Inside Health

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter finds out why cycle lanes on main roads could be bad for your health.

A recent study has found that long term, repeated exposure to air pollution increases the risk of heart attacks. What does this mean for people who live near busy roads and who is most at risk? Mark Porter talks to Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King's College London about why the particles in air pollution cause problems for the heart and why he believes cycle routes shouldn't be on busy, main roads.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dr Mark Porter presents a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

With a replacement of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway expected over the next few months Professor Keri Thomas, National Clinical lead for End of Life Care, debates the need for change and calls for a more personalised care for the dying. And Inside Health examines differences in sex development, when it is unclear if a new born baby is a boy or a girl. Plus, does the environment of your GP's surgery increase or alleviate anxiety?

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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2014100720141008 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2014102120141022 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015010620150107 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015021720150218 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

2015022420150225 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents the series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

20151006

Dr Mark Porter presents a series exploring health issues.

2016011920160120 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series on health issues.

Aspirin And Heart Attacks, Bppv Vertigo, Patronising Language, Carpal Tunnel Sydrome, Osteoporosis Treatment2015090820150909 (R4)

Dr Mark Porter presents a programme devoted to questions from the listeners.

Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation answers a question about whether aspirin can protect against a second heart attack.

A number of people asked about the treatment of vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of a variety of conditions ranging from migraine and Meniere's, to strokes and tumours, but by far the most common is a condition called BPPV - benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is caused by debris floating around in the fluid in the balance sensors of the inner ear and typically affects people over 40. And there is a relatively simple way to treat it called the Epley movement, which is much underused. Dr Louisa Murdin, consultant in vestibular and balance disorders at Guy's and St Thomas's hospitals in London, explained how she uses the technique.

Dr Margaret McCartney and Mark discuss why doctors sometimes use patronising language when talking to patients.

Carpal tunnel syndrome - which normally eventually affects both hands - is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes under the flexor retinaculum ligament at the wrist - close to where the clasp or buckle on your watch would sit. The classic story is pins and needles affecting the thumb side of the hand and sparing the little finger, and often worse during the early hours of the morning.

Dr Jeremy Bland, consultant in clinical neurophysiology at King's College Hospital London, and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, where he runs one of the few NHS clinics dedicated solely to carpal tunnel syndrome, explains why people wake up with symptoms and why wearing a splint can be helpful.

Osteoporosis features regularly in our in-box - particularly concerns about bisphosphonates, the gold standard treatment for the bone thinning condition. Every year in the UK around 300,000 people break a bone - such as a hip or wrist - following a relatively trivial injury because their bones are weaker than they should be. Most are middle aged and elderly.

Drugs like alendronate and etidronate are prescribed to make bones stronger after a fracture. Peter Selby, Professor of metabolic bone disease at the University of Manchester and a consultant at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, answers queries about how long these drugs should be taken.

Back Pain And Paracetamol, Blood Thinning Drugs, Drug Driving, Kidney Stones2014072920140730

Paracetamol and back pain; blood thinning drugs; drug driving limits and kidney stones.

Mark Porter investigates a new research trial which shows that paracetamol doesn't help back pain. And why are blood thinning drugs being overused in NHS hospitals? New laws on limits for driving on prescribed drugs come into force in March 2015. Which prescription drugs are included and what does it mean for people taking them? Also in the programme, can any medications help get rid of kidney stones?

Care Data, New Gastric Balloon, Vocal Dysphonia, Antacids2014012120140122

Recent reports say that as many as 2 million people in England could be eligible for bariatric surgery. Dr Mark Porter investigates if a new gastric balloon swallowed in a capsule could be a valuable new tool for weight loss. Targeted for people whose BMI is lower than those who would be eligible for weight loss surgery, Inside Health finds out what the new balloon involves and asks two NHS bariatric surgeons - Sally Norton in Bristol and Guy Slater in Chichester - is this a boon to the arsenal of weight loss surgeons or is it a just slimming aid?

Proton pump inhibitors are a family of drugs which reduce stomach acids to stop the symptoms of heartburn and ulcers. But they are being widely overused according to many gastroenterologists and doctors. Mark talks to gastroenterologist, Anton Emmanuel about the scale of the overuse, the potential side effects of being on them for too long as well as what people can do if they think they should come off the drug.

Margaret McCartney and Mark Porter ask whether the anonymity of patient records on a new NHS database can be guaranteed? And using botox to treat vocal dysphonia, a kind of writer's cramp for the voice.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Conflicted Medicine2014081920140820

Dr Mark Porter examines the hidden conflicts of interest that can influence your health.

Dr Mark Porter examines the hidden conflicts of interest that may affect how your GP or specialist treats you. He discovers that the advice patient groups give you is also not immune to the influences of organisations such as pharmaceutical companies.

Conflicted Medicine: Pharmaceuticals20140812

Are conflicts of interest in medicine out of control and undermining public trust, or an over-hyped concern? Dr Mark Porter investigates the hidden influences affecting your health.

Conflicted Medicine: Public Health Campaigns2014082620140827

Dr Mark Porter examines how powerful lobbying groups influence what you eat and drink.

Dr Mark Porter examines how powerful lobbying groups like the food and alcohol industries steer public health policy in the direction that suits them most.

Diabetes Type Ii; Obesity; Feedback On Anorexia And Shingles; Lyme Disease2013102220131023

Dr Mark Porter investigates how doctors detect and diagnose type-2 diabetes.

With news that actor Tom Hanks has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, how far in advance can doctors predict the onset of the condition and what can be done to delay it.

And is obesity a disease? It has been classified as such in America, so what are the implications and should the UK follow suit?

