The Psychiatric Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is conducting an Open Day lecture on Eating Disorders this week. The half-hour public lecture will be delivered by Dr Suhaila Ghuloum, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at HMC, and will be held at 05:30pm on 21 November at HMC’s Psychiatric Department, located near The Center roundabout.
The lecture will be followed by an open discussion where Dr Ghuloum will welcome questions from the public.
According to Dr Ghuloum, eating disorders usually manifest during early adolescence, particularly among teenage girls. There are three types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia and obesity. “Anorexia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by abnormal eating behavior and severe self-induced weight loss. People with anorexia have an extreme fear of gaining weight, which causes them to try to maintain a weight far less than normal. They will do almost anything to avoid gaining weight, including starving themselves, exercising too much, or overusing diet pills.”
“People with anorexia have a distorted body image. They think they are fat even when they are extremely thin. This disorder most commonly affects women, particularly teenage girls, with a ratio of 10 to 1 compared to males,” Dr Ghuloum said. “Cases of anorexia are increasing worldwide because young women struggle to maintain a slim body to satisfy ideals of beauty. This may lead to nutritional disorders that can adversely affect their health.”
Another type of eating disorder is bulimia, where a person binges on food or has regular episodes of overeating, and feels a loss of control. “The person then uses different methods, such as vomiting or abusing laxatives, to prevent weight gain. Bulimia most commonly affects women, with a ratio of 4 to 1 compared to males. A person with bulimia will have binge-purge episodes,” Dr Ghuloum explained.
“The third type of eating disorder is obesity, which may lead to depression, social isolation and loss of self-confidence. It is also a risk factor for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease,” Dr Ghuloum said. The lecture will explain the symptoms of these eating disorders, methods of diagnosis and various ways of prevention and treatment.
Dr Ghuloum said many patients with eating disorders seek treatment and psychiatric counseling at HMC’s Psychiatric Department. The lecture on eating disorders is the latest in a series of monthly educational lectures held by HMC as part of a public awareness program on different psychiatric issues.