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The human body is one of the greatest marvels most of us will ever encounter in our lifetimes.
It’s the vessel that guides us through our day to day lives and let’s face it, it’s one hell of a feat of biological engineering.
But how do our bodies really work? That’s a question that Kate Garraway hopes to answer as part of her latest BBC series ‘Your Body Uncovered’.
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Working alongside a team of experts, the show aims to help connect patients and the public with an in depth look at just what’s taking place beneath the surface, through talks, virtual reality demonstrations and clear on screen visuals.
In Wednesday night’s episode, Kate spoke to Rozi about her ongoing battle with Covid-19.
The 71 year old, who lives with her husband, was infected with the virus back in 2020, and as a result suffered extensive lung damage.
In scenes shown in the programme, a team of experts were able to explain how viruses can affect the alveoli, tiny, balloon-shaped air sacs in the lungs.
Their job is to move oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules into and out of your bloodstream. This means that when they are damaged by a virus, in this case coronavirus, it can make the process less efficient and as a result the body doesn’t work as well as it should as a result of too little oxygen.
The programme also introduced us to another patient, 64 year old Adrian, who originally hailed from Yorkshire, but now lives in London.
Unlike Rozi, whose problem was with the lasting effects of Covid, Adrian suffers from an entirely different problem – an enlarged prostate.
Thanks to this relatively common condition, he sometimes has to urinate 5-6 times an hour, hardly emptying his bladder despite the constant trips to the bathroom
This is especially difficult for when he wants to go out and live his life, or to pursue his keen hobby as a cyclist.
“The issue has become where do I go to the loo? And it will be there all day.”
“It’s like having your grumpy mate with you that is always hankering for something and in this case, it’s having a pee. It’s with me all the time, you never escape from it.”
Although the problem started some time ago, at first Adrian ignored it in the hopes that it was only a temporary problem.
“I didn’t go the doctor right away as I just thought it would right itself.”
But as his symptoms worsened over time, Adrian finally sought medical attention to treat this growing problem.
“The doctors said, I have enlarging of the prostate, that comes with age of men.”
Benign enlarging of the prostate is a condition in which affects 50% of men in their 50s and up to 90% of men in their 80s. The prostate itself is a small organ situated just beneath the male bladder and it continues to grow throughout a man’s lifetime.
A frequent need to pee, and a weak stream are just two of the most common symptoms, but in Adrian’s case he sometimes also stops passing urine altogether, a condition called urinary retention which when left untreated can become extremely painful.
As a result, he has learnt how to intermittently self-catheterise, which allows him to insert a long tube into his urethra to pass urine, when it becomes blocked.
As part of the programme, Adrian was able to visit an interventional radiologist at St.Mary’s hospital in London, who showed him a closer look at what a normal urinary system should look like, before showing him his own.
Despite the discomfort and inconvenience he had been experiencing however, he was thankfully reassured that his enlarged prostate was not caused by anything cancerous. He did however, undergo a procedure in theatre to help reduce the size of his prostate and allow him to urinate more normally.
Following the interesting episode, many viewers took to twitter to discuss their thoughts on the show.
“Astounding. #YourBodyUncovered . This is a fantastic way to learn about the human body,” said @EvolveBN.
@DawnieMac also applauded the show, by tweeting “This show was amazing. It has to be the future of patient care. Could be used to teach too.”
Similar sentiments were also shared by @SusieMartiniPT who said “Fantastic watching the augmented reality in #yourbodyuncovered this must be the future of anatomy teaching. Well jel, as they say. Bringing the wonder of the human body to everybody!”
Charlie Harden agreed, saying “These are simply stunning images #yourbodyuncovered ”
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Paul Burrows also shared nothing but praise for the show, saying “Fascinating episode tonight. Fair play to Adrian for sharing his man problems and great to better understand how covid impacts your lungs”
Others weren’t so thrilled with the pacing of the show. Speaking about the first patient, Roz, @landrews2702 tweeted: “This woman came in to find out about the damage that Covid did to her body, and we finally see it after fifteen minutes of filler.”
While viewer @FlopsyPickle expressed her concern for how Adrian had let his problem get so bad before seeking help. She tweeted: “It’s worrying that this guy has been left to get to this point. If a doctor knows you are unable to urinate at times, needing to self catheterise, he should know how enlarged the prostate is and that it needed treating, quickly.”
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