Plus the first ever conference on Lyme Disease - the tick borne infection that can cause serious complications.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Dry January & Nalmefene, Plac Blood Test For Inflammation, Dental Check Ups2015011320150114 (R4)

Treating alcohol dependence with a pill, predicting heart attack risk and dental visits.

Dr Mark Porter talks to leading experts about treating alcohol dependence with a pill and whether the required counselling services are available to make it work.

And Mark finds out the state of his arteries when he has a new blood test to predict his risk of heart attack. Plus what does the evidence tell us about how often to visit the dentist?

E-cigs; Ppi Feedback; Be Assertive With Your Doctor; Prostate Cancer Diagnosis2014012820140129

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Flu Vaccine And Narcolepsy, Stoptober, Herbal Medicines, Calcium Supplements2013100120131002

New research linking a swine flu vaccine to a rare sleeping disorder in children

New research has found an association between Pandemrix, a swine flu vaccine, and a rare sleep disorder in children. Fears about a pandemic of H1N1 flu, so called "swine flu", over the winter of 2009/2010 led to millions of vulnerable people across the UK, including every child under five, being offered a new vaccine. There has since been a dramatic rise in the number of children diagnosed with narcolepsy. Paul Gringras, Professor of Children's sleep medicine and neurodisability at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London, is one of the researchers investigating this link.

October 1st marks the start of a mass stop smoking campaign called Stoptober. Last year, 160,000 people gave up for the month, saving themselves £25 million from not buying cigarettes. Inside Health spoke to two of them, Adrian Osborne and Donna Horton.

The Traditional Herbal Medicines Registration Scheme was brought in by the Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2005. But there are concerns that the threshold for this type of licensing is set too low, and is misleading consumers. To debate the issue, Mark Porter is joined by resident sceptic Margaret McCartney and Dr Linda Anderson from the licensing division at the MHRA.

It is thought that around five million people in the UK, most of them women, take some form of high dose calcium supplement to keep their bones healthy. But there have been a number of reports linking them to

heart attacks and stroke. So what is the latest thinking on their use? Juliet Compston is Emeritus Professor of Bone Medicine at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Folic Acid In Flour, Southampton Fc And Hip And Groin Pain, Online Private Doctors20160126
Folic Acid In Flour, Southampton Fc And Hip And Groin Pain, Online Private Doctors2016012620160127 (R4)

Scotland is considering whether to add folic acid to staple foods like flour to protect babies against conditions like spina bifida.

Frustrated at the lack of action by the UK government on the issue - despite government advisers recommending for 16 years that flour should be fortified with folic acid - the Scottish government is preparing to go it alone.

Spina bifida is one of a group of severe congenital abnormalities known as neural tube defects that affect around 5000 developing babies in Europe every year. It's long been known that taking folic acid supplements, before and after pregnancy, can reduce the likelihood of these defects, as Helen Dolk, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Ulster explains to Dr Mark Porter.

Professional footballers are vulnerable to hip and groin injuries and much more likely to get arthritis as they get older. Southampton Football Club has introduced a new hip stretch and flexibility programme for all their players and the result is a dramatic reduction in injuries. Mark visits the club and meets Olufela Olomola, who, before his transfer to The Saints, spent a season on the bench with hip and groin injury at Arsenal. Just a season later he's recovered and now captains The Saints under 18 team. Mo Gimpel, Director of Medical and Science Performance Support at Southampton FC says the decision to focus on hip flexibility came several years ago, after serious hip and groin injury was keeping key players off the pitch, and the club was losing matches. The new pre-activation sessions have transformed the club's injury rates and research teams are partnering the club to find out how hip impingement develops in the first place. Professor Sion Glyn-Jones from the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences is leading a group tracking 110 young players from The Saints' Footballing Academy, a league two club, a cricket club and pupils from local schools. Detailed mechanical and imaging studies of these young players' hips will help to show exactly when hip injury, or femoroacetabular impingement, first appears, what causes it and most importantly, how to prevent it in the first place.

Private medical helplines providing 24/7 advice are the latest development in private medicine. New companies are popping up, attracting millions in private finance. They offer people access by e-mail, phone or online visual link to a GP consultation, for a fee. Dr Karen Morton, founder of DrMortons.co.uk tells Mark why she believes pressure on primary care will result in an inevitable rise in demand for such services. People who want reassurance and advice, she says, can use such helplines and avoid clogging up GP waiting rooms with relatively minor complaints. But Dr Margaret McCartney disagrees and says phone-only consultations risk fragmenting medical records and undermining the relationship between a GP and their patient.

Free Vit D For Kids, Exercise & Depression, Asthma Inhalers Feedback, Fungal Nails, Gp Pilots2013102920131030

Vitamin D for all kids; Exercise for depression? Fungal toenails; Manchester GP pilots

Current recommendations advise that parents should give children under five Vitamin D supplements, but most parents do not follow this, and Vitamin D deficiency is now widespread, leading to a resurgence of rickets. To combat this, England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies is now recommending that free supplements be available to all children under five.

Following the publication of a new Cochrane review into the evidence behind advocating exercise for people who are depressed, there were very different conclusions in the medical press; ranging from suggesting exercise was as good as antidepressants, to the other extreme that there was not much evidence that it helped at all. But is exercise an effective treatment or not? Gillian Mead, Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, was lead author of the review.

Fungi occur naturally on our bodies but thrive in warm, damp dark places like shoes. If you have healthy nails and a normal immune system, it is hard for the fungi to get a foothold. But if your nails are damaged, creating a portal of entry for the fungus, or your immune system is compromised because of some underlying health issue, then infection becomes more likely. But how are they best treated? Ina Farrelly is a senior podiatrist at Mile End Hospital in London.

