Medical Matters

Cathy MacDonald has another look at the world of medicine in Scotland.

From critical illness to healthy lifestyle, Medical Matters fills every prescription.

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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Anatomy Of A Hangover2009100420100101

Singer Aidan Moffat investigates the consequences of his drinking, from the very first tipple all the way through to the next day's hangover.

Singer Aidan Moffat investigates the consequences of his drinking.

Bulking Up2012042320120428
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20121226 (RS)

1/2

Alison Craig worries that teenage boys are risking their health by "bulking up" muscle.

Alison Craig explores fears that teenage boys risk their health by 'bulking up' muscle.

Alison Craig worries that teenage boys are risking their health by "bulking up" muscle.

Press Ups Or Prozac2012062720120701
20121226 (RS)

Poor mental health is a growing issue. One in four of us are reported to feel depressed and it's estimated one in ten takes medication for it. Mental illness is costing us big. A Scottish mental health charity puts it at 10.7 billion pounds a year - through unemployment, sick leave and spiralling rates of anti-depressant use.

But is there another way? Can we treat depression without prescribing a pill?

Since 1998 New Zealand's GPs have been prescribing physical activity as an alternative to medication and now, doctors here are following their lead. Increasingly patients suffering with mild to moderate depression are being referred to exercise schemes. It doesn't cause nasty side-effects such as weight gain or mood swings, and it's much cheaper.

But does it work? Recently a rash of stories in the media reported that exercise is ineffective when it comes to combating depression - following a study carried out by Exeter and Bristol University. Edi tracks down the researchers who wrote the report and discovers that the story was misreported - while the scientists did conclude that counselling people to take up physical activity didn't work, they are still convinced of the benefits of exercise in reducing depression.

Edi Stark explores whether exercise really can work to lighten the mood and why. She meets people who have turned their lives around through exercise; often despite a long history of mental illness and anti-depressant use.

Edi Stark looks whether exercise can be effective in tackling poor mental health.

0501Headaches2009031820090322

Cathy MacDonald looks at the full spectrum of headaches, from the mild to the immensely painful, and discusses how best to deal with them.

Cathy MacDonald looks at the full spectrum of headaches and how best to deal with them.

0502Panic Attacks2009032520090329

Edi Stark looks at the causes and symptoms of panic attacks, talks to sufferers and discusses how best to manage the condition.

Edi Stark talks to sufferers and discusses how best to manage the condition.

0503 LASTCopd2009040120090405

Pennie Taylor finds out about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which doctors consider the worst of smoking-related conditions.

0601Swine Flu2009090220090906

Pennie Taylor gets the latest information on swine flu.

Should you send your children to nursery or school? How do you balance the risks if you're pregnant?

0602Gastric Banding2009090920090913

Cathy MacDonald talks to former TV-am presenter Anne Diamond about the reasons for her weight gain and her decision to have a gastric band fitted.

Cathy MacDonald talks to TV presenter Anne Diamond about using a gastric band.

0603The Vasectomy2009091620090920

Edi Stark finds out about the emotional and physical realities of 'the snip' from two men who have undergone a vasectomy, plus she talks to medical experts about the procedure.

Edi Stark finds out about the emotional and physical realities of 'the snip'.

0604Animal Therapy2009092320090927

From Kune Kune pigs in Carstairs to horses in Dingwall, Cathy MacDonald explores the rise in popularity of animal therapy as a complementary medicine.

Cathy MacDonald explores the rise in popularity of animal therapy.

0605Standards Of Care20090930

Anna Magnusson investigates why many older patients experience a lower standard of care than they expect.

If respect is at the top of the agenda, why are so many complaining?

Anna Magnusson investigates why older patients experience a lower standard of care.

0606 LASTAnatomy Of A Hangover2009100720101229

Singer Aidan Moffat likes a sociable drink or five.

In this programme, he investigates the consequences of his actions, from the very first tipple, all the way through to the next day's hangover.

Singer Aidan Moffat investigates the consequences of his drinking.

