christopher Fund, SCF, or St. Christopher Truckers Fund.  Our legal/long name is St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund, and this name led to defining 2 missions:

Mission 1, the Development part, is to provide health and wellness programs for drivers in order to help prevent illness.  Over the years, we have done this by providing free colorectal screenings, mammograms, health challenges, a smoking cessation program and flu/shingles/pneumonia vaccines (880 provided so far!).

Mission 2, the Relief part, is to provide assistance with household expenses for over-the-road semi-truck drivers when an illness or injury caused them to be out of work.  The household expenses we pay for are rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle and insurance payments.  We pay bills directly to bill holders so we can confidently tell you that this is the how we’ve helped:

That’s a total of $2,595,294.12 in giving!

You might be asking, “How have they come so far?”.  I can tell you with certainty that we would not still be here, 11 years later, without the support of truckers themselves.  The best way for me to illustrate this is showing the huge impact of TA/Petro’s Band Together for SCF campaign.

Band Together started in 2010 and involved selling rubber wristbands for $1 in all the TA/Petro locations, with 100% of the proceeds going to SCF.  In one single month, drivers showed support of each other with $221,125 in giving!  This was by far our biggest donation since inception!  To put this in perspective, the SCF opened with $10,000 in the bank from Dave Nemo, then we received $10,000 from OOIDA in the Fall of 2008 and again in both 2009 and 2010.  Those donations were also imperative in our ability to help drivers but the Band Together campaign took us to a whole new level.  And let me tell you, truckers noticed!  We went from helping 28 drivers in 2008 to 238 drivers in 2010!  TA/Petro has continued their support of drivers through the SCF with Band Together, events at the corporate office, and fundraising at shows.  In total, their support now totals $2,525,250.85!

There have, of course, been other major contributors to the SCF: NAIT has donated $100,000 twice, Pilot and their employees have donated over $100,000, Blue Tiger has donated over $95,000, BP’s donations total $90,000, Coffee Cup Fuel Stops has donated over $80,000 (mostly from Band Together), a private foundation with ties to trucking has donated $75,000, OOIDA has continued their support with over $55,000 donated, AMBESTs’ members have given nearly $55,000, Sapp Bros has donated over $55,000 (through Band Together campaigns) and Brenny Transportation/Brenny Specialized and their employees have given over $45,000!

It has truly been an honor to be a part of this growth in support and in awareness.  We certainly wish our heroes on the highways were not faced with illnesses and injuries but we are blessed to be here to help them when they are.  Truck drivers are often overlooked but it’s become clear to me that they are generous people that love their jobs, they look out for each other, and are vital to our nation.

In the next 11 years, my hope is to incorporate more prevention programs in health, wellness, and finances so that we can keep our heroes on the road.  I look forward to seeing what great things the SCF can do!

Donna Kennedy – Executive Director of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

The post 11 Year Anniversary! appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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National truck stop and service center network donates $15,200 to support drivers and their families who are out of work due to injury or illness.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jan. 14, 2019 – Each day, thousands of truck drivers stop at an AMBEST truck stop and service center along their route, and over the last three years, AMBEST has been re-investing in truck drivers’ health and financial security. The national company recently donated $15,200 to nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) to support semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent injury or illness. The donation raised the three year total to nearly $50,000.

“We at AMBEST recognize the need to ensure that drivers have a resource to help when times become difficult. The St. Christopher Fund has been a proven partner ensuring aid to help the drivers who move goods across this great country. For the past three years, AMBEST has made this partnership a key element of our Annual Members Meeting. We hope to continue this in the coming years.” – Matthew Miller, Vice President.

Donations to SCF help provide financial assistance to ill or injured truck drivers. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments and insurance. SCF also provides health and wellness programs for drivers in hopes to prevent some medical illnesses. Some of these programs include smoking cessation and free flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

“We just went through the holiday season, and while it was supposed to be a time for joy, there were truck drivers around the U.S. unable to work because of an accident or serious illness – and since they couldn’t work, they couldn’t pay their bills or enjoy the holidays,” said Dr. Donna Kennedy, SCF’s executive director. “The generosity of companies like AMBEST goes such a long ways towards protecting our country’s drivers and families from extreme financial debt and homelessness.”

Nearly half (49 percent) of donations to SCF help pay sick/injured drivers’ mortgage or rent. Utility bills account for 17 percent, while 16 percent goes to vehicle expenses. For a full breakdown, click here.

“Being a truck driver is one of the most difficult jobs, but donating to St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund can help alleviate some of their stress,” added Dr. Kennedy.

Truckers needing assistance from SCF may apply by clicking here. To donate to SCF’s mission to support truckers and their families in financial need, click here.

