The Quality of Your Questions Determines the Quality of Your Life

An old wise doctor once told me. The quality of the questions you ask yourself day to day determines the quality of your life. I have some great examples of these questions at the end of this blog.

One question I have asked myself about my health is, what choice do I make everyday that can influence my health the most? I have found the answer. The most influential choice I can make for my health occurs in the grocery store. Once I put something in my cart, good or bad, it is likely to end up in my stomach. Even if you feel remorse in the grocery store, when you get home, your will power stands little chance. Number one, you paid for it and it’s only a few steps away from your mouth once it is in the house.

Any time I visit the grocery store, I try to stay out of the middle of the store because that is where most of the dangerous foods are that can sabotage my health. They are usually filled with unhealthy and addictive foods. If I don’t see soda pop and chips there is no way they will end up in my cart. So I learned by NOT walking down the junk food aisles and precommitting to not putting that stuff into my cart is a very wise idea. If it is out of sight it is out of mind.

I do try to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store because that is where the healthy foods tend to be. I spend most of my time in the fresh produce and seafood sections. A wise elder once told me that fish can make you smarter. I believed them when I was a child and now science confirms this. Fresh fish is healthy for your brain and heart.

So please don’t test yourself at home, make up your mind and have will power before and while in the grocery store.

 Another question I have asked myself is how do I get more of my patients to be more active? After all we only have one body to live in our entire life and without health there is no wealth. Exercise will bring us health, lower our blood pressure, release brain derived neurotropic factor (a fertilizer for memory formation), and decrease the chance of being diagnosed with diabetes or a cardiovascular disease.

So I quickly went to do my research and found that in medicine there is a common theme. What gets measured gets better. The more the doctor and YOU measure your blood pressure, check up on YOUR blood sugars the more we tend to get better results with what we are measuring. There are some famous medical clinics around the world known for their patient outcomes, they live longer and healthier lives. The one reason they do better then other medical clinics is because they are measuring everything they do with their patients and constantly trying to make things better.

In one simple study I found in my research, they wanted to know how people could increase their activity. So they gave them something to measure their activity by, a pedometer. When people are assigned to wear a pedometer as a part of a randomized control trial, they walked at least one extra mile per day on average. In summary overall activity levels go up by 27%. Body mass Index (BMI) decreases, and blood pressure goes down!

Answer: Simply having a pedometer results in people walking an EXTRA MILE every day! (Just Awesome.)

 At the beginning of this blog I shared with you that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself everyday.

 After much reading and reading from people like Tony Robbins. Here are some examples of questions I like to ask my self at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day.

  1. The Morning Questions

 Answer the following questions every morning to set yourself up for a positive day. 

  • What am I most happy about in my life right now?
  • What about that makes me happy?
  • What am I most excited about in my life right now?
  • What am I most proud of in my life right now?
  • What am I most grateful for in my life right now?
  • What am I enjoying most in my life right now?
  • What am I most committed to in my life right now?
  • Who do I love? Who loves me?
  1. The Evening Questions

 Ask yourself these questions at the end of each day before sleep.

  • What have I given today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • How has today added to my life?
  • How can I use today as an investment in my future?
  • What did I do today towards reaching my goals?

Have a blessed week and I hope some of these questions help in making your life happier and filled with satisfaction. #Love my life #Aboriginalteensuicideprevention

Love my Life and yours,

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

5 Health Tips on Keeping Your Mind and Brain Healthy

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1. Keep well hydrated. Your brain needs water to survive and perform at its best. Any signs of dehydration, your brain will not be functioning at its optimum level.

 

2. Eat healthy with lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish, avocados and walnuts are good examples of food with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3 fatty acids in its structure and for its neuronal function.

 

3. Exercise is my number one prescription for anyone – exercise makes you feel good by releasing endorphins in your body. Exercise does a lot as you can read by clicking on my previous post here: http://drpetereppinga.com/?p=135

 

It also releases Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, (BDNF for short) which aids in memory formation. By having your heart pumping and your lungs breathing at a good pace it brings lots of needed oxygen to your brain cells and gets rid of all the toxic chemicals and free radicals your brain produces. Exercise prevails over any medication.

 

4. Focus on the good things in your life and don’t focus on the bad things. If you’re alive you’re going to experience pain. The only people with no problems in this world our in the graveyard. So you have a choice when you wake up in the morning to focus on the good or the bad. The more you focus on the negative your going to apply negative meaning to your life and you will not feel good about it. Your emotions for the day are mainly going to be gloomy and pessimistic which nobody wants, and soon you will be in the doctor’s office asking for anti depressant pills.

 

A good way to focus on the positive is to tell yourself positive affirmations in the morning and through out the day. I have a list that read from in the bathroom and a list on my phone that I read through out the day. I also use scriptures from the book of proverbs in the Bible. As I find the writers of the Bible are very positive in what they have to say about their outlook on life.

 

5. Have fun in life and get plenty of sleep. Take time to schedule fun time in your days and when experiencing happiness enjoy it and focus on that instead of negative things for the rest of the day. What you focus on will expand whether it be good or bad.

 

A human brain is 75% water and has the consistency of tofu or gelatin. The human brain consists of approximately 100 billion neurons (which is as many cells as there are stars in the Milky Way). Each neuron has somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 synapses, equaling about 1 quadrillion synapses. If all the neurons in the human brain were lined up, they would stretch 600 miles. Keeping your brain healthy is keeping your mind healthy. Let your brain experience something fun today!

