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Inside Health


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

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.







Is an Omicron infection inevitable? Which drugs still work? Is this the last hurrah of the pandemic? This week we have three of the country’s greatest scientific minds teasing apart what Omicron means for our lives now and in the future. Prof Eleanor Riley, Prof Azra Ghani and Prof Sir Martin Landray also tackle your, at times controversial questions! And our regular Dr Rohin Francis gives us a first-hand account of the pressures on NHS staff?


New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year. I hope you’re sticking to your New Year’s resolutions! Our resident GP Margaret McCartney has dragged me out for a wintery run to discuss how to stick to a healthier lifestyle. And we’re joined by Dr Giles Yeo, Dr Ian Hamiliton and Prof Russel Foster as we tackle the best diets, giving up booze for Dry January and getting a better night’s sleep. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCER: Beth Eastwood & Geraldine Fitzgerald


Prediabetes, Experiments in zero gravity

Beat pre-diabetes and get your love life back? We hear from two people who are trying to avoid getting type 2 diabetes. But not everyone thinks the term is helpful so our resident GP Margaret McCartney and Dr Samuel Seidu, from the Leicester Diabetes Centre, join us to discuss. And our cardiologist Rohin Francis gets one step closer to his dream of being an astronaut. Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald


PPE waste and blood test tube shortage

Flying London to New York and back. 244 times every day. For half a year. That’s the size of the carbon footprint of all the personal protective equipment used in health and social care in England during the first six months of the pandemic. So I take a look at how the NHS is going green including efforts to make a reusable facemask. Also, a shortage of vials for blood tests has GP Navjoyt Ladher asking whether we were testing too much anyway. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCER: Beth...


Gene Silencing Treatments

The future is here. Gene silencing medicines - which can fine tune how our DNA works - have held promise for decades. Now hundreds of thousands of people will get them in the UK. James speaks to a surgeon whose life and career have been saved by gene-silencing drugs and to researchers who think the field could lead to drugs for diseases we think of as untreatable. Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald


Covid vaccines: their legacy & vaccinating teens

The pandemic has strapped rocket boosters onto vaccine science. So where is it taking us next? What other diseases are we about to take on? Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, architect of the Oxford vaccine, gives me her view. Also, given teenagers and parents agree about everything and never have any arguments.... we should be able to rapidly resolve any questions about whose decision it is when it comes to the Covid jab in teens. Dr Navjoyt Ladher and Dr Vanessa Apea join some very honest teenagers...


The Nobel Prize for Medicine, new plans to add nutrients to foods

Anyone need a hug? I’m taking a look at this year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine. It helps explain how we experience the physical sensations of touch, heat and cold. Yes it’s the hugs, tea and ice cream Nobel! But it could also have implications for treating pain, so Prof Irene Tracey is here to discuss. And you wait decades for fortification and two come along at once. I explore why the government wants to tweak our flour and water.


Ultra-processed vegetarian & vegan foods

We’re going meat-free for this podcast! The supermarket shelves are heaving with faux meats and vegan ultra-processed foods. And if you don’t want to put milk in your coffee or on your cereals there’s a load of plant-based alternatives. So we take a look at how healthy these foods are and what you need to know when you’re doing the weekly shop. Sorry you will have to listen to me eating a sausage roll. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCERS: Beth Eastwood & Lorna Stewart


The vulva & your GP medical records

Do you know your mons pubis from your labia majora? Few of us can identify the parts of the vulva - that’s the external female genitals. So I go exploring with Dr Fiona Reid from St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester and find out why we all need to be better informed. Also, who should be able to look at your medical records? There are grand plans afoot to collect the data your GP holds on you and make it available to researchers. We discuss the pros and the cons with Prof Martin Landray from...


Long covid in children & treating normal blood pressure

My blood pressure is perfectly normal, but could I benefit from medication to lower it even further? We discuss with Oxford University’s Prof Kazem Rahimi and our resident GP Margaret McCartney. How do you diagnose a new disease that could have 200 symptoms? We explore long Covid in children with our reporter Carolyn Atkinson and Professor Sir Terence Stephenson from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health. PRESENTER: James Gallagher PRODUCER: Beth Eastwood


Fewer periods, The link between erectile dysfunction and the heart

It’s time to talk about periods and contraception. Different birth control options alter the menstrual cycle. Journalist Nicola Davis tells me about her decade without periods and our resident GP Margaret McCartney and sexual health doctor Julia Bailey discuss the evidence and what you need to know. We’ve also got vaccination expert Adam Finn to discuss the slowdown in young people getting the Covid-19 jab and cardiologist Rohin Francis explores the link between erectile dysfunction and the...