About AMBEST:

Founded in 1988, AMBEST is a member-owned, nationwide network of independent truck stops and service centers. Unlike big Wall Street companies, AMBEST locations are family owned businesses places where visitors are likely to find the owner with his or her sleeves rolled up ready to take care of them anyway they can. AMBEST’s goal is not to have a location on every corner. Rather, it takes pride in finding the finest locations along the most popular routes so drivers will always have a quality AMBEST location where and when they need it. For more information, visit www.AM-BEST.com.

About St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund:

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent illness or injury. For more information, visit TruckersFund.org.

The post AMBEST Re-Invests in Truckers’ Health Through Annual Donation to St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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Dr. John McElligott and Dr. Donna Kennedy discuss the #1 cause of COPD and how you can avoid or stop their effects before start.  Read all about it  here.

The post Stop COPD Before It Starts appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is considered to be an epidemic in America. With no medications available to treat this disease, you can learn what is the best treatment option by reading the following article written by Dr. John McElligott and Dr. Donna Kennedy. Learn more HERE.

The post Alcohol Isn’t the Only Cause of Liver Disease appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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For Immediate Release

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund Selected to Receive Portion of Pilot Flying J’s $2 Million Donation

In honor of its 60th anniversary, Pilot Flying J selected more than 20 nonprofits around the U.S. to support financially.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nov. 12, 2018 – Nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) received an impactful gift from Pilot Flying J to support semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent injury or illness. The donation of $60,000 was awarded as part of Pilot Flying J’s $2 million commitment to giving back in celebration of its 60th anniversary this month.“It may be Pilot Flying J’s 60th birthday, yet its nonprofits like St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund receiving the gifts,” stated SCF Executive Director Dr. Donna Kennedy. “This donation will go far in helping truckers in need.  We love that both SCF and Pilot are Knoxville based organizations with a heart for helping truck drivers.”

Donations to SCF help provide financial assistance to ill or injured truck drivers. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, insurance, prescription drugs, and some medical procedures. SCF also provides health and wellness programs for drivers in hopes to prevent some medical illnesses. Some of these programs include health challenges, smoking cessation, and free flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

“A spirit of community and philanthropy was instilled in our company’s culture from the beginning,” said Meg Counts, community relations and events manager of Pilot Flying J. “To celebrate and thank our guests and team members for 60 years in business, we wanted to give back to the communities and people we serve. We are proud to partner with St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund in support of its mission and programs to help our communities thrive. Together, we are truly able to fuel life’s journeys.”

Pilot Flying J’s giving is focused on fueling those who serve by supporting military heroes and their families, and helping communities across the country improve the quality of life for people at home and on the road. To learn more about Pilot Flying J’s 60th anniversary giving, visit PilotFlyingJ.com/Giving-Back.

Truckers needing assistance from SCF may apply by clicking here. To donate to SCF’s mission to support truckers and their families in financial need, click here.

About Pilot Flying J:

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, Roadside assistance available at over 135 locations nationwide and growing as part of its Truck Care program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 34 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 72,000 parking spaces for trucks with Prime Parking at more than 400 locations, 5,200 deluxe showers and more than 6,200 diesel lanes with 5,200 offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes’s list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Visit www.PilotFlyingJ.com for more information.

About St. Christopher Truckers  Relief Fund:

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent illness or injury. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, insurance, prescription drugs and some medical procedures.  The SCF also provides health and wellness programs such as free vaccines and smoking cessation. For more information, visit TruckersFund.org.

Director of Philanthropy and Development:

Shannon Currier

shannon@truckersfund.org

865.202.9428

Media Contact:

Christopher Ruth

RuthMarketingPR@gmail.com

630.536.9139

The post St. Christopher Fund Receives Donation From Pilot Flying J In Honor Of 60th Anniversary appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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For Immediate Release

TA/Petro, Sapp Bros. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stop ‘banded together’ to raise over $200,000 for truck drivers in need of financial assistance around the holiday season.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Nov. 8, 2018 – This Thanksgiving, truckers around the country can be thankful for TA/Petro, Sapp Bros. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stop, three companies that came together to raise awareness and money for nonprofit St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. Participating in the annual Band Together campaign, the companies raised over $200,000 for SCF, a nonprofit that provides financial support to semi-truck drivers and their families.

Band Together ran from Aug. 15, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2018 at the fuel stop locations. During that time, all customers and employees who made donations of $1 received an SCF wristband, while donations of $5 resulted in a SCF keychain or window cling. Coffee Cup Fuel Stop raised $20,000; Sapp Bros. raised $20,500; TA/Petro raised $169,105.91.