We often hear how difficult it is to get a GP appointment. It is an issue that has been picked up recently in the debate about pressure on A + E departments. So how can access be improved? In North Manchester, a group of GPs are trialling web based solutions that blur the boundary between hospital and community and out-of-hours GP clinics and normal surgeries. Dr Frederic Thomason is working on the pilot.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Future Of 7-day Gp Access Pilots, Mers, Laughing Gas Health Risks2015062320150624 (R4)

Across England, selected GP surgeries are trialling 7-day working, but there are reports that take-up has been so low in some areas, particularly on Sundays, that pilots have been abandoned. Dr Margaret McCartney and Dr Mark Porter investigate where the pressure for extended opening hours is coming from. Mark visits Herefordshire where Taurus Healthcare, a federation of local GPs, is running a late night/weekend service. Managing Director Graeme Cleland describes the high take-up of the service after an initial slow start, and says new patients have been treated, showing previously latent demand in the system. Mike Dando is a wheelchair user with spina bifida and diabetes, and before the pilot started a year ago, he would have to wait in all day for a district nurse to dress his ulcerated legs. Now he just makes an appointment at a time convenient for him. But at the end of this year the seed money provided by the Prime Minister's Challenge Fund runs out, so what will happen to the Herefordshire pilot? Chair of the local Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Andy Watts, says without extra funding, the pilot service is unlikely to continue and deputy chair of the BMA's GP Committee, Dr Richard Vautrey, calls for investment in current GP practices rather than expensive additional services.

Doctors in the UK have been warned by public health officials to be on the lookout for people who become ill after travelling to South Korea. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has killed 27 people in the region and there are 174 confirmed cases of the disease. Nearly five hundred people have died worldwide after the virus first emerged three years ago, in Saudia Arabia. Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology at the University of Nottingham, describes how coronaviruses like MERS (and SARS) jump to humans via an intermediary animal. In the case of MERS, that's via the Dromedary camel.

Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas has a long history of recreational use but in recent years, there's been an exponential growth in use among teenagers and young people. Founder of the Psychedelic Society, Stephen Reid, describes the physical effects of laughing gas and tells Mark why he believes the gas shouldn't form part of the government's planned clampdown on legal highs. But Dr Paul Seddon, respiratory paediatrician from Queen Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton, warns that increased use could mean increased health problems, like the case of the teenager girl with a collapsed lung admitted to his hospital after inhaling the gas.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Gender X; Diabetes Diagnosis; Trigeminal Neuralgia; Oesophageal Cancer2013110520131106

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

As Germany becomes the first country in Europe to pass a law allowing newborn babies to be registered as being of indeterminate sex - neither male nor female - should the UK follow suit?

The incapacitating facial pain that feels like an electric shock - a world expert explains Trigeminal Neuralgia.

And recurrent indigestion - should more be done to investigate the millions of people troubled with heartburn?

Plus a new test for diagnosing diabetes that's causing some confusion.

Gp Incentives; Walk-in Ct Scans; Hot Flushes Feedback; New Anti-coagulants2014102820141029 (R4)

Do financial incentives for GPs work? Are walk-in CT scans a good idea?

Financial incentives for GPs - do they work? Mark Porter learns there are parallels between the latest £55 to diagnose dementia and an incentive to diagnose depression which didn't work and was dropped. Are walk-in CT Scans a good idea - two experts who authored recent reports address concerns about people arranging their own scans. Hot Flushes feedback; plus the new generation of anti-coagulants offering an alternative to warfarin.

Health And Exercise Inside Health Special2016011220160113 (R4)

Getting strong to get fit: why making muscles means good medicine.

We're getting fatter, living longer and doing less exercise.

No surprise then that osteoarthritis has increased four fold over the past 50 years.

But in this Inside Health special Dr Mark Porter discovers that most of us who suffer joint pain could transform our lives, simply by building up muscle strength.

If you struggle to screw the top off a jar, or use your arms to push yourself up out of a chair, that's a sure fire sign, according to Dr Philip Conaghan, consultant rheumatologist and Professor of Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds, that your muscles are weak. And the good news is that building muscle strength will protect your joints, not damage them, as well as reducing joint pain.

The bad news is that apparently age is no excuse! You can (and should) keep strong, however old you are.

Health Checks, Fertility, Adjustment2016032920160330 (R4)

The evidence for 'mid-life MOTs', female fertility and age and the meaning of 'adjustment'

NHS health checks or 'mid-life MOTs' have hit the headlines as new research claims they are a success. The aim is prevention - of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes - but their introduction has been controversial amid criticism they are not evidence based or cost effective. Resident sceptic Dr Margaret McCartney debates the issues with National Clinical Advisor Dr Matt Kearney.

And putting the family back into planning. As more couples leave it later before starting a family there is growing concern from fertility experts that many people don't know enough about when female fertility starts to decline. Professor Adam Balen and Professor Joyce Harper discuss the issues. And how accurate is the perception, often reported in the media, that fertility 'drops off a cliff' in the mid to late thirties? Professor Richard Anderson reviews the so called 'broken stick' study, a mathematical model which first defined the sharp drop off of female fertility.

And another instalment of Inside Language where Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor Carl Heneghan examine the terms used in evidence based medicine and why they matter. This week, adjustment and how researchers allow for factors that might skew their findings.

Hiv And Ms; Black Skin And Cancer; Iron Overload; Losing Your Sense Of Smell20140805

Dr Mark Porter finds out about the latest research investigating why people with HIV very rarely get multiple sclerosis. What does it mean for the cause of MS and possible future treatments? Also in the programme how much is black skin at reduced risk of skin cancer from exposure to the sun? Why iron overload can often go undiagnosed and the training for the nose that can help recover a lost sense of smell.

