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Spring is a beautiful time of year that brings renewed life to our environment and often sparks new well-being motivations. Exercise is one of our most potent and beneficial medicines. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, another reminder of how movement gives us life and rejuvenation.

Exercise has many benefits. It strengthens our bones and muscles. It reduces our risk of certain cancers, helps us maintain healthy body weight, reduces our risk of heart disease, and increases our chances of living longer with a better quality of life. Exercise helps our bodies release substances such as endorphins and endocannabinoids that improve our mood and overall mental health, help us sleep well, improve our sexual health, and decrease widespread pain in our bodies. Exercise helps our brains stay sharp and enhances our learning and judgment skills. Exercising with others can be fun and have many social benefits as well.

Motivation to exercise comes like the waves of the ocean. Sometimes we catch a surf wave and ride it for quite some time before getting knocked down, and other times, we might get excited as the perfect wave approaches, only to faceplant several seconds later. Do not worry; it is uncommon to be an ideal exerciser.

The important thing is to reorient ourselves and keep riding those waves of motivation. Focus on your successes and not your faults. Shame is a tactic used by many well-meaning people and organizations to try and implement change. Still, we learn that shame cannot create long-term healthy change without psychological damage. Please don’t allow yourself or others to shame you regarding how your life is lived. Celebrate your successes and find ways to enjoy the fantastic benefits of exercise.

Why Am I Developing Allergies, and How Can I Prevent Them?

Two to Three hundred years ago, very few people suffered from allergies. Nowadays, it’s common for people to be allergic to multiple things. What has changed? Why are people becoming more and more allergic to chemicals, foods, animals, and our natural environment? There are numerous reasons:

1. We have fewer bacteria in our intestines. We are exposed to cleaner water and more soap and hand sanitizer. C-section delivers more of us, so we are not exposed to our mother’s natural vaginal bacteria (1). We are exposed to more antibiotics, especially as children. Fewer bacteria diversity in the intestines has been shown to increase the risk of developing allergies.

2. For decades, doctors recommended waiting to introduce certain foods till later in childhood. We now know this increases the chance of developing a food allergy (4).

3. We are exposed to more acid-reflux medicines, which reduce stomach acid. Lower stomach acid affects food digestion and how our immune system is exposed to food (3).

4. We spend less time outdoors, especially as children and fewer of us grow up on farms, having less exposure to farm animals (5).

5. We have been exposed to more pollution and 1st or 2nd hand smoking. These have altered how our immune system interacts with our environment (5).

6. Our children wear shoes more when they play outside. When children’s feet have less exposure to bacteria and worms, the risk for allergies goes up (5).

We can control some of these risk factors now, some of them we can modify, and some we cannot. To decrease your and your children’s risk of developing allergies, you can do the following:

1. Eat various foods in your home, including milk, nuts, eggs, and soy. Expose your children to them starting at six months (see your allergist first if there is a family history of life-threatening food allergy). Eat these foods when you are pregnant. If your infant was born via C-section, give them a few different probiotic supplements in their first five years (2).

2. Keep your infant off acid reflux medicine unless necessary. Eat healthily and lose weight to avoid having to take acid-reflux medicine.

3. Avoid taking and giving your children antibiotics unless necessary.

4. Let your kids go outside in the backyard barefoot (within reason).

5. Limit kids’ screen time, and get them outside as much as possible, as young as possible.

6. If you have an opportunity to live on a farm in a less polluted area, take it.

7. Limit hand sanitizer and soap use (within reason) in your home.

8. Stop smoking/vaping.

9. Consider taking a daily probiotic with various strains in it.

By David Beckstead, MD

1. Koplin J, et al. Is cesarean delivery associated with sensitization to food allergens and IgE-mediated food allergy: a systematic review. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008;19(8):682.
2. Kuitunen M, et al. Probiotics prevent IgE-associated allergy until age five years in cesarean-delivered children but not in the total cohort. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123(2):335.
3. Mitre E, et al. Association Between Use of Acid-Suppressive Medications and Antibiotics During Infancy and Allergic Diseases in Early Childhood. JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(6):e180315. Epub 2018 Jun 4.
4. Commins S. Food intolerance and food allergy in adults: An overview. UpToDate. Accessed 3/9/22.
5. Platt-Mills T, Commins S. Increasing prevalence of asthma and allergic rhinitis and the role of environmental factors. UpToDate. Accessed 3/9/22.