“We are always honored to have the opportunity to help drivers in need. We know full well it’s the patronage of our customers and employees, year over year, that assist these efforts. We couldn’t be more proud and thankful to them for their ongoing support,” said Barry Richards, President and COO of TravelCenters.All donations to the Band Together campaign went directly to SCF and will help provide financial assistance to ill or injured truck drivers. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, insurance, prescription drugs, and some medical procedures. SCF also provides health and wellness programs for drivers in hopes to prevent some medical illnesses. Some of these programs include health challenges, smoking cessation, and free flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

“The Band Together campaign, does just that – it brings our guests and our locations together for a cause that is close to our hearts: helping others. I see our teams eager to explain and talk about what St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund does and who it helps,” said Jane Heinz, Director of Inside Sales, Coffee Cup Fuel Stops & Convenience Stores, Inc.

TA/Petro has been supporting drivers through the SCF since 2010. It is the 3rd year for Sapp Bros. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stop to participate.

“We are happy to let you know that we raised $20,500.00 this year with the St. Christopher Truckers Fund Band Together campaign. Thank you to all of our customers banding together to help in this worthy cause. We are glad there is an organization like SCF to help out our professional drivers and their families in their times of need,” added Dan Adams, president of Sapp Bros. Travel Centers.

“This annual campaign marks the largest single contribution the SCF receives each year,” stated Dr. Donna Kennedy, executive director for SCF. “We are incredibly thankful for TA/Petro, Sapp Bros. and Coffee Cup Fuel Stop, as well as their employees and their customers. The one dollar and five dollar donations add up and can make the difference between a truck driver being able to keep a roof over their family and losing everything.”

As of September 2018, SCF has helped more than 2,400 truck drivers and their families with over $2.4M  towards monthly bills, including mortgages and utilities.

Truckers needing assistance from SCF may apply by clicking here. To donate to SCF’s mission to support truckers and their families in financial need, click here.

About St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund:

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund (SCF) helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families who are out of work due to a recent illness or injury. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment to providers for household living expenses, insurance, prescription drugs and some medical procedures.  The SCF also provides health and wellness programs such as free vaccines and smoking cessation. For more information, visit TruckersFund.org.

Director of Philanthropy and Development:

Shannon Currier

shannon@truckersfund.org  

865.202.9428

Media Contact:

Christopher Ruth

RuthMarketingPR@gmail.com

630.536.9139

The post Band Together Campaign Raises Awareness & Money for St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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1: Plan your meals – Most poor diet choices are made due to lack of planning.

Meal planning really applies to anyone living with or without diabetes. Most poor diet choices are made due to lack of planning. Creating a routine with meals and having a general idea of what you will be eating for the day is key to success. If you have to eat out, familiarize yourself with the restaurants menus, and select a few go to meals. The best options would be grilled chicken tenderloin plate, grilled sirloin plate, or the grilled chicken salad. Avoid dishes that are fried. Make sure to incorporate a green vegetable or salad with your entree. Don’t assume that if it looks healthy then it is healthy. Did you know at Arby’s restaurant the Market Fresh Roasted Turkey Breast Bacon ranch sandwich has 800 calories and 76 g or carbohydrates. While the Beef and Cheddar Classic has 450 calories and 45 g of carbohydrates.

  1. Stop Smoking – Did you know that smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes?

Once diagnosed with diabetes, no matter which type, smoking can cause difficulty with controlling blood glucose levels. Exposure to nicotine can cause insulin resistance in the body which can cause difficulty with regulating medications often requiring higher doses of oral medications and insulin therapy. Smoker with diabetes also have increased health risks, such as heart disease, decreased circulation and vascular disease which could increase potential amputation, retinopathy (eye disease), and neuropathy (loss of feeling and sensation in limbs).

  1. Know your numbers – Let’s be honest checking your blood sugar is never fun, but it is really helpful. Ignorance is never bliss in this situation.

Patients will often say “I know when my blood sugar is high or low based on symptoms.” Did you know that your body can regulate symptoms when exposed to higher glucose levels for long periods of time? This means that even though your blood glucose reading are running high, you may no longer experience the obvious symptoms of uncontrolled glucose levels. Symptoms of hyperglycemia includes increased hunger, increased thirst, increased urination throughout the day and night, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, fatigue, increased sweating, irritability and mood changes, and in severe cases coma or death. The reverse side of that is hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose levels. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include feeling shaky, increased sweating, confusion, increased hunger, irritability, and in severe cases loss of consciousness or death. We don’t need to encounter any of those symptoms while over the road. Also, you don’t need to be surprised at your doctor’s office when your Hemoglobin A1c (lab value that is a three month average of blood glucose levels used to evaluate the control of your diabetes.) is too high, and you are in jeopardy of losing your medical card. In patients with diabetes a goal A1C is 6.5-7%. What that means is if you monitor your blood glucose levels fasting and 2 hours after meals, your readings should range from about 90-150 mg/dL. Luckily, we now have devices available that do not require finger sticks, such as the Freestyle Libre System or the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitoring systems.

