Saturated And Trans Fats
The standard American diet tends to favor foods high in saturated and trans fats, which contribute to inflammation. Saturated fats are generally animal fats, such as red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are artificial fats often found in processed foods such as crackers, pastries and other packaged foods. Avoid trans fats as much as possible, and choose low-fat animal products such as lean meat and skim milk.
Inflammation Causes Heart Attacks
Experts who study blood vessels, plaque, and heart attacks in minute detail have been developing an inflammatory explanation for heart attacks. They’ve described a process quite different from the clogged plumbing analogy. Blood vessels aren’t solid pipes, but slender tubes of layered, living tissue, some of it quite delicate. LDL cholesterol doesn’t simply lodge in arterial walls-it injures them. And like injuries elsewhere in the body, this stirs up an inflammatory response. Swarms of cytokines, macrophages, and other cells swoop in. They enlarge and transform deposits of LDL cholesterol into accumulations of fat-laden foam cells sealed by fibrous caps of collagen.
Other inflammatory molecules can so weaken a fibrous cap that eventually it bursts open. The contents of the plaque spill out and activate clotting factors in the blood. A massive blood clot forms. The result: a blocked artery and a heart attack.
What Do The Results Mean
If your results show a high level of CRP, it probably means you have some type of inflammation in your body. A CRP test doesn’t explain the cause or location of the inflammation. So if your results are not normal, your health care provider may order more tests to figure out why you have inflammation.
A higher than normal CRP level does not necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. There are other factors that can raise your CRP levels. These include cigarette smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.
If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Recent Data Pertaining To Statins
Do we as cardiologists need to think about monitoring CRP in secondary prevention? These are already high-risk patients is there incremental benefit to measuring CRP? In January of this year, 2 new papers came out that have really added important new perspective to this question.
The predictive value of hsCRP stands up even after adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, peak creatine kinase, Killip class, early revascularization, and HDL nothing changes. Even with these adjustments, CRP remains a strong predictor of outcome. But a major question remains. Is it the drug, or is it the levels? The more potent a statin, on average, the greater the CRP reduction but for the individual patient, this is a highly variable response.
The JUPITER trial goes farther, to look at primary prevention patients who don’t normally qualify for statins: apparently healthy people with LDLs of less than 130 and CRPs above 2. We’re randomizing these patients to either rosuvastatin or placebo and looking at hard clinical endpoints at 3 to 4 years in 15,000 patients.
It’s A Good Predictor Of Heart Disease
Even if heart attacks were caused by inflammation, CRP testing wouldn’t be useful unless it’s proved to be a good predictor. In other words, studies have to show that there’s a tight correlation between high C-reactive protein levels and the chances of having a heart attack.
To make a long story short, that’s just what a series of studies published in prestigious journals has shown. One, in the Nov. 14, 2002, New England Journal of Medicine , concluded that CRP outperforms LDL cholesterol as a predictor of cardiovascular risk. In addition, the authors found that the two tests identify different high-risk groups, so using both is better than relying on either alone.
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Normal And Critical Findings
Lab values vary, and there is no standard at present. However, in general, the result is reported in either mg/dL or mg/L. Hs-CRP is usually reported in mg/L. When used for cardiac risk stratification, hs-CRP levels less than 1 mg/L are considered low risk. Levels between 1 mg/L and 3 mg/L are considered a moderate risk and a level greater than 3 mg/L is considered high risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.
Interpretation of CRP levels:
Less than 0.3 mg/L: Normal .
0.3 to 1.0 mg/L: Normal or minor elevation .
1.0 to 10.0 mg/L: Moderate elevation .
More than 10.0 mg/L: Marked elevation .
More than 50.0 mg/L: Severe elevation .
Why Do Healthcare Providers Perform Crp Tests
Healthcare providers typically order a C-reactive protein test to help diagnose or rule out certain conditions, including:
- Severe bacterial infections, such as .
- Fungal infections.
Your provider may also use CRP tests to monitor your treatment if youve already been diagnosed with an infection or a chronic inflammatory condition.
CRP levels increase and decrease depending on how much inflammation your body has. If your CRP levels go down, it’s a sign that your treatment for the inflammation is working.
