"Our body has a limited number of responses to the unlimited number of insults" [Dr. Mark Houston]
Health Equity Exchange - helps you identify what the "insults" may be, understand their potential impact and find ways of avoiding them. It provides information about existing solutions and approaches to your health and wellbeing and assists with finding suitable products. All in simple language with no medical jargon.
This Website is for you
if you want to:
- keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge about health and well-being without having to spend hours surfing the web
- purchase a variety of natural, free-from products with ease and have equally easy access to practical solutions that help you feel fantastic.
- consult your doctor without frustrations (because of a better understanding of what the test results are saying and more importantly what they are NOT saying)
Would it surprise you?
That it takes an average of 17 years for research evidence to reach clinical practice  and it may take an average of five years and four doctors to get a correct diagnosis 
Would you object?
If a shop assistant told you that the bill was fine without showing it to you when you knew you had been shortchanged? Or if your fund (or pension) manager said that your investment was doing fine without showing you the performance graphs and statements?
Why don’t you object?
When your doctor tells you that you are fine when you went to see him because you did not feel fine?
If you were investing your money, you would try to make sure that you gained enough knowledge to do so and you would want to be involved in discussions with any investment manager. Health is your [probably] your greatest asset. Why would your approach differ?
Just like with every profession, you have good doctors and not so good doctors – do you know which one are you consulting?
What is your definition?
I hope you define health as feeling fantastic. Your doctor is likely to check whether your blood test results fall “within the range,” which is not necessarily the same thing.
How comprehensive the blood tests are (and how many parameters are checked) depends on the doctor and the institution where you have it checked. There is a chance therefore that a parameter that is “out of the range” may be “missed”
Interpretation of what a “normal range” is may also vary – how much time do you have to read all the latest research related to your profession? Have you asked your doctor how much time does he have?
Why has Health Equity Exchange been created?
Health Equity Exchange has been created as a result of frustrations with the approach that you may face when you want to improve your health. It does not matter whether or not you have any symptoms. What you definitely don’t have is time to endlessly search the Internet trying to find relevant information in jargon-free language and compare it with statements that contradict what you have just read. You may not go to your GP either because you feel that symptoms that you would like to talk about are “minor” – such as tiredness, problems with bowel movements (too frequent or too rare), gas, bloating, skin rashes, inability to lose weight, to name just a few.
Perhaps you have seen your GP, received some recommendations and some pills…and… do you feel better now? …and forgive me asking – how many times did you go back to your GP to discuss the same complaint? Maybe you have got used to your symptoms and are associating them with the statement that “this is normal.” It could be as simple as “ah, this is normal, I’ve always got sea-sick easily”. .. or you have become more sophisticated with your rationale “ahh, I am aging, so it is normal that I feel tired and not surprising that often a glass of wine appeals more than sex”….err, not so fast! We are all “fine,” but did you notice?- “fine” is a “four-letter” word! When was the last time you felt absolutely fantastic?
Why should you bother with all of this?
Well, if you and your family feel fantastic, are full of energy and have zest for life, you probably want to know how to maintain it and what to pay attention to. If this does not sound like you, you don’t feel your best, perhaps have been to a doctor, heard some jargon and did not even know how to respond to this, please read further. If you, like most of us, don’t even ask for a copy of your tests (blood or others) and feel that they might as well be in some foreign language, please read on. If you are savvier, and always check if your test results are “within the range,” perhaps you would be interested in finding out more about the controversy related to the interpretation of some ranges and how you can talk to your doctor to really understand what is happening. Why should you bother? Because it may take “an average of five years and four doctors to get a correct diagnosis”(1). If you are now thinking, “ahh, but for sure, I’d feel some symptoms if this related to me”, this website is for you – you will find out that a number of conditions have no or very minor symptoms. If I hadn't invested my time to learn more, I would have been on a different “pathway” of my health now. (You are welcome to read more about it in our story).
Hi. My name is Dana. My background is in Energy, Environment, Climate and Sustainability. (You are welcome to read more in my pen-portrait). Being in this space, I felt that it is a paradox that most discussions about sustainability, environment and climate stop short of including the impact on human health. This paradox became even more apparent to me when I developed a skin reaction that appeared to be difficult to diagnose. It was a rash close to my eyes, which I thought was an allergy to an eye cream, but giving up on eye cosmetics did not appear to make much difference. (and yes, you have guessed it, if the reaction was not so close to my eyes, I would have probably ignored it).
I started “my journey" from one doctor to another, visited several laboratories, but all kinds of allergy tests (from all these labs) came out negative. The sheer volume of the results could not yet compete with the size of “War and Peace”, but was getting close. The answer I received was “I was fine”. Of course, I was very happy to hear that “I was fine,” not so happy however to see that my skin did not take much notice of these answers and the reaction kept reappearing now and again. The Allergologist (who told me that he is “one of the best in the Country”), suggested that I took antihistamine pills for about four months and this should stop my reaction. I don’t know about you, but I found this recommendation neither convincing nor appealing (let alone because antihistamine does make me sleepy even the ones that have a bold statement on the label: “no-drowsy”). I did not share my thoughts with the allergologist that “we are in a bad state if he is one of the best in the Country”, but went to seek a second opinion. By that stage, I considered myself lucky that I had a chance to listen to a number of Functional Medicine practitioners and researchers talking about the immune system and reactions. As a result, I asked the second doctor I saw to check for any antibodies… and here we go, the result came out positive for thyroid antibodies. You may ask “what on Earth are antibodies” and what do they have to do with the reaction? I am talking about the immune system and how it can become “confused” in more detail in our blog, (I wholeheartedly invite you to have a look at “Do you know if you are ”confusing” your immune system? Do you have any “unexplained” symptoms?”)