Do You Have Anemia?

Anemia is a word that you have probably heard many times, but maybe you aren’t exactly sure what it means. Perhaps you even know some of the symptoms, including feeling fatigued, or headaches. So, what is anemia? It starts with hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in your blood that carries oxygen. Iron is needed for your body to make hemoglobin. When hemoglobin is lower than normal, this is called anemia.

In nonpregnant females, hemoglobin less than 12 is considered anemic. Due to regular physiologic changes in pregnancy, a lower cut-off is used to diagnose anemia which varies by trimester. In the first and third trimesters, hemoglobin less than 11 is considered anemic, while 10.5 is used as the cut-off in the second trimester.

Anemia occurs in almost one-third of reproductive age women and up to 40% of pregnancies. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron available in your body to produce adequate hemoglobin levels. This is called iron-deficiency anemia.

The amount of iron your body needs in pregnancy varies a lot depending on your gestational age. At baseline, 1 mg per day is required for the normal turnover of red blood cells. In the first trimester, your needs increase to 2 mg per day and continue to increase up to 7 mg per day as you approach your due date. Iron can be found in many foods, including meat, lentils, beans, and spinach. Additionally, many foods are fortified with iron, such as fortified breakfast cereals and cream of wheat. Another good way to get more iron is through your prenatal vitamin.

For women diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, additional supplementation of iron either by mouth or intravenously (IV) may be recommended. Taking iron orally is easy and inexpensive but can cause a metallic taste, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. Iron given through an IV is usually reserved for those who need more rapid iron replacement, such as those within a month of their due date, those who don’t tolerate oral iron supplementation, or those with a history of bariatric surgery, which can impair iron absorption.

Now that you know what anemia means and how common it is, you may feel a little worried about being anemic. You say to yourself, “I do feel tired! I do get headaches! Isn’t that part of being pregnant?” You are right! It might just be part of being pregnant. Rest assured, we routinely screen for anemia in pregnancy with your initial prenatal labs and again at the end of the second trimester when screening for gestational diabetes. This way, we can identify anemia appropriately and start treatment to resolve it.

Inspired by Heroes – Bennion Veterans Home

Hiking is one of the favorite recreational activities for my family and me. The scenic vistas and the peace of the trail are always refreshing. A few years ago, we ventured to the Redwood Forest and hiked amongst the giants of the forest. I marveled at the size of the redwood trees as they stretched toward the sky. You cannot help but feel that you are amid greatness.

In 2013, I had the opportunity to become the medical director of the Bennion Veterans Home in Payson and continue to serve in that capacity. The veterans home is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility for veterans and spouses of veterans.

There is a similar feeling of inspiration as I care for the veterans there. These veterans have been and continue to be heroes to freedom.

Many have visible signs of their sacrifice made in service to others. I am among giants as I walk those halls. I appreciate the chance to work with the veterans and their families. Their service and dedication inspire me.

Pathway to a Healthier Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (causing one in four deaths each year) and is much more likely to affect our health than any infectious disease. Although both heart disease and infections are mostly preventable, there’s a lot we can do every day to live a heart-healthy life. In the past couple of years, with our focus on COVID, have we neglected some other basic lifestyle and wellness principles? 

Exercise: Exercise can be intimidating, and you can always think up a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t exercise—it’s hard, you don’t have time, you’ll get sweaty, people will laugh at you if you do it wrong, it’s boring, the gym is expensive, you don’t have the right shoes or clothing…the list goes on and on. Exercise is and should be challenging, which is why it benefits you. But work on making it fun and find the activity that’s right for you. Anything is better than nothing. Start small and work towards 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week with two days of strength training. If you can’t do 30 minutes in one block, do five minutes here and there throughout the day. Be fun and creative with your exercise. Organize a pickleball tournament with your co-workers, dance with your family, walk with a friend. You’ll get the most out of physical activities that you enjoy, and you’ll keep coming back for more. 