  1. Water, Water, Water – Drink plenty of water throughout the day. And when I say plenty of water, I’m talking about 2 liters per day.

Staying well hydrated is obviously beneficial for everyone to maintain, but it is especially beneficial for patients with diabetes. Water is the healthiest option as it contains no calories or carbohydrates. With hyperglycemia, your kidneys will attempt to excrete the excess glucose through your urine. Ensuring that you drink plenty of water ensure that your kidneys stay healthy and hydrated. Patients with diabetes have increased risks of dehydration due to hyperglycemia. When the body is dehydrated the kidneys will hold onto fluids and certain hormones will rise. Subsequently, the hormones can causes the liver to produce additional glucose. Maintaining adequate hydration also has added benefits such as improving bowel movements, aids in blood pressure, and can also promote weight loss. Patients also confuse thirst for hunger. If you get a hunger pain, drink 8 oz of water to see if your body responds to the water instead of filling up with extra calories. It is also beneficial to remember that diet drinks contain a lot of sodium which can cause hypertension and fluid retention. Caffeine is also considered to have a mild diuretic effect, so make sure to replace each cup of coffee or tea with water to ensure that you are staying hydrated.

     6.Get some rest – Ok, you may have a good laugh at that one, but it is true. Sleep is important for our body’s         overall health and gives us the daily recharge that we desperately need.

Now, you may be asking how sleep can help with diabetes. Often times when we are tired we eat in attempts to stay awake. This excessive snacking can cause weight gain due to increased caloric intake. Fatigue causes stress on the body and when we our bodies are under stress that in turn can cause hyperglycemia. You should aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night. Tips for better sleep include: turning off all electronic devices prior to sleep, use a sound machine to reduce any outside noise, use a sleep mask to reduce any excessive light, and stay cool. Adequate sleeping temperatures are 60-67 degrees fahrenheit. Achieving better control of your blood sugars will help reduce symptoms of fatigue. If you still can’t get the rest that you need, speak with your healthcare provider as you may benefit from a further medical evaluation.

  1. Get your steps – We all know that we should be more active. When you are in a profession that requires you to sit for the majority of the day, finding the time to be active is even more critical.

Exercising doesn’t have to happen in the gym. When at a rest stop, walk a few laps around the parking lot. Be creative and try to incorporate a routine with different exercises that you can do right outside of your truck. An example of a routine includes doing 20 leg squats, 20 jumping jacks, 20 lunges, running in place for 30 seconds, and holding in plank position for 30 seconds. Repeat this set 3 times with a 1-2 minute rest between each set.

  1. Let go of the stress – As mentioned previously, stress on the body can cause high blood glucose levels from the release of the body’s stress hormones.

This reaction is shown for mental and physical stress. Simply put, if you have physical pain such as a back strain or even a severe headache, you may notice elevated glucose levels. Mental stress may be due to your job, marriage, and even horrible traffic. Often times we make poor decisions when under increased stress, such as eating too much, alcohol use, tobacco use, or even not eating at all. Increased stress can also lead to poor sleep. Maintaining stress and anxiety can be difficult, but that is why it is important to incorporate healthy techniques throughout the day. Try to take 10 minutes a day to clear your mind. This can improve mental focus and clarity. If you find that you have a lot on your mind, try writing it all down. Staying organized can reduce anxiety and stress throughout the day. Try refocusing your thoughts by listen to calming music, recorded comedy routines or audio books. Exercising is not only beneficial for glucose control, it is also shown to aid in stress relief. If you notice that you still have trouble maintaining your anxiety and stress, try to talk with someone that has more tools available to find the right technique for you.

  1. Routine is the way to go – Establish a daily routine.

I don’t mean you have to be so strict that you schedule a time each day to use the bathroom, but carve out a general idea of how your day is going to go. For example plan your meals, when you will exercise, and when are you going to bed. While your schedule may change from day to day depending upon your route, having a general idea of what you will accomplish will help ensure that you make the best decisions each day.

  1. Interdependence is greater than independence – Understand that you do not have to do this alone. Find a health care provider that you are comfortable with and understands your lifestyle.

Ensure that your health care provider knows the guidelines for maintaining your medical certificate. Make sure that you follow up on a routine basis to review medications and your glucose logs. Routine follow up is also important so you do not run out of prescription refills. Talk with your partner or friend to help with accountability. This may be with your diet, activity, or taking your medications. Diabetes can be very frustrating, so If you don’t understand why something is going on, then ask for help. Look for diabetes support groups online or talk with a friend.

by Helen Belcher, ediabetes Care Clinic

The post Diabetes on the Road appeared first on St. Christopher Truckers Fund.

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