Annual physicals and wellness checks certainly have their merits. However, with few exceptions, most annual physicals or wellness checks only focus on identifying obvious, or visible medical issues. While a doctor can clearly see if you need to lose weight, or if your blood pressure needs to be controlled, a basic physical doesn't provide much insight into hidden risk factors for serious medical issues including your risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke, which claim the lives of millions each year.
Indeed, more than 85 million Americans are currently living with heart disease, or suffering from the after-effects of stroke. This number could be greatly reduced if signs of heart disease or cardiovascular problems were identified sooner. So, what kind of tests should you undergo, in order to identify the invisible warning signs of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke? In Los Angeles, there are four tests that all men and women should request.
Inflammation of the arteries is a massive risk factor for both heart attacks and stroke. Biomarkers indicating inflammation can be tested through simple blood and urine samples. Inflammation markers can be identified through lab testing, arming Southern California men and women with the truth about their cardiovascular health.
Advanced Lipid Testing
Lipid testing which goes beyond basic cholesterol test performed during an annual physical, examines particle numbers and genetic markers indicating a predisposition, or enhanced risk for heart attack or stroke. By identifying this predisposition, patients have the opportunity to change their lifestyle, and diet before heart disease takes hold. With heart disease being the #1 killer of men and women in the United States, all efforts to reduce risk should be a priority for men and women in Southern California.
Carotid Artery Intimal Thickness Ultrasound (CIMT Neck Ultrasound)
A pain-free ultrasound which measures thickness in your carotid arteries will show if you have calcium deposits in your arteries. Calcium deposits in your arteries block blood flow to vital organs, and is a known risk for heart attack or stroke. Should you find that there is a thickening in your arteries through the CIMT Neck Ultrasound, you will be able to make healthy lifestyle changes immediately to slow, or halt the progression of heart disease.
CT Scan of Coronary Arteries
Similar to a CIMT Neck Ultrasound, a pain-free CT Scan of your coronary arteries will enable men and women in Los Angeles to have a more accurate picture of their overall health by identifying risks for heart disease and stroke. This test will measure calcium present in your coronary arteries. Calcium in the coronary arteries is indicative of cardiovascular disease, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize damage, and prevent the progression of heart disease through making immediate changes to your lifestyle.
When it comes to preventing the silent killer of heart disease and stroke, a basic, annual physical simply doesn't go far enough. Cardiovascular health can be ascertained however, through these four easy-to-take, but incredibly revealing tests.
Dr. Allan Kurtz specializes in creating ideal health and longevity plans for patients of all ages. Fellowship trained in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine. The California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine and the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California was founded in Woodland Hills, CA to aid patients throughout the greater Los Angeles area in restoring and maintaining optimal health for the long term. To schedule a consultation contact us today at 818.346.1440