Eat better: As with exercise, start small. Work on improving your diet a little at a time. Planning is key. Plan a healthy menu and write a shopping list to take to the store. It’s easier to stick to your nutrition goals when you have healthy choices on hand and only buy what you need. Write it down. Keeping a food journal helps you focus on what you’re doing—good and bad. Be forgiving. You can’t change what you’ve eaten, but you can make better choices moving forward. Incorporate vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into your diet. Eat fish, poultry, beans, nuts, vegetable oils, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Try to cut down on foods high in saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and other sweeteners. Make better fast food choices—salads, smaller “meal deals.”

Strive for a healthy weight: Your best bodyweight range is one that promotes optimal physical and mental health. You should feel strong, energized, and confident at a healthy body weight. Being overweight taxes your heart and increases your risk of having heart disease, a stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Choose healthy foods and exercise regularly to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Weight fluctuates with body size, so there’s no “ideal” body weight for all people. Everyone has a different body frame, body fat distribution, and height, all of which determine your healthiest weight range.

Quit smoking: Smoking harms your heart and blood vessels in many ways. Quitting is hard but possible and worth it. There is no single quit smoking plan that will work for everyone. Be honest about your needs. Set a quit date and ask your people for support. Stay busy. Avoid triggers. Stay positive. Consider starting a new hobby to keep your hands busy and connect you to others like sewing, knitting, woodworking, art, or music.

Reduce stress: Stress can contribute to heart risks. Practice meditation. Be physically active. Do relaxation therapy. Talk with someone you trust who might help you cope with stress. While smartphones, computers, and tablets are an unavoidable part of everyday life for many people, using them too often may increase stress levels. Cut down on caffeine. Consuming caffeine may increase your anxiety and stress if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Taking time for yourself is essential to living a less stressful, healthy life. Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. It simply means tending to your well-being and happiness. A sound social support system is essential for overall mental health. If you’re feeling alone and don’t have friends or family to lean on, social support groups may help. Consider joining a club or sports team or volunteering for a cause important to you. 

Improve sleep: Not getting enough sleep or regularly getting poor quality sleep increases the risk of heart disease and other medical conditions. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Keep a routine—have a regular bedtime and don’t eat late at night. Stay active during the day. Optimize your sleeping place by minimizing external noise, light, and artificial lights from devices like alarm clocks or cell phones. Test different temperatures for your bedroom to find out which is most comfortable for you. Around 70°F (20°C) is best for most people. Your bed, mattress, and pillow can significantly affect sleep quality, so try to obtain high-quality bedding, including a mattress. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, relaxing, clean, and enjoyable place. In general, the bedroom should only be used for sleep and intimacy. Relaxation techniques before bed, including hot baths and meditation, may help you fall asleep.

Know where you stand: Meet your goals by tracking how much you exercise, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers. Seeing where you are and tracking progress is motivating.

Connect with others: These goals are more fun and achievable if families and friends work together. We tend to eat and play like our friends and family, so your healthy choices may inspire those around you. People who are connected with others in a plan are more successful. 

John Manwaring, PA-C

Canyon View Medical Group

References and Resources

Tabitha’s Way – Making a Difference

My name is Hailey Wayland. I am a Medical Assistant and MA Supervisor in our Santaquin Family Medicine Office.

Outside of work, I volunteer at Tabitha’s Way, our local food pantry here in Spanish Fork. While I was there, I had the opportunity to pack meals for families and individuals in need throughout Southern Utah County.

This experience made me realize to be more grateful for the little things. The feeling of making a difference in someone else’s life is a feeling you can never forget! Also, we all need to go and experience this at least once in our lives.

By Hailey Wayland
Medical Assistant Supervisor

10 Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Dog to Meet Your New Baby

My first baby was a 6½ pound, adorable, brown-eyed, soft ….. puppy!!! Our German Shorthair Pointer, Dakota, was our baby for several years before bringing home our firstborn from the hospital. She was protective, well-trained, and accustomed to frequent walks and our undivided attention. I was nervous about our dog adapting to a noisy, sometimes smelly, helpless newborn. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for your dog to meet your baby. 

