What Does A High Crp Mean
A high C-Reactive Protein level in the blood is usually a sign of inflammation or bacterial infection because CRP is one of the most sensitive acute-phase reactants.
Elevated serum concentration of CRP is an unequivocal evidence of an active tissue damage process, but it is a nonspecific test that indicates only an inflammation.
CRP can increase dramatically in case of severe trauma, bacterial infection, inflammation, surgery, or neoplastic proliferation.
A high CRP may be a sign of the following diseases:
- Inflammatory bowel diseases .
- Chronic inflammatory diseases .
- Bacterial infections .
Since CRP production is a non-specific response to tissue injury, it is recommended that results of the test should be correlated with clinical findings to arrive at the final diagnosis.
A high CRP value in a blood test means:
What Diseases Does The Crp Test Help Diagnose
With autoimmune disease, the body is treating healthy cells like invaders. That reaction causes inflammation, so high CRP levels tick one box for an autoimmune diagnosis. But thats just the tip of the iceberg. The CRP will go up pretty much from any inflammation, which can be from infection or an inflammatory condition like rheumatoid arthritis, or even atherosclerosis, says Dr. Kaplan.
Doctors often use a version called a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein test to examine heart disease risk in fact, a study of more than 15,000 women found that hs-CRP was a better predictor of stroke than bad LDL cholesterol was.
Crp Levels And The Diagnosis Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
No single test can confirm that you have RA. However, measuring levels of CRP in your blood can be part of a comprehensive diagnosis. A doctor can use your CRP levels to track the degree of inflammation over time.
If youre getting tested for RA, the doctor will likely order a standard CRP test rather than an hsCRP test.
To confirm a diagnosis of RA, the doctor will:
- analyze results from other lab tests, such as the rheumatoid factor antibody test and cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody test
- assess levels of morning stiffness and the amount of swelling and pain in your joints
- document the duration of your symptoms
- examine X-rays of the hands and feet to check for erosions or bone damage
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Is Crp 13 High
CRP levels of 1-3 mg per liter are considered moderate risk for cardiovascular disease. CRP levels greater than 3 mg per liter are considered high risk for cardiovascular disease. CRP levels greater than 10 mg per liter may suggest an acute coronary process, such as heart attack .
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Are There Risks With The Test
There are no risks associated with this test other than routine issues that can occur with any blood test. The main issues
A small study from 2013 evaluated 100 people with cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers found that a CRP level over 10 mg/L was connected to a 4 percent risk of developing a fatal cardiovascular disease in 10 years.
If your doctor believes you may be at risk of heart disease or stroke, they may order a hs-CRP blood test alongside other tests.
If your doctor is concerned you are dealing with the symptoms of other inflammatory conditions besides cardiovascular issues, they may order a regular CRP test to diagnose, among other things:
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How Is Elevated C
C-reactive protein levels are measured via a blood test. There are two tests for elevated CRP. One can show a non-specific elevation of CRP that occurs with general inflammatory changes in the body. The other test, hs-CRP, is a measure of inflammation in blood vessels. This is the test needed to help establish heart disease risk.
In evaluating cardiac risk, physicians look at a very narrow range of C-reactive protein levels, from zero to 3.0 and above. This requires a special test called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein , which may be able to reveal inflammation at the micro-vascular level. If this test shows that CRP is less than 1.0 mg per liter of blood, the risk of heart disease is considered low if it is between 1.0 and 3.0, the risk is average and if it is above 3.0, the risk is deemed high.
The American Heart Association recommends hs-CRP testing for evaluating patients with an intermediate risk of heart disease, such as a 10-20 percent risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years. However, the AHA doesnt advise routine hs-CRP testing in patients who arent at high risk for heart disease. But some physicians, including Dr. Weil, believe that all adults should have an hs-CRP test whenever their cholesterol is tested.
How Much Crp Is Dangerous
Your results may vary depending on a number of factors age, gender and health history being the most common. With that said, if your levels are above 10 mg/L it might suggest that an underlying condition or serious infection is present and some further tests may need to be carried out .
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LetsGetCheckeds at-home CRP Test works by identifying inflammation in your body with online results available within 2-5 days. Our expert medical team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking a test if:
- You are at risk for Crohns disease
- You are at risk for bowel disorders
- You are overweight
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What Are The Causes Of Elevated C
Elevated CRP can signal many different conditions, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. The chronic inflammation behind an elevated CRP level may also be influenced by genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, too much stress, and exposure to environmental toxins such as secondhand tobacco smoke. Diet has a huge impact, particularly one that contains a lot of refined, processed and manufactured foods.
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.
Addressing Your Risk Factors
It is not known now much it helps to take steps aimed specifically at reducing your CRP levels.
Likewise, it is uncertain whether treatment aimed specifically at lowering CRP levels can reduce cardiovascular risk.
That aside, knowing your CRP levels are elevated should encourage you to take every opportunity to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Elevated CRP levels are almost always associated with other risk factors for heart disease, including:
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
Talk to your healthcare provider about your heart disease risk factors and what can be done to address them and your CRP levels.
