Five common hidden barriers to recovering your health

Dr. Suzy Harris

Are you struggling with chronic pain, fatigue, weight issues or digestive symptoms? These are the most common issues we find people are presenting with in our natural health center. We find the best results are obtained once you look for and handle the 5 common barriers to recovering health.

  1. Metal Toxicity – These toxins can interfere with your hormonal and digestive system. Aluminum – scratched Teflon pans, rice cookers, antiperspirants and poor quality baked goods (aluminum in the baking powder).   Lead – older homes or buildings with lead containing paint, lead is in many lip sticks, mascaras and hair dyes. Mercury – old dental fillings, fish, vaccinations and fructose corn syrup.
  2. Chemical Toxicity – Chemicals that can build up in your system causing inflammation or potentially interfering with hormones, immunity, digestion. Chlorine – unfiltered water, hot tubs, cleaning with bleach. Plastics – drinking from plastic, microwaving in plastic, straws, and mouth guards. Formaldehyde – off-gassing of new carpets/floorings, fake sweeteners, SPF formulas in your sunscreen/beauty products.
  3. Immune Challenges – Many people are unaware that they are harboring low-grade immune imbalances from poor gut flora (good bacteria in your digestive system). Low grade yeast, bacteria, parasite type imbalances that can be interfering with good digestion causing bloating and other digestive discomforts
  4. Food Sensitivities – Certain foods may cause inflammation and difficulty with digestion without you being truly allergic to them. Common foods can be wheat, sugar, dairy and eggs. Symptoms may not be immediate making it difficult to realize.
  5. Scar Tissue – scars can have an effect on your nervous system’s ability to regulate your body. Temperature regulation, digestion, immune system etc.

Though this list may seem daunting, it is not as hard as you think to clear these issues and watch how some of your toughest health concerns can begin to shift. Filtering your city water, toss out scratched up Teflon pans and switch to an aluminum free deodorant can be examples of simple lifestyle changes that can add up to big change for your health.

Dr. Suzy Harris is the founder of Cedar Wood Natural Health Center in South Burlington,

Take action to help keep seniors out of the hospital

As flu season begins, the risk of area seniors being hospitalized increases significantly. However, according to a study conducted of nurses who primarily work with seniors, almost half of all senior hospitalizations — 49% — can be avoided with proper prevention.
The critical factor in reducing this spike in hospitalizations is family involvement. Nearly all nurses surveyed say that the role families play in keeping seniors out of the hospital is just as important as the role of the medical community.
Knowing that a hospital stay can actually lead to more serious health declines, local senior care experts are mounting an informational campaign to educate families and decrease hospitalizations so that seniors may remain at home and healthy year-round.
“Keeping seniors safe at home and out of the hospital starts with family intervention,” said Patrice Thabault owner of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise serving Chittenden and surrounding counties. “It could be as simple as making sure your parents are using assistive equipment to avoid falls or suggesting they see a doctor for any new aches or symptoms.”
The most common action by seniors that puts them at risk of hospitalization is waiting too long to seek medical attention, according to the nurses surveyed. They estimate that nearly half of all seniors put off medical appointments or have problems accessing medical care.
“Not following doctor’s orders also puts seniors at risk,” Thabault said. “Families play a critical role in making sure they fully understand and comply with medical instructions.”
To help families identify and act on potential warning signs, Home Instead Senior Care is offering The Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalizations guide, developed with Dr. Carolyn Clevenger, incoming president of the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. The free guide includes information about common risk factors and the steps that families can take to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.

The recommendations include:
•         Make sure the senior is taking preventative health measures, such as getting a flu shot or shingles vaccination
•         Encourage the use of assistive equipment
•         Monitor and/or assist with medications
•         Attend doctor’s visits and be a medical advocate for your senior
•         Assess your senior’s balance
•         Make sure your senior is able to safely drive
•         Check in on aging loved ones regularly

Additional free resources can be found at To obtain a copy of the Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalizations guide, call 219-793-9023.