Eating Disorders on the rise in the UAE
The number of young people battling eating disorders in the United Arab Emirates looks to be on the rise, as research compiled and published by the University of Sharjah noted three main reasons for the growth in statistics amongst students.
According to their report 60% of those of surveyed were of a healthy weight, despite 45% of respondents having concerns about their body shape. A further 33% were also said to be at a high risk of developing an eating disorder.
When asked for the reasons behind their body image issues, a third of respondents highlighted family pressures - making it the biggest single issue. Behind that however came two more modern reasons: The influence of social media and the traditional media, and the upheaval caused by a move to the Emirates.
Experts believe that the latter may play a bigger role than previously thought.
Lead researcher and assistant professor at the department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sharjah, Dr Hadia Radwan said: “Comments from family members affect the eating behaviour of children. We found that comments they receive from parents, especially in the mother and daughter relationship, has an impact on future health and body satisfaction.”
Speaking to ‘The National’ clinical dietician, Ayla Coussa, highlighted why she believes the changes brought about by a move could be a bigger factor than ever before. She said: “As there are expats coming and leaving, it’s a huge change for families and kids to go to a new school and culture. Many teenagers want to be in control and change is something that can be a trigger for eating disorders.
“Moving to a new country is all about changing environment, changing schools, getting accustomed to new culture and making new friends. The only way teenagers sometimes try to be in control is through their food. If it's not anorexia, it can be binge eating.”
Placenta Percreta Patient Saved in Sharjah
Medics at The University Hospital Sharjah successfully carried out surgery on a patient with a Placenta Percreta - whilst also managing to save both her uterus and bladder.
The 36 year old patient, who was 32 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, was diagnosed with the condition following follow-up ultrasound scans - having originally been diagnosed with placenta accrete, the more mild form of the issue.
In her case the placenta had penetrated the uterine wall, attaching itself to her bladder. That left her with the risks of invasive surgery, as outlined by the hospital’s Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Dr Kauser Mansoor Baig.
She said: “"Most of the time, we have to sacrifice the uterus because this procedure leads to severe internal bleeding. In 95 per cent of these cases, the patient loses their uterus. The patient also had the added risk of losing her bladder. When she came to me, I counseled her that this was a possibility that she should be mindful of.”
A team of surgeons, anaesthesiologists, pediatricians and intensive care specialists set to work, with blood transfusions carefully matched and kept nearby. The patient lost over seven liters of blood during the surgery, however incredibly managed to retain both her uterus and bladder.
Dr Baig continued: “When we performed the two-hour surgery, the bladder dissection was successful and the placenta was removed. We also made a new wall for the uterus, and thankfully, saved both of her organs.”
After just two days in intensive care the patient was moved onto a ward, returning home on the fourth day and giving birth just a few days later.
Zulekha Healthcare Opens New Clinic in Sharjah
Zulekha Healthcare has opened a new clinic in its Sharjah Hospital, aimed at helping to reduce the Gulf’s high rates of lifestyle related health conditions.
The new ‘Lifestyle Clinic’ will offer patients assessments on their diets, lifestyle and the amount of exercise they take - as well as a consultations and reviews aimed at helping them make the right decisions for their health.
Obesity rates in the United Arab Emirates are almost double the global average, with reports showing that 70% of men and 67% of women in the country are overweight. Reducing this figure is a key aim of the country’s ‘Vision 2021’ healthcare goals, and the new facility in Sharjah looks as if it will be the first of many new lifestyle focused centres.
The clinic is set to offer support in dietetics, bariatrics, endocrinology and psychiatry, with other areas potentially being offered depending on demand in the future.
Speaking at the official opening of the new facility, MD of Zulekha, Taher Shams, said: “Lifestyle choices significantly impact how a person goes about life on a daily basis, and it is very easy to slip into bad choices when it comes to nutrition or exercise. Our new clinic’s purpose is to provide tailored consultation and education for people in the UAE so that they can begin, or continue, a healthy lifestyle journey resulting in a healthier and happier population.
“Over the last five decades, Zulekha Healthcare Group has strived to support people across the region and we believe in taking preventative steps to safeguard our community. UAE residents tend to be fuelled by raw ambitions that allow them to reach beyond their limits. This can often see people’s health take a back seat, and we hope that the clinic will empower residents of the UAE to make health a priority.”
Sharjah is often overlooked by medics considering a move to the UAE, however with world class healthcare facilities and a lower cost of living than neighbouring Dubai it has plenty to offer. For more information, and the latest job alerts, register on our website today. A dream move could be closer than you might imagine.