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.

 

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 🙂 ).

 

 

 

Is sitting the new smoking?

It is good to move our DNA and restore our health through natural movement. The sitting itself isn’t really the problem; it is the repetitive use of a single position that makes us literally become ill in a litany of ways.

For example, muscles will adapt to repetitive positioning by changing their cellular makeup, which in turn leads to less joint range of motion. This muscle and joint ‘stiffness’ can lead to a stiffening of the arterial walls within these muscles. The positive news is that, because we’ve all been sitting (static) the same way for decades, changing our static positioning (i.e., standing more) can improve our health. However moving intermittently throughout the day is still the best for our health.

We need to see that it’s the constant STATIC nature of our sitting position throughout the day that is causing the bulk of our problems.

The solution isn’t to simply stand more. If we do, we’d be swapping out one STATIC position for another—not solving the root of the problem and potentially creating other challenges.

What we want to do is create a DYNAMIC workstation such that we’re moving more—in TINY ways—throughout the day.

Now, is sitting the new smoking?

 Sitting and smoking are different: sitting itself isn’t the creator of ill effects the way smoking a cigarette is. Sitting–the position—is perfectly harmless when ‘consumed’ appropriately. It’s not like putting your butt into a chair makes you ill; as they say, it’s the dose that makes the poison.

So, short answer: No, it’s not.

Language can also get us into trouble when we’re seeking solutions, because we keep equating sitting with not moving, but in many cases, the physical effects of sitting are just as much created by repetitive geometry (always sitting in the same way) as they are by the metabolic changes that come with being sedentary. So sitting differently can improve your health in the same way that standing can—which is great news for the millions of people who aren’t yet quite fit enough to stand for considerable amounts of time. Yes, even you—who want to change your risk profile for disease but feel trapped by your current physical limitations—can change how you sit and improve your health on a cellular level.

So don’t just sit there, keep moving through out the day. Stand and do some emails.

Have a blessed day and stay healthy,

Dr. Eppinga

Lose Weight in 6 Simple Steps

Most people who need to lose weight DO NOT NEED to go on a diet. They need to make a few, likely simple, changes in the way they live and they must make them consistently. The more simple these changes are, the more likely it is that you can be consistent in making them. The typical patient who will benefit from these instructions is someone who is in reasonable health and anywhere from 10-70 lbs over their ideal weight. This does not mean you can’t make these changes in your lifestyle if you aren’t overweight or if you’re overweight by more than 70 lbs; anyone can benefit. If you make changes to your lifestyle in a controlled and consistent fashion, it will soon become a habit. Once things become habitual it hardly requires any thought to live in this way.

Step 1: Spend some time evaluating WHAT YOU EAT AND HOW MUCH. You will most likely need to significantly decrease your intake of simple sugars like candy, cake, cookies or pop, high fat treats like potato chips, alcohol, and excessive amounts of high starch foods like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta. You must be conscious especially of the snacks that you eat between and after meals and especially how much.

Step 2: After making a general evaluation of what and how much you are eating, make some decisions regarding CHANGES you will make especially for HIGH CALORIE FOODS like some snacks or alcohol. You might decide to eat apples and oranges only for snacks and water or flavoured water in place of pop. Diet drinks can be substituted for the original variety.

Step 3: Start knowing EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH. Ideally you should weigh yourself daily first thing in the morning and keep a record of it. This will give you extra incentive to make consistent changes in your lifestyle when you see its positive results. A digital scale is often most helpful for this.

Step 4: Start using PORTION CONTROL at regular meal times. You can buy a portion control plate or you can change your regular plate size to one that is close to 8 or 9 inches. Divide your plate into 4 quarters and make a decision to fill your plate only once per meal with half of the plate being vegetables, a quarter starch, and a quarter meat. Vegetables should ideally include things like greens, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and salads; but should not consist of corn or potatoes as these are starches. Single course meals should probably cover no more than half the plate depending on how many vegetables they contain. Remember that starches like rice, potatoes and pasta may cover no more than one quarter of your plate.

Step 5: Evaluate how much EXERCISE you can do. If you do not have trouble WALKING, you should walk at least 10,000 steps per day at a brisk pace. Whatever exercise you can do however, is better than none at all. A pedometer can be essential for many people to monitor how much they walk. It allows you to monitor and record how much walking is actually being done. Even if you can’t walk much, most people can try walk just a little more every day by forcing it a little and will build strength over time. The more weight you lose, the easier the exercise will become.