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Is Crp 19 High
A significant increase of CRP was found with levels on average 20 to 50 mg/L in patients with COVID19. 10 , 12 , 21 Elevated levels of CRP were observed up to 86% in severe COVID19 patients. 10 , 11 , 13 Patients with severe disease courses had a far elevated level of CRP than mild or nonsevere patients.
How Are Normal And Elevated C
C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation and is typically not detected in the blood unless some degree of inflammation is present in the body.
- CRP measurement is made using a blood sample from a vein. The sample is then taken to a laboratory and analyzed.
- The traditional CRP measurement is often used to detect inflammation in the body. Your health-care provider may order a C-reactive protein level to check for flare-ups of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or vasculitis or to monitor whether anti-inflammatory medications are working to treat a disease or condition.
- Currently, a more highly sensitive measurement to detect CRP is used for cardiovascular risk assessment. This high-sensitive C-reactive protein is termed hs-CRP.
- Because measuring CRP levels at any point in time may be influenced by any infection or inflammation in the body, onetime measurement is generally not regarded as an adequate predictor of cardiovascular risk. Therefore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends checking two separate CRP levels approximately two weeks apart and using the average number of the two readings for cardiovascular risk assessment and screening purposes.
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When A Doctor May Order A Crp Test
Your physician may order a C-reactive protein test if you have symptoms of a serious bacterial or viral infection, such as:
- Fever or chills
- Irregular heart rate
- Rapid breathing
Your physician may also request a CRP test to monitor ongoing treatment if youve been diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis to monitor for level of current inflammation. If treatment is working, inflammation and C-reactive protein levels should drop.
Typically, CRP tests are fast and accurate. However, if you have only slightly elevated C-reactive protein levels, the test can be challenging to interpret because of numerous potential conditions that can cause this effect. High CRP is a biomarker, meaning its one factor to consider when assessing someones health, but it does not give a source of inflammation. A high CRP level is not a stand-alone diagnosis.
Because primary healthcare providers cannot always draw solid conclusions from levels of C-reactive protein alone, they may also order other tests to provide a more comprehensive overview of your health.
Ways To Lower Inflammation: A Functional Medicine Expert Explains
Fifty million Americans have an autoimmune condition, millions more are somewhere on the autoimmune-inflammation spectrum, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds, and a shocking one in two men and one in three women will get cancer. This level of disease is not normal, but it is certainly common. And all of these conditions have one thing in common: inflammation
With the ubiquity of chronic inflammation, itâs important to know where your inflammation levels are. You can only do something about what you know is there. There is one simple blood test that I suggest all of my patients have to find this out for themselves.
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What Type Of Results Do You Get For A C
Blood test reports, including CRP blood test reports, usually provide the following information:
- The name of the blood test or what was measured in your blood.
- The number or measurement of your blood test result.
- The normal measurement range for that test.
- Information that indicates if your result is normal or abnormal or high or low.
Why Is A C
If your doctor suspects you may have an inflammatory disorder , they may order a C-reaction protein test. This test can show theres a high level of inflammation, but it does not show where the inflammation is located or what might be causing it.
If you have a previously diagnosed inflammatory issue, your doctor may also order this test occasionally to see how your treatment is working, and if the issue is being properly managed.
Its important to note that ahigh-sensitivity C-reactive protein test is a slightly different test than a regular C-reaction protein test. This test typically predicts heart disease and stroke.
While the regular C-reactive test can help uncover different diseases that cause inflammation by measuring high levels of protein, the hs-CRP test measures lower levels of protein, which can signal the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Your doctor may order a hs-CRP if theyre focusing on cardiovascular issues.
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Address Any Underlying Health Conditions
CRPs job is to increase in response to infection, tissue damage and inflammation. So it doesnt come as a surprise that many different conditions can increase CRP.
Thats why if your CRP is elevated, the most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats increasing your CRP and to treat any underlying conditions.
Discuss the additional lifestyle changes listed below with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!
How Do Doctors Use The Crp Test To Monitor Your Disease
As rheumatologists follow a patients progress through treatment, inflammation levels can tell them how active the disease is. The CRP gives you something to follow to see if the inflammation is high, says Dr. Kaplan. During flare-ups, CRP will be higher, so its a good gauge of whether your current treatment regimen is effective.
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Treat The Underlying Condition
The most important step you should take is to work with your doctor to determine why it is elevated, says Leann Poston, MD,medical advisor for Impakt Fitness. Treating the condition causing inflammation is essential to reducing an elevated CRP level. Depending on the underlying cause, the following may lower CRP levels.
