"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, better understand their potential impact and find non-toxic substitutes with one click. All in simple language with no medical jargon.
Yes, we are talking about products that you may be using daily without ever thinking about their impact
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 
We help you to feel empowered while talking to your doctor. If you have always felt happy after consulting your doctor, you probably don't need it, but a lot of us feel frustrated after such a visit and if so the knowledge may be useful. Besides like all professions, in medicine, you have good specialists and not so good doctors. Do you know which one you are consulting?
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.
Sign up to our newsletter here.