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Obesity Management and Treatment for Type II Diabetes

Dr. Maisara Rahman discusses the health risks of obesity and how it relates to the risk for Diabetes.
Obesity Management and Treatment for Type II Diabetes
Featured Speaker:
Maisara Rahman, MD
Maisara Rahman, MD graduated from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. She completed her Family Medicine Residency Training at Riverside County Regional Medical Center and became the Chief Resident.  She is board certified with the American Academy of Family Physicians and is president of the California Academy of Family Physicians for the San Bernardino-Riverside Chapter.

Learn more about Maisara Rahman, MD

Melanie Cole (Host): Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes. Getting your obesity under control, learning how to manage it can help you reduce that risk of diabetes. In this diabetes series that we’re doing here from Temecula Valley Hospital, my guest is Dr. Maisara Rahman. She’s a family medicine physician and a member of the medical staff at Temecula Valley Hospital. Dr. Rahman, tell us about obesity. What’s the definition of it? We hear BMI. What is that?

Dr. Maisara Rahman (Guest): So BMI – so BMI is your body mass index, that’s what it stands for. It’s the patient’s weight in kilograms and it’s divided by their height, and so your BMI is actually an indicator of whether or not you’re obese or morbid obese or overweight.

Host: Tell us about the numbers then. What do they mean and what is classified as obese or overweight?

Dr. Rahman: Okay, so if your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range. If the BMI is actually less than 25, that is considered normal. If the BMI is between 25 and 30 then that patient’s considered overweight, and if their BMI is over 30, that is considered in the obesity range.

Host: One of the questions I hear a lot, Dr. Rahman, is that BMI – like I’m 4 foot 10 and when my BMI’s a little higher, I’m not obese at all, but I have a lot of muscle mass, so it doesn’t kind of take into account that, does it? I mean it’s height and weight based, not really body type based.

Dr. Rahman: That is correct. So you may be a little bit over because of your muscle mass. We need to take that into account, so it’s not necessarily a sign of – you really have to be seen by us and we have to go over your BMI and over your history and all that, so if somebody is working out and they have more muscle mass, then we can document that and that goes into your record.

Host: So what do you want us to know about obesity and if your doctor tells you that your BMI is high and you’re overweight, what’s your best advice for losing weight? It’s one of the hardest things we could do.

Dr. Rahman: Absolutely yeah. One of the main things is it’s really important to tell patients that they’re overweight or they’re in the obesity range and counsel them about the complications of having obesity. One of the main complications of obesity, inactivity, and a poor diet, and a poor lifestyle is actually getting type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and all those three together just increase their chances of getting cardiovascular disease in the future. So part of our job is to really counsel our patients and let them know that we need to help them to make better choices in terms of their lifestyle and to also be very mindful of their diet and to help them to get the help that hey need in terms of getting them to a nutritionist, possibly even counseling them about different types of diet and increasing their physical activity weekly.

Host: What about things like bariatric surgery? Is that a tool, something that can help people to lose weight if they are severely obese and have diabetes?

Dr. Rahman: That is a great question because I have had several patients who’s BMI is over 40, which is considered in the morbid obesity range, and in those patients they’ve struggled all of their lives trying to lose weight and they were unable to lose weight, and when they came to me I talked to them about bariatric surgery and there’s a lot of options now with bariatric surgery. You have the balloon, you have the sleeve surgery, you have the Roux-en-Y surgery. All of these surgeries can be done and safely now. I haven’t seen any of the complications from the surgeries that my patients have had in terms of their bariatric surgery, and most of my patients have lost on average, from bariatric surgery – I had one patient lose over 150 pounds, and this patient had a history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and as she started to lose weight, I started to take her off and keep her off of her blood pressure medicine, her diabetes medication, and cholesterol medicine, and now she was initially 350. She came in about a week ago. She’s 148 pounds.

Host: Wow, see that’s so cool to hear things like that and it gives hope to the listeners that they can make these changes. Give us your best advice. What do you want people to know that are obese or overweight, their risk of diabetes which is a serious disease, and how you can help them to get on a weight loss program and live that heathier lifestyle?

Dr. Rahman: Definitely, so anybody who is overweight or obese and is struggling with weight management, I do advise them to go in and talk to their primary care physicians about weight loss management and other options if they really have struggled with weight loss because there’s a lot of options. In terms of treating obesity, there’s medication we can give them to help them lose weight. There’s exercise plans that we tell them to start. We advise them on different diets, of course that’s our initial first step, and if things don’t go well for them, then we refer them to our bariatric surgeon who evaluates them for bariatric surgery.

Host: Thank you so much. This is a great series on diabetes presented by Temecula Valley Hospital and that wraps up this episode of TVH Health Chat. Head on over to our website at for more information and to get connected with one of our providers. If you found this podcast informative, please share it on your social media. It’s so important that your friends and family and loved ones hear all this great advice in this diabetes series. Physicians are independent practioners who are not employees or agents of Temecula Valley Hospital. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. This is Melanie Cole.