Inside Health


Series that demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice.


United States


Series that demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice.






Women and heart attacks

Dawn had a heart attack but 'powered through' making the Christmas dinner before seeking help - because she put her symptoms down to anxiety and backache. Her interventional cardiologist in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Professor Vijay Kunadian, sees many women like her who aren't seen quickly enough or given the right medication to improve their chances of survival. We hear about research which reveals that women are much more likely to die of a heart attack than men because of delays and lack of...


Is a fungal pandemic possible?

James Gallagher asks whether the next pandemic might be an invasive fungi? Most people think of athlete's foot or fungal toe nails but the World Health Organisation recently issued the first ever list of life threatening fungi. James hears stories of hospitals being shut down, a ruined honeymoon and fungal infections that consume human tissue leaving terrible disfigurement. Add to that ‘The Last of Us’ a hit video game turned new TV series where a parasitic fungus manipulating the brains of...


Maggot therapy for difficult wounds

The rise of antibiotic resistance means that we need alternatives to fight infections - and some healthcare professionals are turning to maggot therapy to help clean up wounds. They might be treating people living with diabetes who can experience a loss of sensation in their feet because of high blood sugar levels. Damage to their blood vessels can also slow down healing. Melanie Rix Taylor from Swansea has type 1 diabetes and had a quarter of her foot amputated because of an infection. When...


Why is everyone ill? Can ketamine and therapy treat alcoholism?

Covid and other bugs have ripped through the Inside Health team, so we find out why everyone seems to be getting sick at the moment and if we will be facing a torrent of infections for months or even years to come. We see how easy it is to buy antibiotics online and why scientists are worried about it. And can ketamine and its mind-altering powers can help free people from addiction to alcohol? Get in touch:


Lazy Guide to Exercise

It’s January. Christmas is a distant memory and nobody feels much like getting off the sofa, but luckily this episode can help. James Gallagher is on a mission to find out what is the least amount of exercise you can do to still stay healthy. James goes on a Ramblers wellbeing walk, uses a treadmill for the first time and takes a hot bath all to find out how lazy he can be. His guide Dr Zoe Saynor at University of Portsmouth explains this is the question everyone asks and offers simple tips...


How can a cold home affect your health?

James is in South Wales where he's wired up and locked inside a cryo-lab to discover the impact of cold on the human body. A temperature of 10C seems pretty mild doesn’t it - yet James is shocked at the profound stress it puts on his body. Today we discover why cold is a killer and what you can do about it if you’re struggling to heat your home. Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Gerry Holt


GP Records, Serotonin & how we get cancer

Do you want to see your GP records at the touch of a button? That’s the plan in England, but doctors warn us freely opening them up to everyone is not safe. And we’ll explore a study that’s transforming our understanding of how cancers develop and bring clarity to the confusion around antidepressants after a study showed low serotonin levels were not the cause of depression. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCER: Beth Eastwood


Still Shielding; Childhood Vaccinations; Antibiotic Use

Can you imagine moving out of the family home and watching your daughter grow up from a distance, all to avoid the threat of Covid? That’s the decision Shannon has taken because the drugs she takes for her lupus leave her immune system weak and vulnerable. She tells us what it’s been like shielding for 951 days (and counting) and we explore whether there are any solutions. Then we see why childhood vaccination rates have been falling for a decade and whether you should follow the health...


Have I dodged Covid? And skin colour and health

I think I might’ve dodged Covid. Like many others, I’m fully vaccinated but have never tested positive despite having had plenty of opportunities to catch it. I used public transport to get to work during the lockdowns and was exposed to the virus when my son came down with it. So what’s going on? Armed with my covid antibody test results, I ask immunologist Prof Mala Maini to clear up the confusion. And a new scale to determine skin colour which could improve how certain health problems are...