Meningitis B, Hormones And Depression, Statins, Unexpected Heart Attacks2015090120150902 (R4)

The latest advice on statins, menopause and depression, and the meningitis B vaccine.

From this week all UK babies will be vaccinated against that most feared disease, meningitis B, the first country in the world to take this step. But the decision to include Men B in the national immunisation programme has come too late for parents, Freya and Ross. A year ago their baby daughter, Harmonie, nearly died after contracting the infection. Her arms and legs as well as the tip of her nose had to be amputated because of the resulting sepsis. Sue Davie, Chief Executive of Meningitis Now tells Mark that the vaccine is great news and will save many lives. But she hopes in the future that it will be offered to older babies and young children, as well as another at risk group, adolescents.

Mental health problems have long been linked to fluctuating hormone levels, at times of menstruation, childbirth and menopause. Dr Michael Craig who runs the Female Hormone Clinic at the Maudsley Hospital in London discusses the role of hormone replacement treatments.

Statins are the most commonly prescribed medicines in the UK. They work to lower the level of cholesterol in your blood. There's been considerable debate about when doctors should start prescribing statins and NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, had been keen for GPs to be paid to put more patients on the cholesterol-reducing drugs. Dr Margaret McCartney outlines the controversy and NICE Deputy Chief Executive, Professor Gillian Leng, tells Mark that the health advisory body has listened to concerns and why their new statins targets are now to be tested in the field.

Young, healthy, sporty people don't get heart attacks. Except when they do. Dr Stuart Miller, Clinical Director of Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Bath admits that he was shocked when he had a heart attack, even though he cycles, swims and eats a healthy diet. Sanjay Sharma is professor of cardiology at St George's Hospital in London and he tells Mark how common unexpected heart attacks are.

Producer: Fiona Hill.

Mutant Flu, Weight-loss Surgery, Young Men And Body Image, Cvid, Dental Check-ups, Doctors' Example, Dry January Findings20150120
Nhs Satisfaction Survey; Nhs & Cancer; Headphones Volume; P4 Medicine20150203

Diagnosing Cancer - why does the UK still lag behind much of Europe and what is being done about it? The American dream - personalised medicine based on your genes. Plus do headphones damage hearing?

Parkinson's Disease, Breast Cancer Screening, Slimming Pills, Sunscreens, Teeth20130924

Following Billy Connolly's announcement that he has signs of Parkinson's Disease, Inside Health reports from the World Congress of Neurology in Vienna where early diagnosis is top of the agenda.

Suncreams and Cancer. After a long hot summer an evidence based look at whether sunscreens really protect against the lethal forms of skin cancer - melanoma.

And slimming pills - why have two regulatory bodies on different sides of the Atlantic made different decisions about two diet drugs?

As a new NHS information leaflet 'Helping You Decide' is given to women invited for breast screening, Dr Margaret McCartney - who has criticised previous versions - gives her verdict.

And a definitive guide to the only true dental emergency - what to do if you or your child knocks out a front tooth.

Pollution, Falls In The Elderly, False Positives And Negatives, Meningitis B And Teenagers2015092920150930 (R4)

Pollution kills 29,000 people a year in the UK but where does the statistic come from?

As cars were banned from central Paris this weekend and the health risks of pollution hit the headlines, Mark Porter examines the statistic that pollution kills 29,000 people a year in the UK.

And he visits a pioneering clinic at Southampton General Hospital where falls in the elderly are seen as a risk factor for underlying health problems; 'Having a hip fracture is like having a heart attack or stroke' explains Dr Mark Baxter. 50% of people who have a hip fracture will have previously presented with a fall, but once they go on to break a hip, 1 in 10 elderly people may not be alive at the end of the month and up to 25% by the end of the year. Many elderly people are found to be on multiple treatments - blood pressure pills or bladder pills for example - that make people fall over. In recent years there has been much more attention paid to the cumulative burden of the side effects of medicines in the elderly - particularly the group of commonly used drugs known as Anticholinergics. And according to new research by a team at the University of East Anglia, taking Anticholinergics increases the risk of falls too - particularly in men.

Following news of the Meningitis B vaccine in children, an Inside Health listener got in touch to ask why it wasn't being given to teenagers in light of data showing that there is a second peak in incidence in the disease among 15 - 19 year olds? Mark talks to Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

And Inside Language: Dr Margaret McCartney and Professor Carl Heneghan demystify the terminology of medicine and research. This week, false positives and false negatives; when is something not what it seems, and when does it seem what it's not?

Shingles Vaccine; Energy Drinks; Liver Function Tests; Anorexia2013100820131009

Margaret McCartney reports on confusion around the new shingles vaccine.

Margaret McCartney reports on confusion around the new Shingles Vaccine - including how old you have to be to qualify and why there's a lack of supply in some GP surgeries.

Why readymade drinks combining caffeine and alcohol have been banned in America.

Are the tests GP's use to screen for liver damage falsely reassuring?

And a leading authority dispels myths surrounding the causes of anorexia.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Statins, Cholesterol-lowering Spreads, Olive Oil, Diet And Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Singers' Nodules2014072220140723

With a look at Crohn's disease and diet, teachers' voices and cholesterol-lowering foods.

Some media coverage has suggested that there is a link between eating junk food and the rise of conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis which involve inflammation of the digestive system. Mark Porter questions the evidence. As school's out for summer Mark finds out why teachers' voices need a rest. He also examines whether cholesterol lowering spreads and drinks do what they suggest. Also in the programme: is frying with olive oil harmful or the healthy choice?

Statins; Improving Cancer Survival Rates; Reflux And Heartburn; Recycling Medicines.2014070120140702

Dr Mark Porter returns with a new series to address confusion about statins for healthy people rather than patients. Statins have hit the headlines as doctors debate the draft recommendation from NICE to lower the threshold for offering statins, which could mean millions more will be taking them.