  1. Plan ahead. Take your dog in for a check-up if it has been a while. You won’t have extra hands or time once your newborn arrives. Make sure your dog is fully vaccinated.

Dr. Laraway and Willow

  1. Establish who is the real alpha male in your home. Reinforce consistent ground rules – like places off-limits or unacceptable behaviors like jumping. Consider an obedience training course with your pet before your baby arrives.
  1. Prepare for your newborn. As you set up your crib or nursery, do so in stages so your dog can adjust to the new environment. Pets rely on consistency, so make gradual additions, then play with your pet in those areas to help create positive feedback for your dog. Baby gates or closing doors are also effective in training your pet in what areas are off-limits. If your dog puts its paws on the crib or tries to jump in, this behavior needs to be stopped immediately. Keep the door to your baby’s room shut consistently if this is necessary. As you introduce smaller baby items to your dog, supervise it as it sniffs them on the floor. Do not let your dog put them in his mouth.
  1. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell. Some people even believe dogs can “smell” cancer. Help your dog become accustomed to baby smells by providing a treat while your dog explores new baby smells – like baby lotion, powder, or detergent. Introduce your newborn to your dog by allowing your dog to smell your baby first. Let your dog smell the blanket your baby has been wrapped up in before they meet.
  1. Dogs are typically very loyal and protective friends. Allow your dog to meet your newborn on neutral territory like the sidewalk, for example. When you enter your home with your newborn, it is essential to be calm and relaxed. Leash your dog and have a helper hold the leash and provide positive reinforcement with treats.
  1. Try to keep regular dog routines – such as walking or feeding – intact where possible. Set aside some particular time to spend each day with your dog. Choose an activity that your 4-legged companion enjoys while someone else watches your baby. Some research suggests that dogs feel jealousy, so being mindful of this can help ease the addition of a new baby to your home.
  1. We all know that dogs have exceptional hearing. They can detect higher frequencies and hear sounds four times further away than humans can. New baby noises and shrill cries could put your dog on edge at first. You can prepare your sensitive pet by softly playing videos of baby sounds (on YouTube) and gradually increasing the volume to help your dog accommodate new noises. Some dogs are calmed by classical music. Consider some gentle background noise as your household transitions to newborn sounds.
  1. Dogs are awesome stress-relievers. They can read emotions. After you tend to your newborn, spend a few minutes with your dog when you need a break from nurturing.  
  1. Always supervise your baby with your dog, no matter how gentle your animal seems. Supervision is even more critical as your child grows since infants may frequently hit, grab, or chase animals. You can practice familiarizing your dog with your baby by carrying around a doll for a few months before you deliver your baby.
  1. Never force your dog to interact with your baby, and remember some dogs become defensive if they feel threatened while eating or playing with their doggie toys. If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior toward your child, you should seek help from an animal behavior expert.   


Creating Holiday Cheer

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year; they can also be very stressful. As we hustle from holiday activity to holiday activity, it’s essential that we remember to slow down, manage stress, and take time to care for ourselves. Here are some helpful hints to manage stress during the holiday season as we head into the new year

  • Don’t lose sight of what really counts. What matters most differs from person to person. Identify your priorities and goals and focus on the things that help you fulfill those goals.
  • Respond with kindness. It is no secret that the world has been under a lot of stress these last two years. It is easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget the struggles others may be going through. Even when you feel stressed or encounter individuals who may be grumpy, try to take a step back and respond with kindness. Kind words and a genuine smile go a long way.
  • Remember, it’s OK to do less. It is OK if you don’t cross everything off your “to do” list. Everything will be OK! Taking time to breathe and relax is very important and should be at the top of your “to-do” list.
  • Accept imperfections. Find the beauty in the imperfection and chaos of the holiday season. Always remember the wise words of Bob Ross “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.”
  • Set healthy boundaries. It’s OK to say “no.”
  • Maintain your healthy habits. Try not to overdo it on the sweets, continue to get daily exercise, and ensure you get adequate sleep each night.
  • Reach out. The holidays are a time to connect with those we love deeply. It can also be a time that triggers depression and anxiety in some people. If you are struggling, please make sure you reach out for help.
  • Rethink your resolutions. Be gentle with yourself. Break down your goals into smaller steps that are easier to accomplish. 

