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IE Latino Voices shines light on Latino-led and serving organizations.

May 1: IE Latino Voices

Dr Bilal Rayes Premier Medial Group

Yvette Walker

With 91.9 KVCR News, I'm Yvette Walker. This is IE Latino Voices, where we invite representatives from Latino led and Latino serving organizations to share their stories and their impact in our region. Today, we have invited Dr. Bilal Rayes. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Bilal Rayes

Thank you for having me.

Yvette

Dr. Rayes, please share a bit about what led you to pursue a career in healthcare.

Dr. Rayes

It's all started when we were younger, I have a lot of my immediate family who were physicians. And as you see them work, and you see firsthand how big of an impact they have on their immediate family and the friends on their patients, that led me to love the medicine field. And that's how it started. It just grew from there every day, every month, every year after year, the love for this profession keeps growing. And that's what led to the formation of the Premier Medical Group. I started with my classmate. She came before me and then we started the small group with three of us, and then before you know we're almost 10 providers right now, and we are growing by the day

Yvette

Talking about obesity, please share the peripheral impacts that obesity has on one's overall health.

Dr. Rayes

As you know, right now, obesity is becoming the new epidemic. Latest statistics say that about one in every three are considered, by our medical definitions, obese. Once that definition applies to a person, your risk profile grows by over 240 extra risk factors. That can lead to different and a variety of problems with you. You can start with heart problems, lung problems, cirrhosis of your liver, kidney damage, strokes of course, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension. All the risk factors that people know, in addition to the risk of autoimmune diseases goes up: lupus, RA, ulcerative colitis, all the other stuff. On top of that you add the risk of cancers. We know that cancers have higher prevalence with obese patients. Something like GI cancers, colon cancer, stomach cancers, esophagus, breast cancers in females. So, your risk profiles grow exponentially with obesity. So, it's not just about the weight, it's about your short term damage from that weight. And then you also have to look at the long term damage. Those could happen in 10 or 20 years. And some of them are immediate, your sleep apnea, your irregular heartbeat, your strokes, all those things.

Yvette

Dr. Rayes, please share a bit about what you have experienced in the Latino community in relation to this obesity epidemic.

Dr. Rayes

I think when we look at any patients in the Latino communities, we always look at different factors. A lot of people blame genetics or body types that, “Oh, I have a thick bones, or I have this, or it's my genes.”
Which is 99% of the time, it's not really true. We have to start with teaching them what is obesity, why it's very important that we have control over our weight. And we also have to look at the socioeconomics. It is not cheap to be healthy and it's not cheap to eat healthy. And it's not cheap to be able to follow that in the long term. My goal is always to give a simple advice that can be applied, and not to tell someone you're going to have to go and eat organic in this economic atmosphere where you know, 50% of the population lives paycheck to paycheck. And we want to change lifestyle, change what's in your pantry, change what's in your fridge, and then everything else will follow.

Yvette

Please share the best ways to attain a healthy weight.

Dr. Rayes

First, have a good night's sleep. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink good water, tea, coffee is fine. When it comes to the dieting, after we've talked about exercise, I have two rules for them. I’ve tried to keep it simple. My two rules are if you want to eat meat, make sure it's organic, grass fed. No preservatives, no chemicals added. Same thing for the chicken. Same thing for the fish. Try to avoid those things if you want to eat them. Second rule, you don't eat anything that does not grow on the ground. Nothing out of a box, nothing out of a can, nothing out of a plastic bag. Clean your pantry, change your shopping habits, read what's on the label. Educate yourself about the health risks that all these chemicals have on you. And that's where you start. And when you eat, when you're 80% full you leave the table. Before you know it, your portion will become less and you'll start losing weight. And if you want a snack, make sure you eat healthy snack, fruits, vegetables. And of course, avoid all the fried food and all processed foods, processed meat. Those are toxic for you.

Yvette

Dr. Rayes, please share the best way for the community to connect with you.

Dr. Rayes

We are at San Antonio Regional Hospital. We are at the outpatient building at 901 San Bernardino Road, Upland. They're more than welcome to be connecting with us.

Yvette

Thank you so much for being with us today Dr. Rayes.

Dr. Bilal Rayes

Thank you very much for having me.

 Yvette Walker

Join us again next week for IE Latino Voices. You can find this story and others on our website at kvcrnews.org/ielatinovoices. IE Latino Voices is produced by KVCR Public Media and is funded by generous support from San Antonio Regional Hospital – Here for Life. For KVCR News, I'm Yvette Walker.

Yvette Walker is a Spanish bilingual, Southern California native and owner of Premier Marketing & Public Relations, a full-service, digital media and traditional media marketing and public relations firm and produces and hosts ABC News Affiliate - Southern California Business Report.