Medications….The Drugs YOU Take and Why You Take Them

To provide the best care, your doctor must understand you as a person and know what your life is like. How you and your doctor talk to each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. Unfortunately this is easier said then done. Over the years the doctor-patient relationship has changed. The doctor used to take the lead and the patient followed. Now in 2016 it now more of a partnership and the patient is in charge.

In my clinical experience I have noticed multiple common themes amongst many of my patients that can lead to inadequate health care. Medications are one of the most common themes I have come across. I have found that a multitude of patients do not know the drugs they take and why they take them, especially in the elderly population. I try to make it an effort when doing my yearly physical exams to talk about the medications that I have prescribed for them and answer any questions that they may have.

The doctor’s job in this Doctor-Patient Partnership is below:

  1. I go over why they are on the medication and what we are trying to achieve.
  2. The side effects of the medication.
  3. Some common interactions of the medication and making sure it does not cause harm to the patient.

The patients job in the this Doctor-Patient Partnership is below:

 I ask all of my patients to list their medications

 Your doctor needs to know about ALL the medications you take. Medications include

  • prescription drugs
  • over-the-counter (non-prescription example: Tylenol, Advil, Tums) drugs
  • vitamins, herbal remedies or supplements
  • laxatives
  • eye drops

In many incidences I ask some of my patients to bring all their medications in a bag to the visit. Most of the time I suggest making a list of their medications and bring it to the yearly physical. I always suggest putting their medications into their phone so they have it with them at all times especially if they have to go to the emergency room unexpectedly.

I also ask the patient to note Dosages, Frequency, and Side Effects.

It is very important to write down how much you take and how often you take it. Make sure to tell the doctor if a dose has changed or if you are taking a new medicine since your last visit.

The doctor needs to know everything you take because sometimes medicines cause problems when taken together. Also, sometimes a medicine you take for one health problem, like a headache, can cause another health problem to get worse.

Finally I ask my patients to write down any medication allergies they have and any bad side effects they have had with the medicines they take. I also like to know which medications work best for them!

As you can see this Doctor-Patient Relationship requires more work for the patient then the doctor when it comes to medications. Always feel free to ask your doctor questions about your medications but the foremost person for this is still the pharmacist who should be working closely with your doctor.

Cheers to 2017 and having a passion for your health and body! You only have one body to live in so look after it with excellence and know every medication your putting into your body and why.

Love my life and yours,

Dr. Eppinga AKA Dr. Pringles but only if you are under the age of 5! (In clinic I had the cutest 4 year old girl scream and call me Dr. Pringles and thought she was getting some chips after the visit 🙂 ).




Informative Medical Websites

Below are some terrific websites, I and many other doctors refer patients to these websites to find out more information about medical conditions they may have. Click on the link to the website to go to the site and read more information.

Obstetrics and Pregnancy Information

Birth Control Information

Menopause Information

Bone and Joint Information

Baby, child and Teen Information

Brain and Concussion Information

The Canadian Family Physician

Hope you like the links, I will provide more websites as I find them medically relevant to family practice. Happy reading and happy learning!   🙂

Love my Life and yours,

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.


4 Health Tips to Keeping a Healthy Heart

Heart disease is a leading cause of death. Although it does not mean much to most people until they are in the emergency room or the cardiac unit being diagnosed with a heart attack. Seeing all the nurses and doctors hook them up to machines to monitor their heart, most ask me what could I have done to prevent this?

I tell them the story I am about to tell you now.

There are things that you can do to reduce your risk.

You have the power to change your smoking habits, food intake, exercise routines and sleeping habits.

# 1. Don’t smoke

The chemicals in the tobacco damages your heart and blood vessels, leading to the narrowing of your blood vessels called atherosclerosis. No amount of smoke is safe, the more you smoke the more you are at risk for a heart attack.

The good news is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops to almost that of a non-smoker after 5 years.
For tips on how to quit smoking go to my blog here:

#2. Eat a heart healthy diet.

The DASH Diet – Dietary approaches to stop Hypertension. The DASH diet prioritizes vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products and limits fats, cholesterol, and sodium.

The Mediterranean Diet – The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Eating a total of 5-10 servings of vegetables/day. Also my favorite…..eating salmon may reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Having a healthy diet also means watching your alcohol intake. For a healthy adult that means 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men under age 65.