07012011011220110116

1/4

The NHS in Scotland spent £14 million last year on their smoking cessation services which includes NRT or nicotine replacement therapy.

And yet, the statistics show that this approach has limited success.

Should the NHS be more open to alternative methods and what can we learn from the experiences of ex-smokers.

Pennie Taylor investigates.

Pennie Taylor investigates whether Scotland's strategy to invest in NRT is working.

0702The Middle-aged Sex Bomb2011011920110123

2/4 Medical Matters - The Middle-Aged Sex Bomb

Edi Stark investigates how to defuse the Scottish 'middle-aged sex bomb'.

Talking to a sociologist, a sex therapist, and various health protection experts, Edi also visits a sexual health clinic and sees what goes on behind the consultant's curtain.

She also speaks to a woman who first learned she had contracted a serious sexually transmitted infection aged 67, and learns of the repercussions on her emotionally and sexually, and on her family.

Sexual health messages are nothing new - from poster campaigns to radio adverts, We're bombarded with warnings to protect ourselves.

What we don't see though, are these warnings being aimed towards older generations.

Last year, the Family Planning Association launched the first campaign geared towards the middle-aged, and it stood out in a sea of posters, pamphlets and literature predominately aged at teens and twenty-somethings.

Featuring pictures of people dressed in 1970's clothes, and an image of a condom, it aimed to get older generations to think about protection.

However, when it comes to Scotland, the message hasn't sunk in.

According to figures from sexual health reports, Genital Warts almost doubled in this age group from 1999-2008.

Herpes and Chlamydia are also on the increase.

Although overall numbers remain relatively low compared to younger age groups, it is the level of increase that's concerning.

Medical Matters exposes myths, offers advice and most of all uncovers why a Scottish shortfall in confidence, communication and awareness may be causing sexual health in the over forties to detonate.

STIs are on the rise in Scotland among over-45s.

What's behind the middle-aged sex bomb?

2/4 Medical Matters - Football on the Brain

BBC Programme Number - 10Q08002SS

Football is giving "remarkable" new life to people with dementia, as discovered by a groundbreaking Scottish project.

As with all the best ideas, the simplicity and effectiveness of the approach is so remarkable that it is incredible that nobody stumbled upon it before, and yet it came about during a conversation between a group of Scottish football fans.

Michael White is the Falkirk Football Club historian and sits on the board of a care home.

He'd discovered that old football photos were a "potent trigger" for fans with dementia.

This stimuli opened up discussions about memories of players and games and greatly reduced levels of anger and frustration with those men and women participating in these reminiscence sessions.

He got the Scottish Football Museum involved, they contacted Glasgow Caledonian University, and pretty soon the international medical community was aware of the discovery.

The results have been so rewarding that the idea is being exported to Canada, with ice hockey providing the key to communication.

Professor Debbie Tolson is the director of the university's Centre for Evidence Based Care of Older People.

She embarked on an evaluation to see if this approach genuinely worked.

Her results were impressive and she describes this kind of reminiscence work as something that could "make a big impact".

There are nearly 25 million people with dementia across the world, with an estimated 4.6 million new cases each year.

This programme follows the Centre's progress and evaluates the impact on the lives of those they're working with.

Scottish football is giving 'remarkable' new life to people with dementia.

070320110126

Series investigating matters of health and wellbeing.

0705The Peri-menopause20120312

From your late mid 40s things start to go a bit irregular. Either non-stop rivers of Babylon or once in a blue moon.

Sleeplessness, hot flushes, mood swings, low sex drive, weight gain, memory loss are just a few of the symptoms that that might indicate the peri-menopause. But what is the peri-menopause and how do you know you're in it? Alison Craig talks to the women who have been there and meets the experts who can offer various solutions.

The peri-menopause? Never heard of it? Alison Craig reveals all.

? Never heard of it? Alison Craig reveals all.

0705The Peri-menopause20120310
0705The Peri-menopause2011020920120305

From your late mid 40s things start to go a bit irregular. Either non-stop rivers of Babylon or once in a blue moon.