 

Love my Life and yours,

 

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Acne 101

What is Acne?

The medical term for it is Acne Vulgaris. Vulgaris seems like a bad word but it really just means common and it is exactly that. It affects 80-90% of the population (by age 25 only 10% of the population is affected). It is a disease that can scar for life and could have been prevented.

What causes Acne?

Acne is caused by occlusion (clogging) of skin pores, which leads to overgrowth of bacteria, pus, inflammation and pain. Untreated acne can leave scars and persistent redness of the skin.

Acne Myths?

Acne is NOT caused by foods and does not reflect poor hygiene (in fact, aggressive soaps and scrubbing may worsen acne). The black heads are NOT dirt they are melanin and oxidized lipids. SO cleaning vigorously or picking can actually make the acne worse.

Treatment of Acne

There are many different treatments to try. The goal of treatment is quite simple:

1. To reduce plugging 

2. Minimize inflammation

There are over 140 different treatments and over 250 combinations! SO what does the research show to be the most effective treatments?

Benzoyl peroxide: this is a first-line treatment for mild and moderate acne due to its effectiveness and mild side-effects (primarily an irritant dermatitis). It works against the “P. acnes” bacterium, helps prevent formation of comedones, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Antibiotics: commonly used antibiotics, either applied topically or taken orally it is to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation. They include: erythromycin, clindamycin, and tetracyclines such as doxycycline. We do worry about over using antibiotics so it is good to take a break from them every few months to see if you still need to take them.

Hormones: In females, acne can be improved with the use of any combined oral contraceptive. This decreases hormones that cause plugging.

Topical Retinoids: these are medications that possess anti-inflammatory properties and work by normalizing the follicle cell life cycle. This class includes tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene. Like isotretinoin, they are related to vitamin A, but are administered topically and generally have much milder side effects.

Oral Retinoids: Isotretinoin is very effective for severe acne as well as moderate acne refractory to other treatments. Improvement is typically seen after one to two months of use. After a single course, about 80% of people report an improvement with more than 50% reporting complete remission. About 20% of people require a second course. Isoretinoin is a homerun for acne treatment.

You must use birth control as this drug can cause birth defects and in no way can a pregnant female take this drug.

**Remember it takes about 6 – 8 weeks to see if treatment is working. When we are treating acne it for the next round of acne. The success rate is not 100% according to studies it is about 40-70%. You can increase the success rate when you find something that works for you. You may have to experiment to see what works best.

Bring Acne up with your doctor, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Cheers to a healthy emotional life through your healthy skin!

Love My Life and Your Life,

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.

 

Aboriginal Teen Suicide Prevention

Love my Life t-shirt is to remember all those who have taken their life by suicide. The Haida design is of an eagle and a raven inside of a heart. Allan Weir is the Haida artist who did the magnificent design. Allan and I unfortunately have had our own cousins take their life in Haida Gwaii and this shirt is to remember them.

The purpose of this shirt is to reach out to the youth specifically the Aboriginal youth to prevent suicide. The websites provided on the shirt allow youth to read about mental health issues themselves. Mincheck.ca allows youth to fill out a questionnaire that will tell them more about how they feel and if it is necessary to contact a mental health professional in their local community or call the number provided on the website. Please check out www.mindcheck.ca for more information on filling out the questionnaire.

Remember suicide is 100% preventable and depression is a common complaint that I have seen in the emergency room and family practice setting. There is hope out there and different treatments available. A great elder once told me, Honour your life and Esteem others better then yourself. I wanted to leave the same message with you to Honour your Life and get help if you need it.

You have a purpose for your life and you are not an accident. You are an original. When the Creator made you He threw away the mold so that there would only be one of you in this world. The Creator has great things planned for your life! Never let anyone’s opinion of you determine what you will do with your life. Be proud of who you are. If you’re Aboriginal be even more proud of who you are and know that you are intelligent and capable of doing anything with your life!

“Look up hold your head high……be proud of who you are!” I put this on the bottom of the shirt and made the letters upside down so the person who is wearing the shirt will be able to read it as reminder to be proud of who they are. They will have what is called a positive affirmation about themselves. I have seen many youth looking down and not making eye contact with me when I shake their hand. I just wanted to remind them and you to look up and be proud of where you come from. You are going to do great things for your community.

Stay blessed! Love my Life!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

Young Adult and Teen Mental Health

Something’s not quite right…..

You’ve noticed that you’ve been feeling or acting differently. Maybe you’re feeling a bit more moody, anxious or stressed than usual. Maybe your finding it difficult to accomplish tasks as easily as you used to or your drinking is getting out of hand. Maybe things just don’t feel quite right, and you don’t know why.

It could just be a tough time you’re going through….maybe it’s something more. Checking it out at mindcheck.ca right away can help make all the difference.

mindcheck.ca offers quizzes to help you better understand what’s going on with you and provides support such as education, self-help tools, website links, a chat link, and assistance in connecting to local professional resources. Fraser Health and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services’ mindcheck.ca website and is focused on early intervention and prevention for teens and young adults.

Acting early will help you feel better faster, and stop the problem from getting worse.

If you do find out that your dealing with depression, anxiety,  or substance misuse, you’re not alone. One in five B.C. youth and young adults experience these types of issues and if you act early, you can stop them from interfering with your life at home, school, work, and with your friends. Help is there.

I just visited  www.mindcheck.ca   and thought it was a fantastic resource. I highly recommend checking this site out! This goes out to all my Haida Peeps!

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!)