Secrets of sewage science

Maybe listen to this one BEFORE you eat… James is off to meet the sewage scientists trying to stop the next pandemic. He meets the teams that were monitoring 80% of people’s faeces during Covid-19 and finds out how sewage led to hundreds of thousands of children having an emergency polio vaccine. James needs to collect a sample at a water treatment works and then head to the laboratory… just be glad you can’t smell a podcast. Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Erika Wright


A spoonful of sweetener

What do sweeteners do to our bodies? We force feed James cups of sweetened tea and find out with nutrition scientist Dr Sarah Berry from King’s College London. We then tackle something stronger - alcohol. Can a new supplement reduce the amount of alcohol getting into the body? And Rohin Francis gets frustrated at the shonky claims being made by health podcasts (not this one, of course, you’re totally in the right place). Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Beth Eastwood


A good death with friends and family

Should friends and family be trained to give potent medications to those dying at home to relieve their symptoms? We often say that we’d like to die peacefully at home when the inevitable happens. Yet people can be left in pain for hours waiting for a doctor or nurse to be free to visit and administer the medicines that ease our symptoms in our final days. James Gallagher speaks to Mark, who was trained to administer medicines to his mother to help keep her comfortable at the end of her...


Covid waves, Gene therapy for haemophilia B, New uses for old drugs

Smitha Mundasad asks whether we will see waves of Covid – with infections going up and down and then up and down again - forever more. We speak to Elliot whose life has been transformed after a single shot of gene therapy to treat the inherited blood disorder haemophilia B. And Dr Margaret McCartney discusses the accidental discovery of Viagra and how sometimes researchers find new, surprising uses for old medicines. Produced by Geraldine Fitzgerald.


Are too many babies being diagnosed with cows' milk allergy?

Rashes, a runny nose and weird poos are all common in babies. Parents are sometimes told these symptoms mean their baby is allergic to cows milk and are prescribed low allergy formula or advised to avoid dairy if they are breastfeeding. Marijke Peters cut dairy out of her diet to try and help the gut problems her new baby Eva was having - but it made no difference and she's still trying to find out why she has blood in her poo. Dr Robert Boyle sees babies with allergies in his clinic at St...


Monkeypox, mind body connections, are children exercising less since Covid?

What do you think bendy joints has to do with the way the brain works? Well you may be in for surprise. Scientists have found a connection with autism, attention deficit and Tourettes. So what does this tell us about how our brain and body work? We’re asking whether we’re stuck with monkeypox forever now or do we still have the chance to stop it spreading? And has the pandemic left a permanent scar on children’s activity levels.


Medical language, chemo brain & heatwaves

Does medicine have a language problem? We speak to Rachel who was made to feel like a 'naughty schoolgirl' by the terminology used around the birth of her child. We’ll find out how deep-seated blaming and belittling language in healthcare is, and why. We get sticky and sweaty discussing the dangers of heatwaves to the human body. And we take the confusion out of 'chemo brain' or cancer-related cognitive impairment, and explore why we rarely talk about it and how this is now changing....


How's your hay fever?

Aaaaaaaaa-choo! If you have hay fever then you know that it can be a right pain in the… nose. This week Inside Health presents a complete guide to hay fever. Are we enduring the worst hay fever season? When was the disgustingly-named “summer catarrh” first identified as a medical condition? And what can we safely plant in the garden without setting off our symptoms? GP Navjoyt Ladher and immunologist Danny Altmann join James Gallagher in the park to talk causes and treatments, and to find...


The Power of the Dog

This week James Gallagher finds out if the Power of the Dog is true. No not the movie, but the claim that dogs can make us live longer. He’s also doing press ups in the studio to see if small amounts of muscle building exercise can help boost our health no matter how old we are. Then, inspired by the last episode on long Covid, James goes in search of the lost art of convalescence.


Long Covid revisited

It’s a long Covid reunion on Inside Health. We first met Jo, Neil and John in February 2021 when they were 12 months into the condition. Another year on, we catch up with them to see if they are any closer to making a full recovery. We explore how a virus can cause such prolonged symptoms, with Dr David Strain from the NHS Long Covid Taskforce, and see if we are any closer to treating long Covid. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCER: Beth Eastwood


Multiple sclerosis and the Epstein Barr virus

We get to the bottom of a medical mystery – what causes multiple sclerosis? A series of studies have compellingly pointed the finger at the virus behind glandular fever. We see if they stack up and assess what it means for the future of preventing and treating MS. Then nearly two years since the World Health Organization described Covid as a pandemic, James chats to Dr Maria van Kerkhove, who is the WHO's technical lead for its response to Covid, about the successes and failures of the past...