Sleeplessness, hot flushes, mood swings, low sex drive, weight gain, memory loss are just a few of the symptoms that that might indicate the peri-menopause. But what is the peri-menopause and how do you know you're in it? Alison Craig talks to the women who have been there and meets the experts who can offer various solutions.

The peri-menopause? Never heard of it? Alison Craig reveals all.

08Life After Death20120402

Medical Matters explores why more people don't donate their organs.

4/4

Crime writer Denise Mina speaks with doctors and nurses, donor families and recipients to explore our fears and expose the myths about organ donation.

More than 750 people in Scotland are waiting for an organ which could save their life. Across the UK three people die every day on the waiting list.

Research suggests people are conflicted over donation. While over 90 per cent of people support it, only 30 per cent of the population have signed up to the donor register.

Denise confronts the issues and asks what more can be done to increase transplants.

0801Chronic Kids2012031220120617

Jane Williams explores how kids with chronic conditions learn to look after themselves.

0801Chronic Kids2012031220120613
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Jane Williams explores how kids with chronic conditions learn to look after themselves.

0802Chronic Kids2012031220120317
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Jane Williams explores how kids with chronic conditions learn to look after themselves.

2/4.

0802Sport Of Hard Knocks2012031920120602
20121226 (RS)

Could sports such as rugby and football, great for fitness and socialising, actually be creating conditions for dementia-like symptoms to set in on the brain for some people? John Beattie investigates how the innocuous and not-so-innocuous knocks taken by players are being shown to potentially have debilitating effects years later, unknown to the former players.

Taking the research from the crushing sport of American Football as a starting point, John discovers what lessons could be learnt for people who play rugby, football and other sports.

2/2

0803Life After Death2012032620120624

Medical Matters explores why more people don't donate their organs.

0803Life After Death2012032620120623

Medical Matters explores why more people don't donate their organs.

0803Life After Death2012032620120620

Crime writer Denise Mina speaks with doctors and nurses, donor families and recipients to explore our fears and expose the myths about organ donation.

Almost 800 people in Scotland are waiting for an organ which could save their life. Across the UK three people die every day on the waiting list.

Research suggests people are feel conflicted over donation. While over 90 per cent of people support it, only 30 per cent of the population have signed up to the donor register.

It was the death of her friend, the writer Frank Deasy in 2009, that convinced Denise to sign up to the register. He had been waiting for a liver transplant for seven months when he died.

In 'Life After Death' Denise goes on a personal journey to confront the issues and ask what more can be down to convince people to donate their organs and those of their family members.

0803Sport Of Hard Knocks2012031920120326
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3/4

Could sports such as rugby and football, great for fitness and socialising, actually be creating conditions for dementia-like symptoms to set in on the brain? John Beattie investigates how the innocuous and not-so-innocuous knocks taken by players are being shown to potentially have debilitating effects years later, unknown to the former players.

Taking the research from the crushing sport of American Football as a starting point, John discovers what lessons could be learnt for people who play rugby, football and other sports.

John Beattie asks whether his brain could have long term damage from his rugby career.

0804 LASTLife After Death2012032620120331

Medical Matters explores why more people don't donate their organs.

Crime writer Denise Mina speaks with doctors and nurses, donor families and recipients to explore our fears and expose the myths about organ donation.

More than 750 people in Scotland are waiting for an organ which could save their life. Across the UK three people die every day on the waiting list.

Research suggests people feel conflicted over donation. Over 90 per cent of people support it, and yet only 30 per cent of the population have signed up to the donor register.

Denise confronts the issues and asks if more can be done to increase transplants. 4/4.

206A01Shift Work20060104

Cathy MacDonald has another look at the world of medicine in Scotland.

From critical illness to healthy lifestyle, Medical Matters fills every prescription.

206A0220060111
206A0320060118

At what point do a series of little health niggles add up to something serious? In Medical Matters, Cathy MacDonald talks to a woman who watched her health disinegrate never once thinking she was ill.

