Did you know that according to Psychology Today, eight out of ten people with an eating disorder do not seek treatment? Or that being an extremely picky eater could mean that you are suffering from an eating disorder? In this month's episode of Hadassah On Call, we delve into eating disorders with Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub, director of the Herman Dana Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), and Efrat Dreizner, coordinator of social work in the psychiatry departments at HMO. These experts share insights into how to recognize and treat eating disorders in children, adults and even sometimes babies.
Around 5% of the Israeli population, some 400,000 people, suffer from various eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and others — but around 20% of them are adolescents. In the United States, about 10 million people suffer from eating disorders, making it the third most common chronic illness in America. And according to Dr. Galili-Weisstub, eating disorders have the highest death rate than any other psychiatric illness. With these statistics, it is also not surprising that in the US, someone dies from an eating disorder every 52 minutes.
Hadassah, situated in the heart of Jerusalem, treats eating disorder patients from all sects of Israeli society and of all ages. Along with this, the department is currently engaged in a study helping scientists to evaluate who is at higher risk of developing a disorder and if precision medicine might be used to identify biological links to them. The results are ongoing, Dr. Galili-Weisstub said. One thing that has been identified is that people with eating disorders appear to have more uric acid, a waste product in the blood. "We are trying to understand the illness better and in what areas of treatment we need to invest," Dr. Galili-Weisstub said. The full findings still need to be publishable.
But are there long-term consequences of eating disorders that we may not have considered? Absolutely, as Dr. Galili-Weisstub mentions, anorexia can affect bone density, leading to shorter stature and fertility.
Likewise, Dreizner cautions that parents who think their daughters might be suffering from an eating disorder should talk to them and consider contacting a professional.
Our episode also features tips for parents, possible causes of eating disorders and much more. Tune in and listen to our informative conversation with these two Hadassah leaders.
- Check Out Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub as a previous guest on Hadassah On Call: After Pittsburgh, Hadassah Expert Offers Coping Strategies for Children
- Helping Children Deal With Trauma
- Hadassah Medical Organization Sends Top Adolescent Trauma Expert to Mexico to Aid Earthquake-Ravaged Victims
- Mexican Health Secretary Praises Help Received from Israel and Hadassah Expert Post Earthquakes
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The show is hosted by Maayan Hoffman and produced by the team at the Hadassah offices in both New York and Israel
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If you are enjoying this episode, you’ll want to check out our previous episode, Heart Matters: Exploring Innovative Heart Treatments with Dr. David Planer, director of the department of Interventional Cardiology. He talks about how his department’s innovative techniques take patients from near death to full recovery.
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