Why Is My C Reactive Protein High

How Much Crp Is Dangerous

High C Reactive Protien – with lab results

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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One of the most reliable ways to know more about your CRP levels is by taking a test. This can be done by taking a trip to your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

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 Crohn’s disease
  • You are at risk for bowel disorders
  • You are overweight
  • You require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases
  • You require a risk assessment for cancers

Coronary Heart Disease Risk

Arterial damage results from white blood cell invasion and inflammation within the wall. CRP is a general marker for inflammation and infection, so it can be used as a very rough proxy for heart disease risk. Since many things can cause elevated CRP, this is not a very specific prognostic indicator. Nevertheless, a level above 2.4 mg/L has been associated with a doubled risk of a coronary event compared to levels below 1 mg/L however, the study group in this case consisted of patients who had been diagnosed with unstable angina pectoris whether elevated CRP has any predictive value of acute coronary events in the general population of all age ranges remains unclear. Currently, C-reactive protein is not recommended as a cardiovascular disease screening test for average-risk adults without symptoms.

The American Heart Association and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined risk groups as follows:

  • Low Risk: less than 1.0 mg/L
  • Average risk: 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L
  • High risk: above 3.0 mg/L

But hs-CRP is not to be used alone and should be combined with elevated levels of cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides, and glucose level. Smoking, hypertension and diabetes also increase the risk level of cardiovascular disease.

Crp Levels And Response To Ra Treatment

Once your doctor confirms an RA diagnosis, they may order occasional CRP tests. Your CRP levels are useful in indicating how well your treatments are working.

For instance, if you try a new medication, your doctor may test your CRP levels a few weeks after you start it.

If your levels have dropped, the medication is probably helping. If your CRP levels rise, your doctor will know that youre having a flare-up. You may need to adjust your medications or try a new treatment.

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What Are The Risk Factors For High Levels Of C

    Heart disease has an inflammatory component, which may be linked to high C-reactive protein levels. However, based on the current available data it cannot be considered an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

    Based on the review of the published data, the CDC and the American Heart Association have recommended the following guidelines for assessment of cardiovascular disease risk:

    • CRP levels of 1 mg per liter or lower are considered low risk for cardiovascular disease.
    • 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 .

    The known risk factors for cardiovascular disease are:

    This may be possibly related to ongoing inflammatory atherosclerosis in these individuals because of their risk factors.

    Despite these associations, research has not clearly and consistently established c-reactive protein as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as the data seem to be inconsistent from different studies. It has been proposed that elevated c-reactive protein is an independent predictor of atherosclerosis among healthy men and women.

    Can I Take The Test At Home

    Measuring Your C Reactive Protein Levels

    Options are available for at-home CRP testing. For most of these tests, you collect a blood sample at home and then mail it to a laboratory where it can be analyzed.

    The blood sample for at-home CRP tests is taken from your fingertip using a very small needle called a lancet. You then apply a drop of blood to a special test paper that can be processed by the lab. Results are usually provided through a secure website or smartphone app.

    At-home CRP tests can be purchased without a prescription, but it is generally best to consult with your doctor before taking an at-home CRP test. Your doctor can discuss the appropriateness of testing and help interpret any test results.

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    Causes Of Markedly Elevated Crp Levels

    Most patients in this study had a diagnosis of infection. The proportion of cases caused by infection increased at higher CRP levels, and 88.9% of those presenting with a CRP level above 350 mg/L had an infection. outlines the most common infection sites.

    Primary infection sites associated with markedly elevated CRP levels:N = 462 numbers above the columns represent the peak CRP level in mg/L for that site.

    CRPC-reactive protein, GIgastrointestinal.

    *Other infections included endocarditis, pharyngitis, osteomyelitis, and vascular graft infections.

    In addition, there were several noninfectious causes of markedly elevated CRP levels and each of these categories accounted for less than 8% of the total cases . The proportions of noninfectious causes remained relatively stable up to a CRP level of 350 mg/L, above which only 2 of the 18 patients did not have infection. We were unable to define a threshold to exclude certain diagnoses .

    What Is Considered A High Crp Level

    Anything above 10 mg/L, or a minor elevation, may be considered a high CRP level. Generally, a CRP reading greater than 10 mg/L is considered dangerous, saysDaniel Boyer, MD, researcher at the Farr Institute in West Des Moines, Iowa. It is likely caused by a severe bacterial infection and indicates acute inflammation that requires further tests to determine the cause of the inflammation.

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    Why Would I Need This Test

    You might need this test if your doctor suspects that you have an infection or an illness related to inflammation or to check for infection, especially after surgery. CRP can help confirm a diagnosis and assess how well treatment is going for these kinds of illnesses.

    Sometimes CRP is tested if a pregnant woman has ruptured her membranes early. CRP can indicate if there are any problems with the baby.

    A special type of CRP called a high-sensitivity CRP can help determine the risk for heart disease.

    Rest Your Body And Relax Your Mind

    What Is C-Reactive Protein?

    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.

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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.

    Additionally, theres more recent research that suggests CRP may be used as a predictor of health outcomes related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .

    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:

    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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    Drawbacks Of Crp Tests

    Measuring CRP levels is not a perfect method for diagnosing RA or determining the effectiveness of a treatment. This is because CRP is not specific to RA. Elevated levels of CRP can indicate any type of infection or inflammatory condition.