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

With love from our Canyon View Medical Group family to yours.

Reversing Prediabetes

Did you know November is National Diabetes Month? This year’s theme is prediabetes. Let’s celebrate by learning more about prediabetes and what we can do to improve our health!  

What is prediabetes?

In prediabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well. Insulin helps the cells in your body use sugar for energy. If your body doesn’t use insulin well, the sugar stays in your bloodstream, and your blood sugar rises. Prediabetes causes higher than normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious long-term problems for your eyes, kidneys, heart, and brain. I don’t like the sound of that, so how do you know if you have prediabetes? Let’s find out. 

How do I know if I have prediabetes?

More than 1 in 3 people in the US have prediabetes, and more than 84% of them don’t know it! There are often no signs or symptoms of prediabetes. Many people have it and don’t even know they are at risk for serious health problems. Is there some good news here? Yes! A simple blood test can tell us if you have prediabetes. 

Certain people are at higher risk. It’s important to know if you are at higher risk to discuss with your healthcare provider and find ways to lower your risk. Risk factors for prediabetes include:

  • Being 45 years or older.
  • Being overweight.
  • Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes.
  • Not being physically active.
  • Ever having gestational diabetes.
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome.

African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders are also at increased risk. 

The CDC has an online test you can take to help you determine your risk can find it at this link: 

Do you want more good news? If you know you have prediabetes, there are many things you can do to prevent long-term complications, including type 2 diabetes. You can even reverse prediabetes! 

How can I reverse prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes?

Start small! You don’t have to do all of these all at once. Making lifestyle changes is hard. Small, manageable goals are more sustainable. Get support from your friends and family. Remember, you can start small, and you can start today- don’t wait for the new year for new goals! 

  • See your healthcare provider: A simple blood test can be done to check for prediabetes and diabetes. Remember, there are often no symptoms or signs of prediabetes, so regular checkups with your healthcare provider and discuss your risks are essential! Make an appointment today. 
  • Exercise: It’s okay to start small. Try to find something you enjoy doing and do it with people you enjoy spending time with. The goal is 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week. 
  • Healthy diet: Choose foods that are lower in fat and sugar. Try to balance your plate with vegetables, lean protein, and grains. Avoid sweetened beverages and drink more water. 
  • Lose weight: A small amount of weight can make a big difference! Losing just 5-7% of your body weight can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
  • Quit Smoking: If you smoke, consider quitting. Get help quitting by talking to your healthcare provider. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. 
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations: This may not prevent prediabetes, but it can prevent serious complications if you get sick with a vaccine-preventable illness like the flu or COVID-19. Come in to get updated on your vaccines today! 

Happy National Diabetes Month! Pick one of these steps to start this November to celebrate! 


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Prediabetes- Your chance to prevent type 2 diabetes. 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). National Diabetes Month 2021. 


Latinos In Action

My name is Daeli Mendoza. I am a lab tech in our Springville Family Medicine office. Outside of work, I am involved in Latinos in Action, a community organization dedicated to bridging Latino students’ graduation and opportunity gap, working from within the educational system to create positive change.

One of the many ways we serve in our community is through tutoring; we go to elementary schools and help kids with their homework, reading, and projects. Another aspect of tutoring isn’t in our “job description” but is a more significant part of what we do – it is about being someone for these kids to whom they can look up. 

These schools are diverse, and we have to show the students that anything is possible no matter their background or skin color. It is about being someone these children can confide in about things that have little to do with homework or school, but we are there to listen to them. It is about being their friend when they otherwise don’t have any. Although we do this for an hour a day, once a week, which is nothing for most people, it is everything for these kids. Their eyes light up every time they see us walk through the doors, and that is something I will never forget, and I’m hoping that neither will they.

Haley Pledger, PA
Women’s Care
Matthew Walton, DO
Austin Bills, DO
Family Medicine
Aaron Fausett, PA
Family Medicine
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