Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine

Eating Disorders: Not Just About Food

Extreme picky eating and shorter stature are just two topics linked to eating disorders. We delve into these and more in this episode with Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub, dir. of the Herman Dana Div. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Efrat Dreizner, coordinator of social work.


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IN THIS Episode

Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub

Efrat Dreizner

Area of specialty

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Episode Transcript

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About this episode

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.

Further learning:

"Hadassah On Call: New Frontiers in Medicine" is a production of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Hadassah enhances the health of people around the world through medical education, care and research innovations at the Hadassah Medical Organization. For more information on the latest advances in medicine please head over to hadassah.org.

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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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Our recent episode with Dr. David Planer:

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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About our guests

Dr. Esti Galili-Weisstub is the Director of the Herman Dana Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Hadassah Medical Organization. She is the Former chairman of the Israeli union for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Member of the Israeli union of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry examination and was also the Secretary of the Israeli company for analytical psychology.

Efrat Dreizner is the Coordinator of social work in the psychiatry departments at Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO). A Master of Social Work, psychotherapist and CBT therapist, Dreizner specializes in eating-disorder daycare for adults. She has worked at HMO for 17 years.