Inside Health

BBC Radio 4


Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice, with the help of regular contributor GP Margaret McCartney


Gestational diabetes, Low-carb diets, Needle pain

July 7th, 2015

Episode 285 of 345 episodes

Diabetes in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, is on the increase, and the risks to mother and baby if this condition is untreated, are very serious. Around one in fourteen pregnant women will develop GD, but the risk is much greater according to age and weight of the mother, whether there's a history of diabetes in the family and in certain ethnic groups. Dr Mark Porter visits The Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, where Dr Helen Murphy introduces him to the specialist teams that enable 70% of the women diagnosed there to manage their diabetes through diet and exercise, rather than medication. The UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NICE, has introduced new guidelines for diagnosing gestational diabetes which differ from international thresholds backed by the World Health Organisation. Mark talks to researcher Dr Claire Meek from The Rosie, one of the authors of research published in the journal Diabetologia, which found that up to 4,000 women, at risk of serious birth complications, would be missed under the new UK criteria. The teams at The Rosie are shunning the new NICE guidelines and continuing to follow the WHO thresholds. Professor Rudy Bilous, who runs the Diabetes in Pregnancy Service at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and chaired the development group at NICE that produced the new diagnostic guidelines, tells Mark that he's confident that the thresholds, which were drawn up using the latest available evidence, are set at the right level. Weight loss properties and low carbohydrate diets: listener Mark Robins from Southampton describes his success following a low carb diet (he lost nearly four stone in a year) and Inside Health's Dr Margaret McCartney and Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at the University of Oxford discuss the evidence behind weight loss and low carb diets. The number of children who say they are afraid of injections is increasing and Dr Amy Baxter, a paediatric emergency doctor from Atlanta, Georgia and an expert in needle pain, has shown a link between the number of jabs and fear of needles. UK children have up to 15 vaccinations, with the new Meningitis B on the horizon, so managing that fear is important. Dr Baxter tells Mark what parents and health care professionals can do to help, and saying "Sit still, don't move, this will only hurt a bit", isn't recommended! Producer: Fiona Hill.

Featured Podcast