And Mark Porter turns patient when he is investigated for persistent heartburn. Plus should GPs who miss cancers be named and shamed and why drugs can't be recycled.

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Vaccinations, One-to-one Midwives, Leg Ulcers, Asthma Inhalers2013101520131016

Does linking child immunisation to benefits and child care improve vaccination rates?

How would you feel if your child's immunisations were linked to benefits or child care? In Australia, a full set of vaccinations is now a requirement for accessing most types of child care and claiming family tax credit worth around £500 a year. The only exception is if parents ask to be registered as conscientious objectors. Dr Steve Hambleton is President of the Australian Medical Association and explains how well these measures have been received.

University of Sydney researchers have just published a new study adding to a body of evidence that pregnant women who see the same midwife require less intervention, have safer outcomes and are more likely to breastfeed their babies. They also save the healthcare system over £300. Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, tells Inside Health that adoption of this "caseload" model in the UK has been slow.

Around half a million people in the UK have some form of leg ulcer, and up until recently many would have them dressed in the community for years, without the underlying cause ever being diagnosed and treated. But this now looks set to change, as new guidance published by NICE recommends that if ulcers last more than two weeks, patients should be referred to a specialist vascular clinic. Like the one at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, run by consultant vascular surgeon Mr Paul Hayes.

Last year the NHS spent around £800 million on asthma medicines, but research suggests that at least half of people given the most common type of inhaler do not use them properly. This means their asthma remains poorly controlled and the NHS is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds. Mike Thomas is Chief Medical Advisor to Asthma UK.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

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New Series: Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Beth Eastwood.

New Series: Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Beth Eastwood.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Presenter: Dr Mark Porter

Producer: Erika Wright/Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are written every year in England. So how alarmed should we be over new American research suggesting that people who take them are more likely to die than those who don't? Dr Mark Porter speaks to a leading British sleep expert about the findings and asks what the alternatives are.

An Inside Health listener asked us to investigate how safe "electronic" cigarettes are. So Dr Max Pemberton, who uses them himself, talked to Professor John Britton from the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies at the University of Nottingham about these currently unregulated products. Rumours abound that a tobacco manufacturer is about to launch the world's first so-called "safe" cigarette. But smokers' reactions are mixed and some prefer other products like nicotine gum.

GP Margaret McCartney's column is about whether your doctor's dietary preferences and habits influence your well being.

Half of all pregnancies in the UK are unplanned, so women and their babies lose out on important supplements like folic acid to help prevent spina bifida. But for women with an underactive thyroid gland it's even more important that they do their best for their baby by increasing their thyroxine dose as soon as they know they're pregnant. But research from Leicester shows that women often fall through the gaps when seeking care - as GPs, midwives and consultants often think someone else is helping these women.

Producer: Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter asks why sleeping pills increase the chance of an early death.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us and separates the facts from the fiction. He brings clarity to conflicting health advice, explores new medical research and tackles the big health issue of the moment revealing the inner workings of the medical profession and the daily dilemmas doctors face.

Producers: Erika Wright/ Paula McGrath.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us. With Deborah Cohen.

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In Inside Health tonight, Dr Mark Porter tackles the confusion and prejudice that surrounds the skin condition Vitiligo - famously said to have been the reason why Michael Jackson skin looked so light.

Max Pemberton discovers why surgeons may be wearing masks for their benefit rather than their patients.

And Margaret McCartney reminds doctors who tweet to proceed with caution - posting photographs of the first patient you've anaesthetised is likely to get you into trouble!

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Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues that perplex, separates the facts from the fiction and brings clarity to conflicting health advice.

Dr Mark Porter demystifies the health issues that perplex us.

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Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Producer: Deborah Cohen.

Dr Mark Porter seeks to demystify perplexing health issues.

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Is frozen shoulder a condition that's overdiagnosed? Dr Mark Porter investigates.

50,000 people end up in hospital every year in the UK because of bleeding from the top end of the gut - an upper gastrointestinal bleed. Around 1 in 10 of them will die. Gastrointestinal or GI bleeds are often due to ulcers - a side effect of taking aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and diclofenac. The bleeding can occur in the gullet, stomach or the first part of the intestine, the duodenum. Other causes include cancers and liver disease. The location of the bleed can be pinpointed by using an endoscope - a camera to look inside the gut - and treatments include stopping the bleeding with clips, heat or injections of adrenalin.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence hopes to change that with new guidelines on managing GI bleeds - guidelines which, as of last month, hospitals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be expected to follow. Scotland has had similar guidance in place for the last few years. David Patch is a Consultant Hepatologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London and has a special interest in this type of bleeding. He says that patients whose needs cannot be met at smaller hospitals should be transferred to specialist units where they can be treated promptly.

Tariq Iqbal who's a consultant gastroenterologist at the University of Birmingham is evaluating a new kind of treatment called Hemospray. This is a powder that can sprayed over the bleeding area to stop or slow any bleeding by accelerating the natural clotting process.

New research appears to show that standing at work for long periods in pregnancy can affect the unborn child. Research in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, followed 4,680 mothers throughout their pregnancies. Some of the women had jobs where they were on their feet a lot - such as hairdressing, sales and working with toddlers. Women who stood for a long time had babies with smaller heads. It's thought that standing for long periods of time causes blood to "pool" in the legs, limiting the blood supply to the rest of the body including the uterus and therefore the developing foetus. The study also showed that working up to 36 weeks of pregnancy had no impact on birth weight, size or prematurity. Previous studies have shown that heavy lifting increased the risk of babies being born early - but this study showed no such link.

