National Obesity Treatment Center helping prevent Type 2 diabetes
February 20 2018 09:00 PM
Dr Monica Skarulis
Dr Monica Skarulis


Obesity, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, is being treated at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) National Obesity Treatment Center through a unique bariatric and weight management service.

The Centre is caring for those who have the highest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes or other related conditions. Close to 60% of Qatar’s population below the age of 30 years is thought to be obese with more than 70% of the population considered overweight or obese, according to a statement from HMC.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex metabolic disease characterised by insulin resistance and progressive failure of pancreatic beta cells, resulting in hyperglycemia.

According to Dr Monica Skarulis, director, National Obesity Treatment Center, if obesity is treated and the affected individual is able to reduce the weight to a healthier range, the progression to Type 2 diabetes can be slowed or even stopped. “Research conducted in many countries tells us that treating obesity and getting people to a healthy weight range can prevent a number of chronic diseases, including Type 2 diabetes. Our mission is to find those people who fall into the obese category and motivate them to lose between 5 to 7% of their body weight to prevent diabetes.”

“Most people with diabetes are overweight or obese. Some research estimates that obesity increases one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by well over 50% – which makes it a major risk factor that can be influenced, unlike risk factors that cannot, such as family history, age, and ethnicity. Lifestyle changes around eating, physical activity, and weight loss can significantly reduce one’s risk of developing the disease,” explained Dr Skarulis.

Mubarak Ghadeer al-Khalil, a patient of the National Obesity Treatment Center and identified as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes due to his weight, is currently undergoing treatment at the facility and has lost 21kg. He has also been able to control his blood sugar levels by following a ten-month weight management programme.

Located in building 311 in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, the National Obesity Treatment Center is staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of bariatric physicians, endocrinologists, dietitians, physiotherapists, and nurses who co-ordinate care and develop personalised plans for each patient.

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