For further information contact: The British Thyroid Foundation, PO Box 97, Clifford, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 6XD.

Tel/Fax: 01423 709707 or 01423 709448.

206A0420060201

MRSA outbreaks are still making the headlines in Scotland, despite the Scottish Executive's task force on healthcare acquired infections.

Cathy MacDonald looks back at the work of the task force.

206A052006020820060209

Documentary investigating the use of new experimental treatments to treat illness and disability.

Cathy MacDonald looks at the harm caused by passive smoking.

206A0620060215

6/8.

Documentary investigating the use of new experimental treatments to treat illness and disability.

Cathy MacDonald looks at the basic skills of mental health first aid.

206A0720060222

Documentary investigating the use of new experimental treatments to treat illness and disability.

Cathy MacDonald talks to people about their recovery from depression.

206A08 LAST2006030120060302

The NHS in Scotland is to start employing people who have recovered from mental illness to help those in the same boat.

Cathy MacDonald looks at this unique development in mental health services.

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Cathy MacDonald looks at the benefits of hyperbaric chambers, which can treat an impressive list of ailments.

Programme examining treatments and issues in Scottish medicine.

206C022006071220060713

Like a well oiled engine, our bodies will only perform at their best if they're fuelled properly.

Cathy MacDonald takes a critical look at our diet to reveal what we should be eating and when, whether we're sitting exams, running a 10K, or simply want to avoid that post-lunch early afternoon slump.

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Cathy MacDonald looks at whether the elderly are bearing the brunt of a shortage of resources in the NHS and how simple projects could transform their experience in hospital.

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Cathy MacDonald heads off to the country to find one of our most dangerous parasites, hopefully before it finds her - Lyme disease which spreads by sheep ticks.

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We thought we'd wiped out diseases rife in the 19th century such as scarlet fever and rickets.

So why are they making a comeback in Scotland in the 21st century? Cathy MacDonald finds out why we've failed to eradicate them, and how modern medicine can best protect us.

206C072006081620060817

Cathy MacDonald looks at the revolution going on in cancer care, including a new treatment pioneered in Scotland.

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8/9.

How can you get the best from the NHS? From minor ailments to life-threatening disease, Cathy MacDonald explores the latest developments in medicine from across Scotland.

206C092006083020060831

9/11.

How can you get the best from the NHS? From minor ailments to life-threatening disease, Cathy MacDonald explores the latest developments in medicine from across Scotland.

206C102006090620060907

Catch some good Zzzzs last night? If so, you're lucky.

Many of us just don't get enough sleep, and conditions such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnoea are common.

Cathy Macdonald investigates the troubled world of sleep, and the treatments available.

206C11 LAST2006091320060914

Cathy MacDonald investigates the use of new experimental treatments to treat illness and disability.

This edition looks at the condition of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

207A01Nhs 242007010320070104

Cathy MacDonald listens in on a night of NHS 24 calls and asks if enough has been done to rebuild patients shattered confidence in medical help at the end of the phone?

207A02Knives2007011020070111

Scotland's knife problem is now seen as a major threat to public health.

Cathy MacDonald looks at how doctors and police are joining forces to try and combat it.

207A032007011720070118

Cathy MacDonald investigates the pros and cons of the latest generation of biologic drugs aimed at combating the skin condition, Psoriasis.

207A042007012420070125

First it was saturated fats, then it was cholesterol, now transfats are the latest nutritional bogeyman.

What are they and why are they so bad for us? Cathy MacDonald fills her shopping basket to discover just how much transfat we unknowingly consume.

She'll also ask the question: if they're effectively banned in some countries why don't we even have them labelled on our food?

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Have you ever missed the last couple of tablets in a course of antibiotics? Did you keep up the physiotherapy after that break or sprain? If your answers are no then you're not alone.

Half of us fail to complete treatments given to us by our doctors.

Cathy MacDonald investigates why our compliance with treatment is often so poor and looks at the ways it might be improved.