Many people with pain and stiffness in the shoulder are told they have a frozen shoulder. But the label is often incorrect as a truly frozen shoulder means restricted movement in all directions, accompanied by pain. It's not known what causes it but it is commoner in people with diabetes. During the very painful initial phase it's best to rest the shoulder and use analgesia to help relieve the pain, especially at night time when it can be at its worst. TENS and acupuncture can help sometimes. The tissues in the shoulder "capsule" appear to be thickened and rubbery - and some relief can be gained from surgery, to let the shoulder move more freely. If left alone about half of patients still have discomfort after 7 years - so the common belief that it lasts 2 years is a myth. As the pain starts to recede physiotherapy can be helpful and if there is inflammation - eg with calcified tendonitis - then steroid injections can relieve pain.

Producer: Paula McGrath.

0202Coughs - Vocal Cord Dysfunction And Athletes - Taste And Smell - Waiting Room Toys2012071020120711

We are all encouraged to become fit for the benefit of our health. Dr Mark Porter asks what we can learn from the health of those who are the fittest, the elite athletes.

Producer: Erika Wright.

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Dr Mark Porter asks if amateur sportspeople should be screened for heart conditions.

Following the recent high profile cases of elite sportspeople collapsing with undiagnosed heart conditions, Dr Mark Porter asks if screening should be made available to amateurs.

Producer: Anna Lacey.

0204Gp Access, Telehealth, Icu, Sewage2012072420120725

Dr Mark Porter asks if telehealth is providing better medical care and saving money.

Do you have trouble getting an appointment to see your GP? If so, you are not alone. A Department of Health review from 2009 suggested that as many as 200,000 patients a day struggle to get a consultation with their doctor. And a quarter of those who want to book an appointment in advance simply can't. One Inside Health listener emailed us to ask why some surgeries seem to only release appointments on the day - a bit of a telephone lottery - and others do allow for some advance booking. Chair of the the Royal College of General Practitioners Dr Clare Gerada offers some insight.

Monitoring patients in their own homes - telehealth - is one of the latest developments in general practice.

The government hopes that the technology will help at least 2 million people over the next 5 years, saving the NHS more than a billion pounds. The £2,000 black boxes measure blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood oxygen - information that's then sent over the internet to a medical professional. But the project to monitor patients with long term conditions like diabetes, heart failure and breathing difficulties hasn't got off to a good start and GP Margaret McCartney questions whether it will ever live up to the hype.

The most seriously ill patients in hospital are looked after in Intensive Care - where they are given life-saving treatment and support with vital bodily functions like breathing. To help staff relieve anxiety - and enable staff to carry out procedures like inserting breathing tubes - patients are often sedated. Dr Chris Danbury from the Royal Berkshire hospital in Reading says it's important to get the level of sedation right - not too little and not too much. One consequence of the drugs and environment can be hallucinations and flashbacks - with some patients reporting dreams of being abducted by alien space ships. Specialist outreach nurses in Reading - like Sister Melanie Gager - are skilled at offering strategies to overcome this - including follow-up visits to the ICU for both patients and their families.

Now that summer has finally arrived for most parts of the UK, if you are planning an outdoor swim then there may be hazards lurking in the water. Heavy downpours result in the release of sewage into the sea from overflow pipes - which can affect water quality for a couple of days. Inside Health reporter Anna Lacey met Pollution Control Manager Dr Robert Kierle on the banks of the river Axe in Weston-Super-Mare - and Surfers Against Sewage who are offering a free text service to alert would-be bathers about local measurements of any pollutants.

0205Liver Disease, Hepatitis C2012073120120801

Dr Mark Porter discovers the reasons for the recent rise in serious liver diseases.

If you believe recent headlines the growing increase in deaths from liver disease is entirely down to excessive alcohol consumption, but it's estimated that two thirds of liver related deaths are caused by other conditions. Dr Mark Porter investigates two liver conditions that do not hit the headlines but could be silently creeping up on millions of people in the UK.

0206Steroids, The Killing Season, Telehealth, Dupuytren's2012080720120808

Dr Mark Porter discovers new approaches to helping people who have strokes in rural areas.

Apart from a few cases that hit the headlines, the use of anabolic steroids is rare among the athletes in the Olympic village. But in the wider society abuse has exploded, according to an expert from Liverpool John Moores University. Jim McVeigh - who's Deputy Director at the Centre for Public Health - says that anabolic steroid abusers are the largest group using needle exchanges. Anabolic steroids are naturally occurring hormones, like testosterone, which influence growth, physical development and the workings of the reproductive system. Abuse allows athletes to train harder for longer so they become bigger, stronger and faster. But those effects will not be seen if you don't exercise or fail to eat and sleep properly. The injected steroids are often combined with tablets. There are a number of side effects like a growth in breast tissue, acne, baldness and shrinking testes - as well as longer-term health concerns for the heart and kidneys. Although they share the same umbrella term - steroids - anabolic steroids are not the same as drugs from the corticosteroid family - found in cortisone joint injections and some types of creams for eczema, sprays for hayfever and inhalers for asthma.

For the best chance of good recovery from strokes patients need to be treated within a few hours. In the Lake District new technology is giving suspected stroke patients access to specialists - using high speed broadband and video cameras. Dr Paul Davies is Consultant Stroke physician at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle. He can assess a patient's scans and other tests over a video connection - with the help of nurses and doctors treating them locally. Thrombolytic - or clotbusting treatment - can be given if the stroke is one of the 80% caused by a clot. It's important to get this diagnosis right as the other 20% are the result of a bleed - which could be potentially fatal if thrombolysis is given.

