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BBC Radio 4 - Medical Matters

Inside Health

Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice, with the help of regular contributor GP Margaret McCartney

Inside Health

  • Singing for breathlessness, Aneurysms, Sunscreens and Myasthenia gravis
    Dr Mark Porter finds out about 'singing for lung health', an evidence based therapy for helping people with breathlessness arising from conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He hears from the choir based at Charing Cross Hospital in London and talks to respiratory physiologist, Adam Lound, to find out how the breathing and singing techniques being taught there, as well as the camaraderie, improve people's quality of life and confidence. Does exercise increase the risk of worsening an aortic aneurysm? Consultant vascular surgeon, Rachel Bell talks about the benefits of cardio vascular exercise for people with aneurysms. Dr Margaret McCartney reviews the evidence on sunscreens. Also in the programme, Saiju Jacob discusses myasthenia gravis, an auto-immune condition that causes muscle weakening. He explains what causes it and how it's treated.

  • Bats and Rabies; Hip Dysplasia in babies; Online health tips; Clinical Law
    What is the risk of catching rabies from bats in the UK? We answer this question prompted by a case at Mark Porter's surgery last week when a bat flew straight into a person in broad daylight. Hip dysplasia in babies is a condition where the ball and socket of the joint don't form properly in early life. Every baby is examined as part of the National Screening Programme but new research suggests hundreds are being missed. Plus tips from Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan on finding reliable health information online. And what is clinical law?

  • Anti-inflammatories and ovulation; Probiotics and Parkinson's; Blood interval and patient forums online
    Dr Mark Porter finds out why non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers can affect female fertility by preventing ovulation. Prof Richard Anderson from Edinburgh explains. And the link between gut bacteria and Parkinson's disease and why a new trial that is finding out if a particular probiotic can improve symptoms of the disease. Prof Ray Chaudhuri from King's College London explains. Also the latest evidence on the optimum intervals between blood donations and in the latest look at health and the internet Dr Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan unpick the pros and cons of patient groups and online forums

  • Declining male fertility, Diagnosing urinary tract infections in the elderly, Guide to health websites
    Decline in Male Fertility and evidence sperm counts have dropped dramatically over the last 40 years but despite this, research into the understanding of male fertility problems have fallen behind. Two leading specialists in the filed explain the issues. Plus diagnosing Urinary Tract Infections in the Elderly and risks of over treatment leading to antibiotic resistance. And tips from Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan on identifying health websites to trust.

  • Obesity and Cancer campaign; Intelligent liver function tests; Getting reliable information from websites
    The new Cancer Research UK campaign that compares obesity to smoking as a risk factor for cancer has come under criticism; Margaret McCartney debates the issues with Professor Linda Bauld. And how healthy is your liver? Do you know? Does your doctor know? Liver Function blood tests are notoriously difficult to interpret and early disease is often missed. Hence a new initiative - Intelligent liver function tests devised by a team from the University of Dundee. And a new mini series on which websites to trust and whether the health information you've found is reliable. Top tips on how to navigate the internet.