Step 6: You will LOSE WEIGHT as you make the lifestyle changes detailed here. Depending on how significant the changes you make are, most people will be able to lose from 1 to 2 pounds per week. The longer you live like this, the more likely it will become a habit. After some time you will no longer be able to eat a standard meal at a restaurant, it will just seem like too much. Because you will continue monitoring your weight you will be aware of just how much the lifestyle changes that you make affect your weight. It won’t be stressful however, because now you know what changes to make to cause the extra weight to go away.

Love my Life and Yours,

Dr. Peter Eppinga M.D.

Health Tip – Being Food Fit – 10 Tips to a healthier U

1. When at the grocery store, fill your basket with vegetables and fruit to prevent chronic disease. Pick the dark green, orange, yellow and red fruits and veggies. Research has shown that vegetables and fruit are packed with vitamins and minerals that are important for good health. (If you are over 50 it is recommended to have 7 servings/day).

*Also did you know that the healthiest foods in the grocery store are on the perimeter, that’s right, the junk food is usually in the middle, staying on the perimeters of the grocery store keeps you food smart.

Here is a really good link to Health Canada’s Website and the Canada Food Guide for Healthy Eating – http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php

2. Health tip number two is water and U – On average your body is 60 – 70% water according to different resources. Water helps you think clearly, regulates your body temperature and keeps your bowels healthy and regular. It is recommended that women have 9 ounces of water and 12 ounces for men. Staying hydrated is so important for good health.

*Please discuss your recommended water intake with your doctor first especially if you have heart, kidney, liver or adrenal disease.

3. Pump up your protein is tip 3 – Protein not only repairs your muscles, skin, and nails it also maintains your immune function. Protein also helps you if you have been ill or just had surgery. Adults over 50 should have 2.5 ounces or 75 grams of protein/day. Refer to the Canada food guide for serving size and examples; it is downloadable from the links that I have provided.

4. Keep your bones strong – If you keep them strong it prevents osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is when your bones are fragile and have lots of porous holes in them, this puts you at increased risk for a bone fracture.

Your bones grow until early adulthood that is why it is so important to eat healthy as a teenager especially if you’re female. Living in Canada according to Dieticians.ca puts us at risk for not having enough vitamin D. You need enough Vitamin D and Calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Examples of food with calcium are: milk, yogurt, cheese, and salmon with bones.

Vitamin D from comes from sunlight, egg yolks, fatty fish, fish liver oil.

Dieticians.ca is a great resource for videos and information from dieticians about recommended Vitamin D and calcium intake.

Here is a specific link to our Canadian Dietician Views – http://www.dietitians.ca/Dietitians-Views.aspx

5. Fill up on Fibre – it has been shown to decrease your cholesterol and keep you regular. It also decreases heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Most Canadians get half the fibre that they need.

It is recommended for women to get 25 grams of fibre per day and 38 grams/day for men.

Some good examples of fibre would be whole wheat breads, wheat cereals, oatmeal, barley, beets, and carrots.

6. The facts about Fat – One good strategy to decrease heart disease is to decrease your saturated fats (fats that come from animals). Processed trans fats come from vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated; these are good to stay away from as well.

7. Decrease your salt intake – this will help in decreasing your blood pressure, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Recommended salt intake is 5ml per day (1 teaspoon). I personally struggle with decreasing my salt intake. Some things I have tried that have helped are experimenting with other seasonings such as garlic, lemon juice, and dried herbs.

8. Tip 8 is try to avoid calorie dense/empty foods to snack on such as potato chips, sweets, and baked goods. Avoiding fast food is best but if you find yourself at a fast food restaurant, you can still choose from the healthy menu.

9. Don’t cope with strong feelings using food. Emotional eating can damage your body. Eat to fuel/strengthen your body and not to satisfy your cravings.

10. The final tip 10 is to take control of your portion size. Monitor your food portions. Tell yourself that I am not concerned with clearing my plate and I will stop eating when I am full.

Once again here is Health Canada’s website and the Canadian food guide (They also have a guide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis in the link below)

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php 

Love My Life and yours especially when we are eating healthy,

Peter Eppinga M.D. (AKA Dr. Pringles to some 4 year old girls lol).

Health Tip – Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding your baby is an experience to enjoy. It is the ultimate bond between a mother and her baby. Starting out right helps to ensure breastfeeding is a pleasant experience for both you and your baby. It should be trouble free and natural for most mothers.

In this short blog I am going to talk about the 5 benefits of breast feeding and link you to a website that I recommend to all my patients who want to learn more about breast feeding.