This may involve habit changes, weight loss efforts, and/or medication.
How To Treat And Prevent Elevated Levels
C-reactive protein treatment depends on what the underlying cause of the inflammation is. The best way to naturally treat high levels is to uncover the root cause of someones inflammatory response and then make lifestyle or medication recommendations based on that finding.
The same types of healthy habits that help protect against heart disease, such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking and exercising, are also usually involved in treatment for high CRP levels are.
1. Eat An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
In order to protect against the effects of inflammation on your heart and elsewhere, its recommended that you eat a whole-foods diet such as the Mediterranean diet. This type of nutrient-dense diet includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, A and E, plusprobiotic foods can help to support your immune system. One study found that high intake of vitamin C helped to reduce CRP levels in people with levels greater than 1 mg/L.
Its also important to address any food allergies you may be suffering from, as well as to avoid foods that trigger flair-ups if you have inflammatory bowel disease. These foods can include: gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and others depending on the person.
2. Get Regular Exercise
3. Talk to Your Doctor About Your Medication Use
If an infection is the root cause of your elevated CRP, then antibiotics may be needed to help you recover.
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Rest Your Body And Relax Your Mind
Once you have essentials like diet, supplementation and exercise figured out, the next best thing for you to do is to learn to relax your body and mind.?These days its far to easy to keep ourselves constantly busy and tense. It becomes habit to always be on and not calm and relaxed.
When we get caught up in a crazy-busy lifestyle our body responds by constantly activating the stress response fight-flight mode.?And when we get stuck in this cycle we dont sleep as much and constantly seek out distractions that reinforce our stresses.
With a stressed out body and mind our system never gets the opportunity to slow down and heal. After awhile of this we get stuck with chronic inflammation.
So make sure to get plenty of sleep and make time to do relaxing activities that arent overly stimulating. Soon enough your CRP levels should drop to a normal level.
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.
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.
How To Prepare
There is no special preparation for a C-reactive protein test. You might be asked to not eat or drink for a few hours before the test.
Tell your doctor all of the medicines you are taking because some medicines can affect the results.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form .
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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.
What Is The Treatment For High C
Any therapy to lower CRP levels focuses on lowering cardiovascular risk factors. Regular exercise, appropriate diet, and smoking cessation are in the forefront of cardiovascular risk prevention and reduction.
- Cholesterol-lowering medications have been linked to lowering of CRP levels in individuals with high cholesterol. The fall of CRP levels may occur even without significant improvement in cholesterol levels.
- The use of aspirin in healthy individuals was not shown to reduce CRP levels significantly. However, in patients with cardiovascular disease and elevated CRP, the reduction of cardiovascular risk and CRP levels was noted after aspirin use.
- Some oral diabetes medicines, thiazolidinediones , were noted to reduce CRP levels in patients with or without type 2 diabetes. This effect was independent of their glucose-lowering effects.
- Routine follow-up with a doctor is recommended for the proper management of conditions that are known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
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What Therapies Does Dr Weil Recommend For Elevated C
Dr. Weil recommends an anti-inflammatory diet that includes two to three servings of fish such as salmon or sardines per week. If you dont eat fish, he suggests taking fish oil supplements. He also recommends taking anti-inflammatory herbs including ginger and turmeric and following your doctors recommendations for heart health. That means quitting smoking, watching your diet , and getting regular exercise: research indicates that as fitness levels decline, C-reactive protein levels go up.
Reviewed by Benjamin S. Gonzalez, M.D., May, 2016.
What Are Normal Crp Levels
Laboratories measure CRP in milligrams of CRP per liter of blood . In healthy adults, normal CRP levels should be less than 3 mg/L, although reference ranges vary. In fact, the level of CRP that is truly normal is not known. Typically, CRP levels above 3.0 mg/L indicate inflammation. CRP value also normally increases with age, in African American individuals, and in females.
The table below shows what the different CRP levels could indicate. But bear in mind that these ranges may vary slightly between laboratories.
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Comparing And Contrasting A C
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate is another way to measure inflammation with a sample of blood. It is a less direct measure than the CRP test. Because the CRP level responds much more quickly to changes in inflammatory activity, it can give doctors more timely information.
The ESR has a role in certain conditions where the information it provides may contribute to the decision-making process. Your physician will decide whether both tests are needed to better understand your condition. Other names for the ESR include SED rate, sedimentation rate, and Westergren sedimentation rate.
Crp And Heart Disease
American Heart Association in 2019 states that when considering all risk factors, people with CRP levels greater than or equal to 2 milligrams per liter may need more intense measures to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Elevated levels of CRP may have an important role in identifying people who might need closer follow-up or more intensive treatment after heart attacks or heart procedures.
CRP levels may also be useful in identifying people at risk of heart disease when cholesterol levels alone may not be helpful.
- a diet low in nutrients and higher in fat and refined carbs
- physical inactivity
- overweight and obesity
A family history of heart disease can also put you at a higher risk of heart disease.
No special preparation is necessary for this test. You may eat normally on the day of, and the test can happen at any time of day.
This test is done via a blood sample, so there will be a small needle involved.
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