Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home
by Ray Andrew, MD

Jamie is tired. It started 40 years ago. But it got significantly worse 20 years ago, after she received a rabies vaccine for work. She got so tired that she could no longer hold a job. Her usual migraines became a lot more frequent, up to several in a week. Her joints were so swollen that she couldn’t walk down stairs. A year later, she became depressed. Four years later, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She developed brain fog that waxes and wanes. Her depression got so bad that she spent two stints in psychiatric hospitals. It’s not that bad now, but she doesn’t feel her antidepressant is working anymore. If that’s not enough, she continues to have joint pains, muscle pains, and numbness and tingling that strike random parts of her body with no particular order or explanation. Additionally, she suffers from unexplained sweating, forgetfulness, irritability, neck stiffness, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.

Jamie is not the kind of patient you want to see as a doctor, and especially not when you only have 5-10 minutes in your schedule to see her. Where to begin? We don’t have good drugs for all these problems. And it’s tempting to assume they are all somehow tied to depression or some other mental dysfunction.

Through careful history-taking and advanced lab testing, we discovered Jamie had a weakened immune system, multiple heavy metal toxicities (most notably lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury), chemical toxicities, intestinal hyperpermeability, yeast overgrowth, and parasites. She was first hit with fatigue when she became infected with Epstein-Barr Virus 40 years ago. Both her fatigue and the rest of her symptoms got worse when she became infected with Lyme disease, Bartonella, and Babesia 20 years later.

It turns out that Jamie’s problems are much more common than people think, and much more common than we were taught in medical school. This is why she continued to suffer for 40 years, in spite of seeing multiple doctors. If we are taught anything about these conditions, we are not taught how to treat them. And we are told to use tests that have very poor performance in terms of picking up chronic infections. Most get missed, or your doctor simply says, “you had it in the past but it’s not there anymore.” As for Lyme, we can give antibiotics to manage flareups, but that’s a poor answer at best. Antibiotics damage the gut lining, weaken the immune system, and fail to eliminate the infection anyway, unless aggressive treatment is started within 30 days of infection.

At Prestige Wellness Institute, we have discovered that incapacitating chronic infections do not occur in a vacuum. The immune system is under constant assault in our society, starting even before we are born. Studies show that the average American newborn has no less than 250 man-made and heavy-metal toxins in his body. Then he is hit with vaccines, which shift the immune system’s balance away from cellular immunity (our first line of defense) to humoral immunity (antibodies, such as those triggered by previous infections or vaccines). This is fine if all we care about is preventing illnesses for which we have vaccines. But unfortunately, it weakens the immune system’s ability to fight other infections, such as Epstein-Barr, Herpes, Lyme, COVID, etc.

Our immune response is weakened further by exposure to additional environmental chemicals and heavy metals. These are found in Americans’ food, water supply (fluoride is an immune toxin, for example), pesticides, herbicides, cleaning chemicals, air pollution, solvents, consumer products, and many other sources. If you have ever been target-shooting, you have absorbed lead into your body from contact with or inhalation of bullet powder. Similarly, if you have been fishing and touched a sinker—or worse, put it in your mouth—you have absorbed lead into your body. Complicating matters further is the fact that many infectious agents—yeast, parasites, and others—have been found to protect themselves from the immune system by ingesting or surrounding themselves with these same toxins.

Once you have one chronic infection, your immune system has a harder time heading off additional infections. It can only fight so many battles at once. If you think of your immune system as a soldier to whom you attach a ball and chain—one or more toxins—he’s not going to be able to run very fast. Thus impaired, he is more easily tied down with additional balls and chains: yeast overgrowth, mold, parasites, viruses, and so forth…all of which Jamie had. The more balls and chains that are dragging your soldier down, the slower he will go, and the more likely he will succumb to Lyme and related diseases when exposed to them.

The good news is that, once all the balls and chains have been exposed that are holding your immune system down, you have a nice road map to your recovery. You repair your gut lining, if necessary. You minimize as much as possible your ongoing exposure to toxins. At the same time, you remove heavy metals and man-made chemicals from their hiding places in your body. Then you eliminate yeast overgrowth, mold, and parasites. Then you are ready to go after Lyme and related infections, if present. Finally, you can hit your chronic viruses. The more of these interferences you can get out of the way, the more your immune system will be able to fight off remaining and future infections.

Following this approach for the last eleven months, Jamie recently announced, “My Lyme is gone! I can feel it!” Yes, she did a lot of work, and she still has some work to do in order to optimize her health. But she has her life back. After 40 years of suffering, she can finally do the things the rest of us take for granted every day. And she can look forward to her next 50 years being much more productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable than the last 40.

If you know someone who suffers from chronic fatigue and/or any number of other perplexing and life-impairing symptoms for no apparent reason, he or she may have a hidden chronic infection. And it’s entirely possible that tests for that infection have falsely come back negative, or that your friend has been told the infection is from a long time ago and is not causing any current problems. But the answers “There is nothing wrong with you” and “It’s all in your head” don’t cut it anymore. People just don’t suffer for no reason whatsoever. They suffer because one or more systems are out of balance; something is in the body that does not belong there; or something is lacking from the body that does belong there. It’s time to find out. Prestige Wellness Institute, call (435) 210-0184.

And be sure to mention you read about Prestige Wellness in Moab Happenings.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
by Hospital Staff

Spring a perfect time to prioritize colon health! Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the US, with over 150,000 new cases expected in 2024. Studies show that about four out of every 100 people will get colon cancer at some point. While the overall risk of dying from colon cancer has gone down since the 1980s, there's been an increase in diagnoses among people under 50.