When to take your child to A&E, ear wax and happiness

Time for a sprinkling of happiness with a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. Last time we heard how children's A&E is under huge pressure as infections, that disappeared during Covid, make a comeback. But doctors also warn that many of those children shouldn’t actually be there. Damian Roland a paediatrician in emergency medicine at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust busts the myths about fever and gives tips on when to take your child to A&E. And the wonders of ear wax,...


Increase in childhood viruses and can you be too fit?

Here at Team Inside Health we’ve noticed our children are constantly ill. So we find out why. Are all those bugs that were dormant for the pandemic suddenly having a resurgence? Or has a year and a half of being squeaky clean left a lingering impact on our immune system? Plus Medlife Crisis - Rohin Frances asks can you be too fit?


How to defeat needle phobia and football and lateral flow tests.

The Inside Health podcast is back with a bang! Find out how having a couple of mates round for the football trapped scientist Alex Crozier inside a Covid experiment. Laura talks us through her remarkable journey, from a fear of needles to having her Covid jab, and Oxford University’s Daniel Freeman has some tips for you too. We’ve unleashed our cardiologist, Rohin Francis, for the first of his “Roving Rohin” (trademark pending) reports on hospital staff who don’t get the vaccine. And GP...


Recovery Trial

This is the remarkable story of how the UK’s Recovery Trial saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Covid patients. It was set up in nine days, after a conversation on the number 18 bus. Within 100 days it had found the first life-saving drug. This trial has united thousands of doctors, the NHS and 40,000 patients, at the scariest moments of their lives, changing the pandemic, and possibly medicine, forever. We speak to Oxford professors Martin Landray and Peter Horby who devised the...


Covid vaccine side-effects

I was floored for three days with side-effects after having my first Covid jab and many of you have been in touch about your side-effects too. Why do some of us feel awful after the vaccine, while others barely notice anything? What does this say about our immune systems and how protected we will be against covid? We put your questions to Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology and infectious disease at Edinburgh University. Our resident GP Margaret McCartney has been taking a look at the...



Covid-19 has changed how doctors and nurses communicate with their patients, Graham Easton is Professor of Communication Skills at Barts and QMUL , and he tells James about how doctors and nurses can ensure they communicate effectively with their patients. Giving bad news is never easy but how do you explain to a relative about end of life decisions via an iPad? Professor Monica Lakhanpaul reviews the latest evidence around BAME and Covid-19 and with Jo Hudson-Lett from Revoluton Arts looks...


Human challenge trials, Chess & memory, Dementia misdiagnosed

I have become hooked on playing online chess during this lockdown and after watching the Queen’s Gambit. So we’ll find out if it is actually doing my brain any good and whether it and similar games can ward off dementia. Margaret McCartney takes us on a fascinating tour through the history of deliberately infecting people with diseases, as the first “challenge trials” with coronavirus are about to start. Listeners David and Barbara tell us about a treatable condition called normal pressure...


Sexual health, contraception and tackling waiting lists

What has the pandemic done to our sex lives? We’ll hear if there’s been a baby boom with Dr Margaret McCartney and Dr Rebecca Thomson-Glover has the lowdown on sexually transmitted infections. We’ll also explore changes to contraception and sexual health services. Meanwhile it feels like we’re on the march to normality, but what about the backlog of patients whose treatment has been cancelled. We speak to Charmayne whose surgery has been held up by the pandemic and Nick Arresti from the...


Long Covid, Vaccine queries

Most people recover rapidly after catching coronavirus. But I chat to three people who were infected almost a year ago and are still feeling the impact, both on their bodies and their minds. Doctors are having to rapidly grapple with how to treat patients with long Covid. We speak to one of them, Dr Manoj Sivan, the Research Lead for the Long Covid Service in Leeds, who warns that long Covid could be a “second pandemic”. We also have GP Dr Navjoyt Ladher answering your questions on the Covid...