We at Baja Medica specialize in anti-aging therapy to ensure older adults enjoy good health and a pleasant quality of life. To that end, we offer all patients a vast array of health screening tests before administering any treatment. That way, we will know exactly what you need.
If you’re a new patient, our doctor will start by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam. The results of those will help determine what health screenings you should consider.
Our health screening tests include the following:
Lab tests for heart disease
- Resting EKG
- Atherosclerosis markers, cholesterol and CRP test, and lipid profile
- Blood pressure readings
- Cardiac stress test (treadmill test)
- Calcium score of the coronary arteries
- Vascular disease screening of the aorta, carotid arteries and peripheral arteries
Other lab tests
- Urinalysis and blood tests to detect diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and thyroid disorders
- Testosterone levels
- Prostate-specific antigen test for males
- Complete blood count
- Checking iron, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D levels
- Tonometry to screen for glaucoma
- Optical acuity test
- Fundus photography to check for abnormalities linked with diabetes, high blood pressure or other conditions that threaten vision
Pulmonary health assessment
- Spirometry to detect airway problems like emphysema, bronchitis or asthma
- Chest X-ray to detect problems like inflammation or thickened lining of the lungs
- Low-dose radiation CT to detect lung cancer in patients who have ever smoked
Other kinds of screening
- Hearing test
- Bone densitometry
- CT angiography
- Dermatological screening to check for moles, skin cancer, rashes and other conditions
- HIV/STD testing
- Genetic testing
Does the patient have to do anything to prepare?
In most cases, no. The patient simply has to show up wearing loose and comfortable clothing.
Some of the blood tests, like the lipid profile, will require the patient to fast for a specific time beforehand.
The CT angiography requires the injection of a special dye that provokes allergic reactions in some people. People with known allergies need to tell their doctor ahead of time.
The doctor administering the test will give the patient instructions ahead of time.
Explanations of the different tests for heart disease
What do the lipid profile, cholesterol and CRP test, and atherosclerosis markers test involve?
These are all blood tests, and often require that the patient fast the night before we administer them. The lipid profile measures cholesterol and triglycerides, which are both types of fat. We will measure total cholesterol and the amounts of HDL (the good cholesterol) and LDL (the bad cholesterol) in your blood. High HDL reduces the risk of heart disease, while high LDL or triglycerides increases the chances of heart disease.
CRP stands for C-Reactive protein, which is something the body produces when something gets inflamed. Inflammation in the arteries can increase the chances of heart disease.
What does scoring calcium involve?
The calcium score, also known as cardiac scoring or heart scan, is non-invasive CT scan of the heart done to check for any accumulation of calcium within the coronaries. Such build-up can narrow the arteries and cause heart disease or a heart attack.
The patient will lie on their back on the CT table and a technician will put EKG electrodes on their chest that will monitor their heart rate. The CT table will move very slowly and take pictures of the patient’s heart. The patient will need to keep perfectly still and hold their breath for about 20 or 30 seconds. The higher the score is, the greater the risk of a heart attack.
What are the vascular disease screening tests?
The vascular disease screening tests are non-invasive tests done to determine the risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease. All of the tests involve the use of ultrasound.
Explanations of the other lab tests
What is the prostate-specific antigen test?
The prostate-specific antigen or PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland. The PSA test is a blood test that measures the amount of PSA in patient’s blood; a lot of it can indicate prostate cancer. We usually do the test on men who are 50 or over.
What is a complete blood count?
A complete blood count or CBC is a blood test done to determine the patient’s overall health and to detect such disorders of the blood as anemia, leukemia and different types of infection. During the test, the doctor will measure such components of the blood as the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The doctor will take a sample of the patient’s blood and send it to a lab for analysis.
Why are people tested for deficiencies in iron, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D?
Older people in general are more susceptible to nutritional deficiencies for a variety of reasons ranging from bad dietary habits to medications to decreased ability to properly absorb nutrients. Nutritional deficiencies can have serious consequences; Vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, can cause both anemia and neurological problems. Iron deficiency also causes anemia, and a deficiency in Vitamin D causes weak bones.
Explanations of the eye tests
What is tonometry?
Tonometry is an eye test done to measure the intraocular pressure (IOP) or pressure within the eyeball. Excessively high pressure is caused by an accumulation of fluid that has not properly drained out of the eye. That fluid will eventually damage the optic nerve causing a disease called glaucoma that can eventually lead to blindness.
What is the visual acuity test?
The visual acuity test is one typically administered during an eye exam. It’s a test of the sharpness of the patient’s vision, and it’s the well-known test that involves reading rows of letters.
What is fundus photography?
Fundus photography or color fundus retinal photography is a procedure in which the doctor takes a picture of the patient’s retina in order to look for signs of eye disorders. A retinal or fundus camera is actually a kind of low-powered microscope with a camera attached to it that is designed to take pictures of the eye’s inner surface including the retina, the macula and the blood vessels within that area. Fundus photography can help diagnose such conditions as macular degeneration, retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy.
Explanations of pulmonary health assessments
What is spirometry?
Spirometry is a common test used to assess how well the patient’s lungs work. The doctor tests how much air they can inhale and exhale and how quickly they can exhale. It can be used to either diagnose a lung problem or determine how well a patient is responding to a treatment for a lung problem.
During the test, the patient will breathe into a tube attached to a machine called a spirometer. They will take a deep breath and then exhale into the tube as hard as they can. They will repeat the process at least three times so the doctor can see how consistent the results are.
After the first round, the doctor may give the patient a medication to open their lugs called a bronchodilator. After waiting 15 minutes, the patient will perform another round of tests to see if the medication helped.
Explanation of the other types of screening
What does the hearing test involve?
There are actually several different types of hearing tests, but they are all used to evaluate the patient’s hearing and/or diagnose a disorder affecting their hearing. The various tests are safe and painless.
The pure tone audiometry test is probably the best-known hearing test. The patient wears a set of headphones hooked up to a machine called an audiometer. The machine will produce a series of beeps of various pitches and volumes, and the patient will raise their hand or press a button every time they hear one.
The auditory brainstem response (ABR) test is done to determine if the patient has sensorineural hearing loss, or hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear. The technician will place electrodes on the patient’s scalp and earlobes and have the patient wear headphones. A device will send clicking noises through the headphones, and the electrodes will record the brain’s responses on a graph.
What is a bone densitometry?
A bone densitometry is an exam similar to an X-ray done to measure the density of bone. It is used to diagnose diseases like osteoporosis or osteopenia in which the density or mineral content of bone is abnormally low. The bones are thus weaker than normal, and the patient is more susceptible to fractures.
During the test, the patient will lie on an examination table. Most bone densitometries are taken of the hips and/or lower back.
What is a CT angiography?
A CT angiography is minimally invasive procedure done to enable the doctor to examine the patient’s blood vessels and neighboring tissues and organs. CT stands for “computed tomography” and describes a technology used for scanning tissues and organs.
The doctor will inject the patient with a contrast material or dye to highlight the area being examined. They will then scan the patient and send the images to a computer.
A CT angiography can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions including congenital defects and aneurysms. It can also be used to locate any plaque or blockages within the arteries.