I know many mothers will choose to formula feed their babies and that is okay. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad for not breastfeeding their babies. I only want to give you information and you can decide for yourself on what you want to do.

5 Reasons to Breast Feed

1. Nutrients and Protection from Infections – Breastfed babies from the research have decreased rates of infections including respiratory infections, ear infections and diarrhea. Infections also tend to be worse for anyone with poor nutrition.

2. Provides a bonding relationship – you get a lot of cuddle time with your baby. Who can ask for anything more!

3. Benefits to Mom – Research suggests that breastfeeding provides a measure of protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones later in life.

4. Benefits to Not Stopping – Research shows that breast milk is so important that it is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Beginning at 6 months of age babies need a variety of foods in addition to breast milk, which continues to provide nutrition and protection. As recommended by Health Canada “Any amount of breast milk is always good for babies”. I have met many mothers who continue to breastfeed their babies until they are two years old or more.

5. Convenient, Portable and Easy on the Budget – the milk is the perfect temperature and your milk is always with you. Well I guess “easy on the budget” can be a 6th reason but I wanted to keep it to 5  ….  sorry!  🙂  …. breastfeeding can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars!

Unfortunately breastfeeding doesn’t always go perfectly. The difficulties you may experience can be difficulty attaching the baby to the breast. This can be for many reasons including lack of practice, confidence or knowledge. Remember breastfeeding is a learned skill and practice makes progress. If you are experiencing difficulties seek help early from a health care professional. There are many people who have experience and expertise in positioning and attachment/latch difficulties. Please speak to your doctor or health care provider if your experiencing difficulty as they can direct to the right place to get help in your local area.

Learn from the best at the International Breast Feeding Centre  – Jack Newman – He is a world leader on the topic of breastfeeding. Information on his website is available in most languages. Here is the link below:

https://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=5&Itemid=17

Doctors, nurses and health care professionals are here to assist you…..YOU are making the journey.

Love My Life, Your Life and Your babies too!

Peter Eppinga M.D.

Concussions and Your Brain the Most Illustrious Jewel Ever Made

What is a concussion?

Concussion from the Latin word concutere “to shake violently” or concussus “action of striking together” is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. This injury is caused by excessive, rapid movement of the brain inside the skull. “This movement causes damage that changes how brain cells function, leading to symptoms that can be physical (headaches, dizziness), cognitive (problems remembering or concentrating), or emotional (feeling depressed).”-Thinkfirst.ca

A concussion can result from multiple ways some examples would be: a blow to the head or body in any number of sporting activities (hockey and boxing), falling from a jungle gym, being in a motor vehicle collision, or slipping/falling and hitting your head.

What is different about a concussion?

The brain is inside of the skull and even with modern technology like CT scanners and MRI’s it is difficult to see a concussion.

To give an illustration if you bang your arm we can visually see a bruise on the arm but with the brain that bruise is hard to see.

Your brain is everything about you that is why I decided to write a book about it. It is mission control and even acts as a filing cabinet. In a concussion many different things can go on, some files may be spilled all over the place and it takes time for organization of those files.

As we cannot physically see a bruise on the brain other cognitive or emotional impairments may come out. These symptoms of a concussion can be: headache, balance problems, difficulty with vision, sadness, feeling slowed down, nausea, drowsiness, or confusion to name a few. It is important to remember that this is not an ALL-INCLUSIVE list. For a more complete list please visit Thinkfirst.ca

Final power thoughts to consider:

Don’t make things worse. With an injured brain you need to take baby steps to getting back to play or regular activity again. Talk everything over with your doctor and he or she can come up with a safe plan with you for return to play or regular activities.  Thinkfirst.ca is also a fabulous source to read up on concussions and I send my patients to this website if they wish to learn more about concussions.

Here is the link:

http://thinkfirst.ca/programs/concussionqanda.aspx#Whatisaconcussion

It may be difficult to know how you will do if you have been diagnosed with a  concussion by a doctor. There are 7 billion human brains on the planet and each one is different. You are wonderfully and fabulously made! However the studies I have come across have lots of statistics available and about 80-90% will be back to play or regular activities in about 4-6 weeks, this also depends on the injury. The discussion with your doctor will give you a better idea.

Be mindful of the fact to communicate with everyone. This includes your parents, teachers, co-workers, boss and coaches.

Take care of yourself. Your Brain is you! Keep that Jewel running like a Lamborghini (my favourite car by the way).