Meet The Protein That Measures Inflammation Levels
C-reactive protein or CRP is an inflammatory protein that is one of best ways to measure your inflammation levels. Produced mainly by the liver, we all make CRP and in normal levels CRP helps fight off infections and protect your body. You see, inflammation is not inherently bad but just like anything else in the bodylike hormones and bacteriainflammation is subject to the Goldilocks principle: It canât be too high or too low it needs to be just right.
Inflammation becomes damaging when it flares unchecked, like a forest fire fueled by gasoline. The CRP test measures your inflammatory firestorm.
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And The Herbal Supplement Ginseng May Be Effective At Doing Just That
Researchers at the Nutritional Health Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran did this review of human research.
The journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine published the results.
Ginseng has a number of potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Because of this, many researchers have proposed that ginseng may lower CRP.
But human research has provided conflicting results.
These researchers analyzed information from many different human studies to get a better understanding of ginsengs effect on CRP.
The researchers identified seven high-quality human studies for analysis. Some of these studies involved more than one experiment.
They combined all of the information gathered in these studies.
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Chronic inflammation in the arteries creates a breeding ground for the formation of fatty streaks, which can eventually lead to cholesterol-rich plaques and ultimately, heart attacks and strokes.
Many other diseases are also linked with chronic inflammation, and include arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, and pulmonary diseases.
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How Can Lowering C
C-reactive protein can be measured in your blood, and it increases during inflammation. Several studies have linked high CRP levels with increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular illness. Lowering C-reactive protein can help in minimizing the risk of heart attack, diabetes and various health problems related to inflammation.
What Happens During A Crp Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.
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What Does It Mean To Have A High Crp
The Physicians Health Study found that among healthy adult men, those with a high level of CRP were three times more likely to have a heart attack than those with low levels of CRP. This was among men who had no previous history of heart disease.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the Harvard Womens Health Study showed that high CRP levels were more predictive of coronary conditions and stroke in women than were high cholesterol levels.
Doctors may order this test in conjunction with other tests to assess a persons risk of heart disease or stroke. There is also new research that suggests CRP may be used as a predictor in health outcomes related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Doctors may also order a CRP test to diagnose inflammatory autoimmune diseases, including:
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You Can Do Something About High Levels
Imagine your doctor telling you that a newfangled test of inflammation shows that you have a worrisome level of a telltale protein, but, um, there isn’t much you-or she-can do about it. That wouldn’t be a popular or helpful test, even if it were a perfect prognosticator of heart attacks.
A big reason behind the growing enthusiasm for C-reactive protein tests is that levels can be lowered. The statin drugs made their name by lowering LDL research has shown that they also lower C-reactive protein levels. Exercise is a great way to bring down your CRP level losing weight also seems to work.
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Foods That Lower The C
The Mediterranean diet includes foods that are beneficial for lowering inflammation and thus C-reactive protein levels in the body. This diet contains fresh, whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish, which supply anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and canola oil.
Lowering Crp With Exercise
What about lowering CRP? Does that reduce risk? There’s no doubt that the very best way to lower CRP is through exercise, weight loss, and dietary control of course, those are all proven already to lower vascular risk. There is a paper that came out in February comparing the Atkins diet, the Zone diet, the Weight Watchers diet, and the Ornish diet. All these diets did basically the same thing: they got weight down a little bit, the lipid ratios came down, the CRPs came down, and insulin levels came down. These processes are all intimately interrelated. Dieting works. Even gastric bypass surgery works. CRP, interleukin-6 , and tumor necrosis factor all come down in gastric surgery patients. But just removing the fat isn’t good enough. Our patients have to do the hard work. As published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, liposuction does not alter insulin sensitivity does not reduce CRP, IL-6, or TNF and does not affect other risk factors for coronary heart disease.
I believe that the true impact of exercise has been underestimated in the general community. There are over 50 papers about the impact of exercise on inflammatory markers and event reduction. Here is an example: Milani and coworkers noted that cardiac rehab did a nice job of lowering CRPs, regardless of whether the patients were or were not on statins. Moreover, CRPs fell whether or not the patients actually lost weight. The exercise benefit was independent of weight loss.