People on occasion ask what I do, as a physician, to, you know, do my best to avoid an early, preventable death.
For a list of preventative health care services you should be receiving for your age (e.g.: pap smears, mammograms), please see your actual doctor or refer to a reputable source, such as the United States Task Force For Preventable Services.
Here is a list of things practical things I do and don’t do to stick around a little longer, categorized into “absolutely never,” “general MBS life rules,” “you may surprised I don’t do this,” and “things to consider.”
- Every puff is a small dose of inflammation going into your body. It is bad for almost every organ system. If you are smoking, please stop.
- Tanning Beds:
- Unless you are receiving phototherapy for a condition, such as psoriasis, under the auspices of a dermatologist, please get out of these cancer boxes. And, if you say, “I won’t get skin cancer”….no one is immune from wrinkles.
GENERAL MBS LIFE RULES:
- Maintain a healthy body composition (i.e. avoid diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, etc to avoid having a stroke, heart attack, blindness/amputation [from diabetes destroying small vessels and nerves])
- Eat a “foods from the earth” based diet
- Try to (key word = try) limit sugar and eliminate fake sugar (aside from gum, oops)
- Try to keep the coffee:water ratio not 1:1 (again, key = try)
- Try to eat healthy fats (your neurons are wrapped in myelin, which is made of fat so I tell myself that avocados and walnuts are both giving me faster reaction time and making me smarter)
- It is good for both the body and mind. You may quote me on this.
- It is also one of my favorite activities so this one isn’t a “hard one” for me.
- Eat a “foods from the earth” based diet
- Wear sunscreen
- Prevent skin cancer and fine lines/wrinkles – two birds, one stone!
- Try to never go below 6 hours of sleep a night
- Ideally, I’d love to get 8 hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, my job as a provider of healthcare, ironically, precludes this. However, aside from a 24 hour call, I cannot function on less than 6 hours sleep.
- Don’t pull all-nighters, guys. Nothing is worth that. The first time I pulled an all nighted was in residency. Trust me, you aren’t missing anything staying up for 24 hours except for some serious cortisol secretion from all that stress on your body/nervous system.
- Infection Control
- Yearly flu shot (both required by my job and something I would do anyways)
- HAND WASHING!
- Go to the dentist twice a year
- I’m not up on the latest dental and periodontal literature, but, from what I’ve heard, dental/gum health is actually very important for your overall health. I think I even remember something about gum disease being linked/related/correleated (but not causation) to heart disease.
YOU MAY BE SURPRISED I DON’T DO THIS:
- Take Vitamins:
- Pregnancy/Trying To Conceive: take a prenatal vitamin!
- True deficiencies
- The only exceptions to this, for me, are vitamin D, which almost everyone is deficient in and a probiotic because they come in gummy form and are delicious.
- I prefer to get nutrients from food. If you eat a well balanced diet, all you are really doing by taking multi-vitamins is making expensive urine because, aside from fat soluble vitamins, you will just pee out the excess water soluble vitamins/minerals.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- A zinc lozenge at the onset of a cold
- There is some research showing that zinc taken within the first 24 hours of a cold helps shorten duration. I figure it can’t hurt to try.
- Complementary and alternative therapies
- They KEY to these, like an healthcare provider, is finding someone reputable and that you trust.
- My only exception is that I never let any chiropractors touch my neck because I’m fearful of a vertebral artery dissection.
- A lot of these therapies involve just relaxing, which I think is something we all need more of.
Is 8 pm too early for bed?
I hope not.
That’s all for now.
Until next time…
Daily coffee tally: 3 ( I think, but it wasn’t enough. One was from the small cups they have in the recovery room, which are essential null and void for my level of caffeine tolerance so maybe it was really just 2 coffees)