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Living Well

For Better Health, Participate and Take Charge

Last updated: Jun 06, 2015


“Hypertension is most often silent,” says Lisa Joseph, MD, a board-certified internal medical physician at Summit Medical Group. “People frequently come into my office and say they feel fine when their blood pressure is high. When I tell them they have hypertension, it is a complete surprise.”

An expert clinician, Joseph—who has also done research in molecular biology at Columbia University and published in academic journals—encourages her patients to participate in the decision making process about their health.

“I tell patients to ‘know their numbers’ for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol,” Joseph says. “I feel patients should understand what their medications are actually doing.”

She works closely with patients to show them what a “healthy” plate looks like and recommends a diet low in carbohydrates (particularly bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.) She also stresses the need for physical activity, which she calls “a key part of life.”

Joseph has done research about the genetic basis for diabetes and obesity. Her joint expertise in diabetes and heart disease is an important component of her practice. Diabetic patients have the same risk of a heart attack as someone who has had a heart attack in the past. She believes that “physicians must be aggressive in recognizing and treating hypertension and elevated blood sugar.”

Cardiac disease can be a special challenge in female patients because they can have “atypical presentations of a heart attack,” Joseph says. “They also tend to underestimate their risk of heart disease. Although there are several similarities between men and women in how they present with a heart attack, women more frequently present without chest pain. They signs of a heart attack in women can be more subtle than those in men, and may include shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

“This has been a brutal winter, and people have remained inside and gained weight—including me!” Joseph admits. “Now that the sun is shining and the weather is warmer, it’s an excellent time to start walking for exercise and make lifestyle changes to take charge of your health.”

Dr. Joseph practices internal medicine at Summit Medical Group’s Randolph location, 477 Route 10 East, Suite 204, College Plaza Shopping Center, Randolph, NJ. For a convenient appointment with Dr. Joseph, please call: 862-260-3020