It's has been dubbed the Killing Season by some sections of the media - but Dr Margaret McCartney believes that August isn't as risky a time to be in hospital as the headlines claim. One study compared the number of deaths at the end of July and the beginning of August - but the difference wasn't statistically significant and could have been down to chance rather than a real harmful effect of new doctors.

Inside Health listener and keen pianist Roger emailed the programme about Dupuytren's contracture - where the fingers curve into the hand and can't be straightened. A new treatment is becoming available on the NHS for this common problem which affects 1 in 10 people's hands. The only option used to be surgery but Mike Hayton, who's a Consultant Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon at Wrightington Hospital in Lancashire, is now carrying out collagenase injections on some of his patients. Up to 60% of Dupuytrens patients can benefit from the treatment - which helps to break down the collagen-rich cords so they can then be snapped a day or two later.

0207Over-diagnosis: Chronic Kidney Disease2012081420120815

Dr Mark Porter asks why some medical conditions are over-diagnosed, thanks to test results

Dr Mark Porter finds out that some medical conditions are over-diagnosed and therefore over-treated, because of the results of certain tests.

0208Over-diagnosis: High Blood Pressure2012082120120822

Dr Mark Porter asks whether doctors can try too hard in the early detection of disease.

Dr Mark Porter asks whether doctors can try too hard in the early detection of disease and investigates the overdiagnosis of hypertension. This week he discovers that as many as 3 million people who have been told they have high blood pressure may not actually have it - could you be one of them?

0209Bp Reax, Fibroids, Access To Notes, Botox2012082820120829

Dr Mark Porter finds out that botox injections can help chronic migraine sufferers.

As many as 2 million people in the UK may have been misdiagnosed with high blood pressure - getting treatment they don't need. But how many of them have so-called "white coat hypertension" - where their blood pressure shoots up at the very sight of their doctor or nurse? For patients with high readings in the surgery doctors can offer "ambulatory" machines for them to take home, which monitor blood pressure round-the-clock. Bryan Williams who's professor of medicine at University College, London, led the team which drew up the latest blood pressure guidelines for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE. He says that anyone considering monitoring their own blood pressure at home should take measurements both in the morning and evening whilst sitting down - and work out the average over four days. The British Hypertension Society has a list of approved home blood pressure monitors on their website.

NICE has also just approved the use of Botox injections to help people with chronic migraine that hasn't responded to other treatments. But it's been a controversial decision - Botox is expensive, and no miracle cure. It was initially rejected and is still not endorsed by NICE's equivalent in Scotland. Consultant neurologist Dr Fayyaz Ahmad has had some success with patients at his private clinic outside Hull. One of them is Dawn Cook, who's just had her third round of injections. She's suffered from headaches since she was 7 years old.

Would you like to read your medical notes? The Government has pledged that everyone will have online access to NHS records by October 2015. So will this change the way doctors write about their patients?

Professor Steve Field - who's Chair of the NHS Future Forum and one of the driving forces behind the plan - hopes that it will mean more plain English that's easy to understand. His own surgery will give patients online access early next year.

One in 4 women develop fibroids at some time - benign, non cancerous growths in the wall of the uterus which can cause heavy painful periods. Surgery might be suggested to help wtih the discomfort - using keyhole techniques via the abdomen or vagina - a procedure known as myomectomy. But in recent years some less invasive techniques have become available to help relieve symptoms.

0210New Hiv Test, Vitamin D And Tb, Vitamin B12, Mouth Ulcers2012090420120905

Dr Mark Porter and Dr Margaret McCartney explore the incidence of HIV in the UK today.

HIV testing

The first over-the-counter DIY testing kit for HIV is expected to go on sale in America in the next month. It's said to allow people to screen potential sexual partners for HIV before deciding to have sex them - all in the comfort of their own home. But sexual health consultant from London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital Ann Sullivan believes that the idea is flawed as someone could be recently infected and still show a negative result. Her hospital offers an HIV test to all patients who are admitted to the Emergency Department. A positive result is picked up in around 4 people in every thousand tested. Glasgow GP Dr Margaret McCartney analyses the latest HIV figures for the UK - which are on the rise. She advises that safe sex should be practised even with a negative result to help protect people from all sexually transmitted infections.

Vitamin D and TB

As much of the UK enjoys the last of the summer sun, Vitamin D is back in the headlines. The body makes its own Vitamin D with sun exposure - but supplements in tablet form can be taken by anyone who's deficient. A dose of the Vitamin D was given to patients with tuberculosis - along with the regular antibiotics - and it helped to speed up their recovery. Dr Adrian Martineau, who's a Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Infection and Immunity at Queen Mary University, London, says that the Victorian idea of giving "consumptive" patients of sunshine was spot on.

Vitamin B12

A growing number of people believe they're deficient in another Vitamin - B12. Sources of the vitamin include meat, fish and dairy products - so strict vegans can be at risk of deficiency. The vitamin is crucial in the production of red blood red cells and for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous tissue. Symptoms of low levels can include anaemia, tiredness, pins and needles, memory loss and confusion. If it's not addressed promptly the damage can be irreversible. John Hunter who's Professor of Medicine at Cranfield University sees many patients who can't absorb the vitamin because of problems with their gut like Crohn's or Coeliac disease. Another condition - pernicious anaemia - is caused by the lack of a protein required to make absorption possible. As many as 1 in 30 adults have B12 deficiency - rising to 1 in 16 in the over 65s. A blood test which is used to check levels is thought by many doctors and patients to be inaccurate. The top-up injections of B12 are usually given every 2 or 3 months, in spite of many patients saying that their symptoms return well before their next one is due. Martyn Hooper from the Pernicious Anaemia Society says that testing and treatments need to be improved - to stop patients resorting to their own drastic solutions outside mainstream medicine.

