Dr Econs studied Medicine at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London, where he obtained his medical degree in 1976. After a number of hospital appointments he entered General Practice in Walton-on-Thames in 1979. A keen volleyball player, he represented the discipline in the British Olympic Association Medical Subcommittee until 1994, held a number of other honorary appointments and served in the committee of the newly incepted local NHS Primary Care Group.
His interest in diet and other environmental factors affecting human health was sparked in the early eighties when two of his patients with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue claimed they were “cured” by means of simple dietary changes recommended separately by two of his colleagues. This lead him to research the area of environmental influences on human health; he learnt, developed and applied in his NHS practice some of the methods used in Clinical Allergy along with services offering preventative and nutritional measures for asthma, eczema, hay fever and other common medical problems, some not obviously associated with immune dysfunction.
In the mid-eighties he became a member of the British Society of Ecological Medicine (BSEM) then known as Brit Soc of Allergy Environmental & Nutritional Medicine and he incorporated safe methods of desensitisation for allergies, not responding to popular medications. This society is affiliated to the Institute of Biology, runs a two year post-graduate modular course and some of its members are recognised by the General Medical Council as medical specialists.
For years, respiratory allergy, paediatric, ear/nose & throat and gastro-intestinal problems were treated with advice on diet and other life style changes, which resulted in a significant reduction of referrals to hospital departments and a reduction of long-term prescriptions such as analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, inhaled steroids and ulcer-healing drugs. On the basis of this model, he has advocated that substantial savings can be made for the local and national health economy, if these were to adopt methodology, involving an environmentally oriented approach for many chronic medical conditions, instead of focusing on the current symptom-control.
Since 1992 his practice has supported people suffering with various types of allergy and other immune problems. He retired from his NHS practice in 2001 to take over two independent clinics in Yorkshire and Oxford due to the retirement of colleagues specialising in the same field, while continuing to operate from premises in Weybridge, Surrey. Through the years, he has participated in a number of clinical trials, lectured in post-graduate centres and has contributed to medical journals, popular magazines and radio programmes on topics varying from food intolerance in obesity to the role of volatile organic compounds in human health.
Dr Econs is one of the Medical Advisers for the MCS Aware, a charity who offer a helpline for those whose health is affected by chemical emissions in the environment. www.mcs-aware.org
Dr. Econs is frequently asked to participate in various phone in programmes on radio stations concerning allergies and health matters. He has taken part in Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies and Food Hospital programmes.