207A07 LAST2007021420070215
207B01Me - 12007062720070628

As part of a special double feature, Medical Matters explores one of the most misunderstood and controversial of diseases, ME.

Cathy MacDonald reveals the cutting edge research aimed at finding a cure for ME.

She explores the widespread misconceptions about it and some of the alternative therapies which have proved helpful for some sufferers.

207B022007070420070705

In a special primetime edition, Cathy MacDonald discovers why the menopause can be a source of liberation and celebration.

For generations of women it was a taboo subject but now, with 50 being the new 40, women are in their prime.

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How much do we know about what's in the food we eat? Cathy McDonald examines what colourings and preservatives are to be found in even the most innocuous of foods, and whether we should avoid them.

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With statistics revealing a serious increase in alcohol related liver disease in Scotland, Cathy MacDonald explores what's causing this increase and what can be done about it.

207B052007072520070726

Cathy MacDonald speaks to people who suffer from Crohn's Disease, a debilitating condition which is on the increase in Scotland.

She hears about recent advances in research into the causes of the illness, and how successful treatments can make it possible to live a relatively normal life.

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Cathy MacDonald reveals how a pioneering Scottish research project aims to help end insomniacs' restless nights.

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Cathy MacDonald discovers the challenges of providing people with palliative care.

207B09 LAST2007082220070823

Rod Stewart and Michael Douglas have both fathered children later in life, but could men have reason to fear the ticking of their biological clock? With Cathy MacDonald.

208A012008010220080103

As the party dresses go back in the wardrobe Cathy MacDonald explores what health risks we're prepared to run for the sake of fashion.

From those killer heels to the trend for bigger and bigger tattoos, is looking good always worth it?

208A022008010920080110

While doctors fear that type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, much less publicised has been the quadrupling of patients being diagnosed with type 1.

Even more worrying is that the biggest increase has been in children under five.

Cathy MacDonald investigates why we're witnessing such an explosion in both diseases and whether there might be a common cause.

208A03Snoring2008011620080117

No one wants to admit to it and fewer still do anything about it.

But for a condition that can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, relationship problems and potentially affect the health of anyone within earshot, it's anything but trivial.

Ignoring it can also mean that more serious health problems go untreated.

Cathy MacDonald pulls back the covers on one of Scotland's most undertreated health problems to find out if we're too embarrassed to get a good night's sleep.

208A042008012320080124

Surveys show that 80% of addicts want to kick their self destructive habit.

The problem is addiction services in Scotland are geared towards reducing the harm from drugs rather than helping people off them.

But this is about to change with the piloting of new abstinence services.

Cathy MacDonald goes inside one of these new centres to find out that what they offer is a long, hard road of self discovery, hopefully leading to a life without the need for drugs.

208A052008013020080131

Cathy MacDonald presents the second of two programmes following the latest developments in treating addictions.

She tracks the progress of two patients after their completion of Scotland's first drug abstinence programme as they begin to put their lives back together.

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2007 saw one of the highest annual figures of new HIV infections in Scotland for 20 years.

Presenter Cathy MacDonald finds out how the route to infection has changed over the last two decades, and how Scotland is fighting it.

208A072008021320080214

You can't feel it and you certainly can't hear it but ultrasound encourages damaged tissues to heal, destroys tumours and even blasts kidney stones apart.

Yet it also allows us to look inside our bodies to see unborn babies.

Cathy MacDonald finds out how this Scottish invention, originally used to detect flaws in tank armour, has become essential in almost every branch of medicine.

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Writer Donna Franceschild draws on her own recent experiences of mental illness to investigate the unregulated world of internet support sites.

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While the treatment of stroke has made huge progress, in many cases it still isn't being treated as a medical emergency.

Pennie Taylor looks at how this is all about to change.

208C03 LAST20080924

It used to be that almost all operations meant an extended stay in hospital, but with new techniques being developed all the time these stays are getting shorter and shorter.

The result is that you get home sooner, hospital efficiency goes up and waiting lists come down.

But is this shift to short stay and one-day surgeries the win everyone thinks?