Love My Life and Yours,

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.

 

The 3 ABC’s of Diabetes

A stands for “A1C” which is a test that looks at your control of blood sugar over the last 3 months.

B stands for “blood pressure”. High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

C stands for “cholesterol” Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. High cholesterol is another factor that increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious problems.

The second set of ABC’s

A stands for “activity” – increasing your activity, walking, biking, swimming, running, or doing whatever you love to do.

B stands for reducing your “belly” and weight. We know with diabetes weight around the tummy is especially important even a few percentage lost can make a really big difference.

C stands for “change”. Your belief and ability to change can have a big impact on diabetes also creating new social contacts with people who want to change.

The third set of ABC’s

A stands for “appointment”. Schedule a regular visit with your clinic every 3 to 4 months so you can review how you are doing over time. We need to measure you so we can tweak your medications or lifestyle choices to improve your chances of staying healthy.

B stands for “BMI”. Body mass index is a measure for human body shape based on an individual’s mass and height. The target range for diabetics is 18.5 – 24.9.

C stands for “control” – you are in control of looking after your health and taking your medication and knowing what they are used for. We are here to help you but ultimately it is up to you to keep yourself healthy.

What should my ABC levels be? — The levels you should aim for will depend on how severe your diabetes is, how old you are, and what other health problems you have. Ask your doctor or nurse what your target levels should be.

In summary from above many people with diabetes aim for:

A1C levels below 7 percent

Activity – aerobic activity (30minutes) most days of the week and resistance training three times per week

Appointment – Schedule a regular visit every 3-4 months.

Blood Pressure below 130/80, (or lower in some cases, your doctor may help you set a different goal).

Belly –waist circumference, Male <94cm and Female <80cm

BMI – targeted to be 18.5 – 24.9

Cholesterol – LDL = level below 2.6 mmol/L (LDL is one type of cholesterol, often called the “bad cholesterol” or “lousy cholesterol”)

Change and Control – you can change and you are in control. We are here to help you along the way to better health.

How can I control my ABC’s? — You and your doctor will work together to create a plan to keep your ABC’s under control. Remember to write down all the numbers so you can keep track of where you are and where you are going.

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.  ~Jim Rohn

Love my life and your life,

Peter Eppinga M.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanting to Quit Smoking?

For many quitting smoking has been a rollercoaster ride. Many attempts have been made with no success. You are not alone. Only 1 in 10 smokers are successful on each attempt. Why?

Nicotine is the SOLE reason for continued tobacco usage. Nicotine is safe in usual 1-4mg doses, BUT TOBACCO IS THE SOLE CAUSE OF DISEASE.

The benefits that some people think they get from smoking is actually the benefits of nicotine which include: mental alertness, stimulation of your muscles, and assisting in a feeling of relaxation. Nicotine itself is a safe substance.

SO HOW CAN YOU QUIT?

Using safe pure nicotine substitution.

1. Gum 2mg nicotine ($30/105 pieces)

2. Lozenges ($22/24)

3. Inhaler ($45/42 cartridges)

The above techniques allow for flexible dosing when you have a craving.

4. Patch (Provides 7-14mg of nicotine and allows for a baseline level of nicotine)

5. & 6. I won’t talk to much about the pills but they are available. One may use Zyban (Buproprian) or Champix (Verenicline) (may be a little more effective and newer but has some side effects that you can discuss with your doctor).

Combination therapy has shown to increase success rates by 3-4 times.

What doesn’t work: acupuncture, laser therapy, and hypnosis. When compared to a placebo the rates of stopping smoking are not better.

5% of people quit cold turkey for 6-12 months, but most relapse in about 8 days. 2/3 to 3/4 of people quit smoking on their own, this is good but is always good to talk to your doctor or health care provider about this. We are here to help you with the process.  

The Disgusting facts that you already know about so I will not spend too much time writing about it: Tobacco contains 10 billion carbon particles/ml, 4500 chemicals, 500 are gaseous and 50 are carcinogenic, sexual dysfunction in later years, poor healing of injuries, 7 year life span loss in the “golden retirement years”, increased risk of heart attacks, increased risk of stroke, and increased risk for many cancers.

STAY MOTIVATED: YOU CAN DO IT. WE CAN HELP. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BODY TO LIVE IN, TAKE THE BEST POSSIBLE CARE OF IT.

If you have tried quitting and were not successful try again. The Japanese have a proverb that says success is falling down 7 times and getting up 8 times.

Love my life and your life,

Peter Eppinga M.D.