Mouth Ulcers

One in 5 of the UK population will get mouth ulcers at some stage of their lives. For some, they can recur every month or so - in painful crops that can take a fortnight to heal. Some are associated with underlying problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but in many cases no cause is found.

Patients like Ruth have to avoid certain foods - like chocolate and fruit - to reduce the risk of recurrence. She's had ulcers since her teens and now takes immunosuppressant drugs to reduce their impact on her life. Tim Hodgson who's a consultant in oral medicine at the Eastman Dental Institute in London has had some success treating them with drugs like thalidomide. He says that some patients fear that their recurrent ulcers could develop into oral cancer - but that simply isn't the case.

0211Viruses And Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Cartilage Repair2012091120120912

Dr Mark Porter finds out about the latest understanding and treatment of osteoarthritis.

Dr Mark Porter dispels myths about osteoarthritis. It is usually put down to ageing and the result of wear and tear with people told that the condition inevitably leads to surgery. Mark Porter investigates the latest research on the condition and discovers that a third of patients will get better through the natural repair process.

Osteoarthritis is usually put down to aging and the result of wear and tear. But as Mark Porter finds out, it should be seen as a disease in its own right and treated accordingly.

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0213'sars Like' Virus, Reflux Heartburn, Corrective Baby Helmets20120925

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

0214What Doctors Don't Tell You - Hepatitis E - Vertigo20121002
0215Stem Cells - Functional Disorders - Epilepsy - Stoptober - Whiplash2012100920121010
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0217 LASTSelf-harm - Insulin Pumps - Night Terrors - Penile Cancer2012102320121024
0301Dementia, Sleep, Thyroxine20130108

0302Junk Food, Asthma And Eczema; Salt; Fingerprinting; Tga; Amitriptyline20130115

0303Asthma - Sunbeds - Bmi - Dry Mouth2013012220130123

Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

0304Alcohol - Cancer Treatments - Hair - Halitosis2013012920130130

Dr Mark Porter on alcohol misuse and the latest numbers of deaths from alcohol in England and Wales, caffeine in shampoo, targeted cancer therapies and fear of halitosis.

0305Yellow Cards - Virtual Autopsies - Genetics - Cancer2013020520130206
0307Drinking Urine - Diclofenac - Hospital Food - Pigeon Fanciers Lung2013021920130220

Can drinking urine help you survive? The risk of heart attacks from the anti inflammatory drug, diclofenac, hospital food as medicine, and pigeon fanciers lung. With Mark Porter

0308Clinical Trials - Yellow Cards - Chemo Brain - Conduct Disorder2013022620130227
0309Nhs Reforms - Epilepsy And Pregnancy - Thermometers2013030520130306

Dr Mark Porter questions health minister Lord Howe about possible NHS reforms.

Dr Mark Porter questions Lord Howe, Minister for Health, as the government announces a U-turn to the NHS reforms following widespread concern that they would lead to privatisation by the back door, and the end of the NHS as we know it.

Why women with epilepsy need to take extra care with their contraception, and the importance of managing their medication when they do get pregnant.

And what sort of thermometer should you use when monitoring your child's temperature?

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Dr Mark Porter presents a series that aims to demystify perplexing health issues.

0311Alcohol Pricing - Phages - Cervical Smears Reax - Swaddling And Hips2013031920130320

What are the health benefits of the minimum pricing of alcohol policy? Phage therapy against bacterial infections. And does swaddling babies lead to a resurgence of abnormal hips?

0312Nhs Reforms2013032620130327

Dr Mark Porter reports on the new changes to the NHS. What do they mean for patients?

As part of NHS reforms doctors will be holding the purse strings from April 1st. In a special edition of the programme Dr Mark Porter finds out what the changes actually mean in practice. He meets GPs who have already been piloting some of the ways in which health services are commissioned to find out what they will mean for services on the ground. He also hears from GPs and hospital doctors about their concerns. One doctor says implementing GP commissioning is like flying a plane while it's being built. Why are GPs concerned and what could the changes mean for the future of our health services?

0313Obesity And Cancer - Fasting Diets - Nhs 1112013040220130403

Dr Mark Porter reports on NHS 111 - the new 24 hour urgent care number. It was meant to go live across the whole of England but has been plagued by problems.

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What's the story behind the headlines about the links between red meat and heart disease? Measles outbreak in Swansea; why head injury can lead to unrecognised pituitary damage.

0315 LASTHigh Intensity Exercise - Measles - Teeth Whitening - Voice-lift2013041620130417

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

0401Preventing Breast Cancer, Iodine Deficiency, Antibiotics For Back Pain20130625
0402Generics Versus Branded Medicines2013070220130703

Why pay more for the same thing?

0403Measles - Prostate - Juvenile Arthritis - Scruffy Docs - Xenon Lung Scanner2013070920130710

Dr Mark Porter goes on a weekly quest to demystify the health issues that perplex us.

Prostate cancer and Sir Michael Parkinson's comments this week that the test 'is if you can pee against the wall from 2 foot' - Inside Health brings you the verdict. And stiff painful joints are usually associated with getting old, but imagine being told your toddler has arthritis - Mark Porter investigates. And why the change in doctors' dress code may be doing more for Private Medicine than infection control.

0404Appendicitis - Artificial Hips - Temporal Arteritis - Urinary Stones2013071620130717

Why Elton John is waiting two weeks for his appendix operation?

0405Nhs Health Checks - Blood Service - Crohn's Disease - Gestational Diabetes2013072320130724

Dr Mark Porter reports on NHS health checks, gestational diabetes and Crohn's disease.

0406Whooping Cough - Fish Oils And Prostate Cancer - Aortic Aneurysm Screening In Men2013073020130731

Mark Porter finds out why whopping cough is on the rise and who should be concerned.