Here are some things that can increase your risk of colon cancer:

1 Age: Most cases happen in people over 50, and the risk increases as you age.

2 Gender: Men are slightly more likely to get it than women.

3 Race/Ethnicity: Black and Native American people have a higher risk than White people, while Asians/Pacific Islanders have the lowest risk.

4 Family History: If a close relative, like a parent or sibling, has had colon cancer, your risk goes up.

5 Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can increase risk.

6 Inherited Syndromes: Certain genetic conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome, make you more likely to get colon cancer.

Previous Radiation Therapy: If you've had radiation therapy in the abdomen or pelvis before, your risk may be higher.
Lifestyle Factors: Things like diet, being overweight, drinking alcohol, and smoking can also increase your risk.

Most colon cancers start as polyps, which are abnormal growths in the lining of the colon. These polyps can take many years to develop into cancer, and different types have different risks. While hyperplastic polyps pose no increased risk, serrated polyps contribute to 20-30% of colon cancers, and adenomas, the most common type, account for 70-80% of cases.

The stage of colon cancer at diagnosis significantly impacts treatment and prognosis. Stage 1 cancers, confined to the inner bowel layer, typically undergo surgery with a 90% survival rate. Advanced stages necessitate surgery, chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation, with survival rates varying.

There are several ways to screen for colon cancer, including colonoscopy, FIT (fecal immunochemical test), Cologuard (which looks for blood and DNA from polyps/cancers), and other tests like CT colonography or sigmoidoscopy. Screening usually starts at age 45 for people at average risk, but it may start earlier or be done more often depending on your risk factors and health.

A colonoscopy is the most thorough screening test because it can find and remove polyps before they become cancerous. FIT and Cologuard are other options, but if they find anything abnormal, you'll need a colonoscopy to follow up.

As you enjoy the spring season, talk to your doctor about your risk of colon cancer, how to lower your risk, when to start screening, and which test is best for you. Remember, colonoscopy is the best way to prevent colon cancer.

Moab Regional Hospital has several Family Medicine providers and general surgeons who offer screening colonoscopies, right here in Moab! Talk to your primary care provider about your risk factors to determine when you should schedule a screening colonoscopy. For more information, please call 435-719-5500, option 1

Free Community Lunch
Thursdays from 11:30am to 1:00pm at the St. Francis Episcopal Church (250 Kane Creek Boulevard, Moab). Free lunches for all who come by. Homemade soups (always several choices) or sandwiches, bread (chips with sandwiches), dessert, coffee and water. Call St. Francis Episcopal Church at 435 259-5831 for information.

Free Community Food Pantry
Fridays from 4-6pm at the St. Francis Episcopal Church (250 Kane Creek Boulevard, Moab) No ID, no name, no address, no personal information needed. We always have canned goods, bagged goods, meat. We often have bread, fresh produce, milk, cheese, fruit juice, eggs. Also personal toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, dog food. Feel free to pick up for someone who can't get out, or someone who is working. Call St. Francis Episcopal Church at 435 259-5831 for information.

Moab Valley Multicultural Center Food Pantry
Clients may access the Food Pantry once every two weeks. Schedule:
Mon Wed Thu: 9am-12pm, 1-5pm
Tue: 9am-12pm, 2:30-5pm
Fri: 9am-12pm

LUNCH at the Grand Center,
182 N. 500 W. Noon on Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri under 60: $6.00 over 60: $2.50 suggested donation

Moab Community Health Talks - Our Village Community Center hosts Dr. Don Leathers, naturopathic physician, and Sarah Cook, massage therapist health coach & lay homeopath in an informal round table discussion meant for community members to have their questions answered in a supportive space. Second Wednesday of each month. 1-2pm at Our Village Community Center, 721 N 500 W, Moab. Suggested donation of $5-$20. Info:,, or 435-260-0294 or 435-259-8123

Moab Community Yoga
Tuesdays 6:30-7:30pm at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) in the dance room. 111 E 100 N
Gyrokinesis® Class w/ Anne Howe

The Gyrokinesis® Method
is a movement method that addresses the entire body, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system, increasing range of motion and creating functional strength through rhythmic, flowing movement sequences. It is an original and unique method that coordinates movement, breath and mental focus. Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm. Sundari Yoga & Wellness Studio 1105 S US-191 #3

Sheng Zhen Meditation - Thursdays 5:30-7pm at Moab Arts and Recreation Center. Other classes available and info at

Community Reiki (Alternating Tuesdays, 9am & 3pm)
Join Crystal at Mindful Movement Moab, 76 S Main St Suite 15, for a free 30 minute community Reiki Session. Must be a local resident for the session. Sign up online at

Yoga in the Park (Wednesdays, Swanny Park, 5pm)
Join Breann with Wellness Collective for a 60 minute yoga session brought to the community by a partnership with USARA. Mats are provided and the class is open to everyone in the community. Yoga is free. At Swanny Park. Sign up for class online at

Yoga in the Park (Thursdays, Swanny Park, 8am)
Join Crystal with Wellness Collective for a 45 minute yoga session brought to the community by a partnership with USARA. Mats are provided and the class is open to everyone in the community. Yoga is free and you can sign up for class online at

Virtual Mindfulness Class (Thursdays, 6pm)
Join the facilitators with Wellness Collective for a 30 minute mindfulness session brought to the community by a partnership with USARA. Class is free and you can sign up online to receive the zoom link.

Virtual Trauma Sensitive Yoga (Mondays, 6pm) Trauma Sensitive Yoga focuses on the use of yoga movements as an opportunity to practice making choices with our bodies and to possibly notice what we feel in our bodies. Class is free and you can sign up online to receive the zoom link.

Return to home