I can hear some of you saying “phew… I am sure this does not concern me”. I hope it doesn’t, but the statistics are against you. (Please see my blog for more details). And no, it does not need to be thyroid. In your case, it could be liver, brain, or whatever is your “weakest link”.
Let me continue with my story - I went to see yet another doctor [an endocrinologist], who checked my thyroid function (a simple blood test). All the markers that assess thyroid function were completely fine and well within the range. I was told: “you are fine” with a caveat “your thyroid “will eventually go down”, but at the moment you don’t need to worry.” Would you be happy with this answer? It’s just like being told: “it is fine to walk on the railway track – eventually a train will hit you but at the moment we don’t see any train, so be merry and walk along.” You guessed it, I wasn’t convinced with this recommendation either.
Some people I know quipped the doctor’s response by: “this is not a big deal, if you ever had to, you could start taking pills [Thyroxin] and you would have been fine.” …Err…perhaps, but (1) why would you like to take medication, if you can avoid it (2) even the best medications do have side effects (3) when your immune system is “perceiving” one of your organs as an “intruder” it is possible that it will start perceiving another of your organs as a “foreigner” as well – do you want to give it a chance? (4) if you are not trying to address the cause of your body’s “attack” on one of your organs, but just taking medication to “suppress the results of it”, it’s like trying to extinguish the fire while adding fuel to it at the same time. I did not want to give such logic a chance and did not want to wait and see how “you are fine now” develops. My approach was very clear – I was not going to wait for the “train” to hit me.
This is where my search for the root causes of immune system “confusion” started and where I began my journey to better understand the mechanisms behind it and the scope for reversing it. The story has a number of twists and turns as I was making my “discoveries”, making mistakes, learning more, talking to doctors who told me that there is no point of monitoring antibodies, because there may be numerous reasons why they could be elevated, meeting practitioners whose methodology and approach raised my eyebrows and some who wanted to charge me for “double hours” only because I was in London. I also met doctors that I truly admire. I was observing the results (both in the way I started to feel and in my test results). When I say: “in the way I started to feel,” many people assume that I felt bad before. No. I felt fine, was going to gym 3 times a week doing cardio and weights, was travelling, working long hours. I felt fine and have never paid attention to “details” that “disappear” when I introduced changes to my lifestyle and diet.
I gave up gluten (no, I am not celiac). Why? You are welcome to read more about gluten in my blog “what is this fuss about gluten and what milk has to do with it?” Interestingly, any time when I asked for a gluten free dish, the discussion with my friends or business partners (that I was having lunch or dinner with) turned to health. People I shared the table with felt comfortable enough to open up and talk about their own health issues. Not only was I grateful for the trust, but I also realised that a lot of people were interested and could benefit from the “lessons” and information that I have had a chance to acquire.
It has been a journey for me. Like any journey, it has had very interesting moments along with a lot of frustrations. Interesting and very rewarding moments, as I had the privilege to meet and listen to talks of acclaimed doctors whose publications were often on the “New York bestseller list”; researchers from Harvard and other Universities, whose credentials list covers more than two pages in fine print. I had a chance to attend seminars and summits and add some relevant qualifications to my portfolio.
The journey had a lot of frustrations, as I wasted a lot of time and went through a true “obstacle course” trying to find answers relating to my own immune system, trying and testing various solutions and recommendations, making mistakes and learning more. Finding information about more and more “details,” comparing opinions. I had a vested interest “to get it right” and to check “for the blind spots.” I feel great now, but wish that someone had provided all this information to me in a “condensed way” and jargon free language at the time when I started my search.
I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you, so you don’t need to waste your time (as I did) and go through “hoops” and “obstacle courses” to get the answers.
Dana Hanby is the Founder of Health Equity Exchange – an information portal, which cuts through the medical jargon and talks about new (and some old) solutions to health and well-being. Her passion and commitment to establish the Company stem from her own “journey” in the health space (read more in “our story”). She brings strong experience in Sustainability, Environment, Climate and Energy where she analysed risks, impact and devised and implemented solutions along the value creation chain. Health Equity Exchange derives from and expands this scope to the impact on human beings. (Making sure that the P-for-People [in Sustainability’s “People, Planet, Profit”] is not marginalised - as we often see this being the case).
Her business focus has been New Market Entry, Business Expansion and Development with expertise in both physical and financial/derivatives markets. Her responsibilities have included Global Leadership for Energy and Environmental products and services sales for the second largest derivatives exchange in the World. She has also worked closely with the World Bank to put forward financial solutions with the aim of increasing liquidity and efficiency in the Climate Market in her role as Chair of “Ratings and ICaR (Reserve)” Group for the global Climate Market and Investment Association.
Dana holds an MBA with the focus on Strategy and Finance and a Masters of Science (EE). She also holds PMI accredited qualifications in Project Management. She has obtained a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and an AfN accredited certification in Nutrition and has become a Silver Member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and a Silver Member of the International Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching.
Ready to feel GREAT?
Sign up to our newsletter here.