#3. Get regular health screens from your family doctor.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won’t know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
Blood pressure – Adults (anybody over 18 years) should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years. You may need more-frequent checks if your numbers aren’t ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury.
Cholesterol levels – If you’re healthy, you can start having your cholesterol screened at age 40 for men and 50 for women.

Diabetes screening – Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend early screening for diabetes. If your weight is normal and you don’t have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, in Canada we recommend checking a fasting blood glucose at age 40, and then retesting every 3 years.

#4. Get enough quality sleep

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you wake up in the morning and you feel refreshed then your getting enough sleep. If you’re waking up and hitting your snooze button 3 times and your struggling to get up, then you need more sleep.
Many people believe a simple yawn is a sign of not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is much more than that and it can harm your health. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.

You may have some physical troubles with sleeping such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Please talk to your doctor or health care professional about this and let them take a proper history and physical with you. Treatments for obstructive sleep apnea include losing weight or using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device that keeps your airway open while you sleep. CPAP treatment appears to lower the risk of heart disease from sleep apnea.

Cheers to you and I keeping a healthy heart. A healthy heart is a healthy life!
Love my life and yours,
Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

Order Your Brain 3 Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

I am so excited to announce the release of my book available in June 2013 it is titled:

YOUR BRAIN – Three Pounds of Fat Equals Your Life and Destiny

All of your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories or dogmas are in your mind, which is contained in YOUR BRAIN. In other words whatever you impress in your mind will become expressed in your physical life. Your brain has the ability to change your life and this book will teach you how to look after your brain and maximize its potential.

You can now Pre order your book and we will send you a copy in June when they are available. You can purchase by clicking the buy now button under the book. 

I recently graduated from medical school and during my medical training I became deeply fascinated with the brain. I loved everything about it and how it works. We know little about it and it is responsible for our life. Your mind is housed in your brain, and it is your mind that will determine who you are.

In this book, I give many interesting facts and insights to your brain. There are several ways in which we need to take care of it, including proper sleep and exercise, in order to reap all its benefits and for it to function optimally. This 3 pound piece of fat truly does contain your destiny and you need to learn about it and look after it. Just like maintaining a car, you have to understand how it works and look after the engine, the same is for your brain and mind. As you look after it properly you will get the best results for your life and reap all of its benefits.

I wrote this book with the intention to help you find your destiny in God. There is a reason as to why you are here. God sees your life from the end. From the moment of conception to the end, he knows your life. God never starts anything that is not already complete, including YOU. My desire and hope is to make God’s vision for your life clearer to you. There are many tools in this book to help you see this vision and complete your destiny.

I am sure when you are done reading this book your life will not be the same. A wise doctor once told me, “There are two things that will change your life, the people you meet and the books you read.” This is a book that will change your life and will draw you closer to the Creator of the Universe. The electronic version for kindles and iPads will be available in mid June.

Love My Life and My BRAIN!

Peter Eppinga M.D.


The 80/20 Principle

Did you know 20% of roads have 80% of the traffic? And statistically you probably wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time? And this one blows my mind, 20% of married people get 80% of the divorces. Finally 80% of the wealth in 20th century England was in 20% of the most wealthiest people. Vilfredo Pareto and Italian economist discovered this. This is what we call the Pareto Principle now better known as the “80/20 Principle”………So why the heck should you care?  You should care because 20% of your activity is leading to somewhere around 80% of your results in your life. This can be measured in profits, health or whatever variable you wish to measure (obviously this isn’t 100% correct but it is a ball park figure!).

You don’t have to be a statistician to realize that you may be waisting a lot of time on things that do not really matter in the end and have no benefit on the results of your life. I think it makes a lot of sense to identify those few things that give you 80% of your benefit/results and focus on them. Focus on what really matters in your life (the 20%) and watch your life take off!

Destiny and Happiness

Your life will be managed by your choices.

-Choose your thoughts, for they become your words.

-Choose your words, for they become your actions.

-Choose your actions, for they become your habits.

-Choose your habits, for they will become your character.

-Choose your character, for it becomes your Destiny.

Choice not CHANCE determines your Destiny!

(This is taken from my book hopefully coming out in Feb. or March 2013!)