    On the other hand, some people with RA may have normal CRP levels. A study published in 2009 looked at databases of patients living with RA in Finland , and the United States over a period of 25 years.

    Results showed that 44 to 58 percent of the patients, living in Finland and the United States, respectively, had normal CRP test results.

    Why It Is Done

    C

    A C-reactive protein test is done to:

    • Identify and keep track of infections and diseases that cause inflammation, such as:
    • Cancer of the lymph nodes .
    • Diseases of the immune system, such as lupus.
    • Painful swelling of the blood vessels in the head and neck .
    • Painful swelling of the tissues that line the joints .
    • Swelling and bleeding of the intestines .
    • Infection of a bone .
  • Check to see how well treatment is working, such as treatment for cancer or for an infection. CRP levels go up quickly and then become normal quickly if you are responding to treatment measures.
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    What Elevated Crp Levels Mean

    When CRP levels remain elevated for a long time, it can be an indication that chronic inflammation of the blood vessels is present.

    This type of low-grade inflammation contributes to the deposit of fat and other substances in the artery walls, a condition called atherosclerosis.

    This build-up can narrow the arteries that feed the heart blood, causing coronary artery disease . Over time, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure can occur.

    This is true even for those with elevated CRP levels who have no obvious signs of active inflammation.

    It is now well-established that inflammation is an important contributor to atherosclerosis. Elevated CRP is also firmly associated with an increased risk of CAD.

    What is not known is whether CRP itself actually contributes to CAD directly.

    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.

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    What Is The Difference Between Crp And Hs

    As youve no doubt guessed, the difference between CRP and hs-CRP is contained in the hs abbreviation high sensitivity.

    Traditionally, CRP, or C-reactive protein, is measured down to concentrations of 3 to 5 mg/L hs-CRP is measured down to concentrations of approximately 0.3 mg/L. This improved sensitivity allows hs-CRP to be used to detect low levels of chronic inflammation.

    What To Do In Case Of A High Crp Level

    C reactive protein

    Some studies have stated that consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, or a balanced diet can help the patient to lower the CRP level. However, in case the levels are too high, then the doctor may prescribe statin or other medication to reduce cholesterol.

    It is also suggested that Vitamin C can also lower the CRP level. Even probiotics can reduce this level. However, the doctors will recommend the best alternative for the individual patient.

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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.

    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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    What Other Tests Could I Have With This Test

    • Sedimentation Rate: Like CRP, this test measures inflammation.
    • Antinuclear Antibody Test: Measures auto-antibodies attacking your cells. This is important in the diagnosis of certain autoimmune diseases.
    • Rheumatoid Factor : This test is done to help diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis.
    • Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibody: This test is done to help diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis.

    How Much Does The Test Cost

    C

    Many factors contribute to the cost of a CRP test, including the materials needed to carry out the test, the fee for the phlebotomist who draws your blood, the laboratorys fee for analyzing the sample, and the fee from your doctors office.

    Your insurance coverage will determine your out-of-pocket cost. Insurance generally covers CRP testing, but depending on your policy, you might owe a deductible or a copay. If you are in doubt, check with your insurance provider.

    If you are uninsured, then discuss the cost with your doctor or with the hospital or laboratory administrator. Some health care institutions have financial advocacy offices that can assist you with concerns about cost.

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    What Diseases Does The Crp Test Help Rule Out

    CRP tests dont automatically rule out any diseases, but they can lead rheumatologists in the right direction. A low CRP result would suggest that the symptoms probably dont come from an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis, says Dr. Kaplan, but doctors would need to check other factors for confirmation. You have to look at the whole picture you cant diagnose based on just one particular test, says Dr. Kaplan.

    What Is The Normal Crp Value

    The measured CRP is expressed in milligrams per liter or mg/dL.

    Although ânormalâ CRP levels vary from lab to lab, it is generally accepted that a value below 10 mg/L is normal.

    • Normal : Less than 10 mg/L
    • High : Equal to or greater than 10 mg/L

    Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, medical history, test method used and other factors .

    Note : For some references the normal value is less than 6 mg/L

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    How Sensitive And Specific Is The Crp Test

    The CRP test is not very specific, which means it isnt unique to one disease. Sure, high levels could be a signal of autoimmune disease, but CRP levels could also be elevated because of infection, heart disease, or other health issues. A potential benefit of CRP over the sedimentation rate test, a similar test of inflammation, is that its not quite as fickle, says Dr. Kaplan. CRP is more sensitive, which means that a patient with autoimmune disease is more likely to test positive.

    How To Get Tested

    Cardiovascular Inflammation Tests Pt3: C Reactive Protein – why do I advise patients to ignore it?

    C-reactive protein testing is typically performed only after being prescribed by a doctor or other health professional.

    After your doctor orders a CRP test, the blood sample can be drawn at a hospital or clinic laboratory or, if you are hospitalized, at your bedside. In some cases, the sample might be collected at your doctors office. The measurement of CRP takes place in a laboratory.

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    What Are The Results Of The Crp Test

    This test is measured either in mg/dL or mg/L. The results of this can indicate the following situations:

    • Reading less than 1 mg/L indicates that the patient is at low risk of cardiovascular disease.
    • Reading ranging between 1 mg/L- 2.9 mg/L indicates an intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease.
    • Reading above 3 mg/L indicates that the patient is at huge risk of forming a cardiovascular disease.
    • Reading above 10 mg/L requires extra testing to determine further inflammation causes in the body.

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