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Inside Health

Podcast Inside Health
Podcast Inside Health

Inside Health


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  • Is a fungal pandemic possible?
    James Gallagher asks whether the next pandemic might be an invasive fungi? Most people think of athlete's foot or fungal toe nails but the World Health Organisation recently issued the first ever list of life threatening fungi. James hears stories of hospitals being shut down, a ruined honeymoon and fungal infections that consume human tissue leaving terrible disfigurement. Add to that ‘The Last of Us’ a hit video game turned new TV series where a parasitic fungus manipulating the brains of ants has jumped to people. Sounds fanciful but while this particular fungus couldn’t cross from ants to humans, Dr Neil Stone explains why invasive fungal infections are on the rise and a potential pandemic should not be dismissed. Producer, Erika Wright
  • Maggot therapy for difficult wounds
    The rise of antibiotic resistance means that we need alternatives to fight infections - and some healthcare professionals are turning to maggot therapy to help clean up wounds. They might be treating people living with diabetes who can experience a loss of sensation in their feet because of high blood sugar levels. Damage to their blood vessels can also slow down healing. Melanie Rix Taylor from Swansea has type 1 diabetes and had a quarter of her foot amputated because of an infection. When the skin around the wound started to die she was offered maggot therapy. After just a few days the larvae placed on her foot in a small bag - a bit like a teabag - digested the dead skin, helping to promote healing. Her Podiatrist at Morriston hospital Ros Thomas explains how she's used maggots hundreds of times, with great success. The larvae of the greenbottle fly species Lucilia sericata are supplied to the NHS on prescription with an average cost of £200-£300 from BioMonde in Bridgend. James visits their fly room with entomologist Micah Flores, helping him to collect some of the fly eggs which are then thoroughly cleaned and prepared so they can then be used on patients. As well as consuming dead tissue, the larvae also produce anti-microbial secretions and help to promote healing. Professor Yamni Nigam from Swansea University - who's advised television programmes like Casualty about storylines on maggot therapy - is a big fan of the creatures which have a long history of being medically useful, long before scientists found the scientific proof to support their use. She wants to help people to get over their initial disgust so that they can be used more widely, instead of as a last resort. Photo credit: Maggot/BioMonde
  • Why is everyone ill? Can ketamine and therapy treat alcoholism?
    Covid and other bugs have ripped through the Inside Health team, so we find out why everyone seems to be getting sick at the moment and if we will be facing a torrent of infections for months or even years to come. We see how easy it is to buy antibiotics online and why scientists are worried about it. And can ketamine and its mind-altering powers can help free people from addiction to alcohol? Get in touch: [email protected]
  • Lazy Guide to Exercise
    It’s January. Christmas is a distant memory and nobody feels much like getting off the sofa, but luckily this episode can help. James Gallagher is on a mission to find out what is the least amount of exercise you can do to still stay healthy. James goes on a Ramblers wellbeing walk, uses a treadmill for the first time and takes a hot bath all to find out how lazy he can be. His guide Dr Zoe Saynor at University of Portsmouth explains this is the question everyone asks and offers simple tips about how little you can do. Presenter: James Gallagher Producers: Gerry Holt and Erika Wright
  • How can a cold home affect your health?
    James is in South Wales where he's wired up and locked inside a cryo-lab to discover the impact of cold on the human body. A temperature of 10C seems pretty mild doesn’t it - yet James is shocked at the profound stress it puts on his body. Today we discover why cold is a killer and what you can do about it if you’re struggling to heat your home. Presenter: James Gallagher Producer: Gerry Holt

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