There’s an old saying “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” A similar saying can be applied to inflammation, “Where there’s inflammation there’s disease.” Many chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer are associated with inflammation. In fact, the progress of many diseases from the early stages to life-threatening is driven by inflammation.
There’s a convenient indicator for general levels of inflammation and its called C-Reactive Protein.
Early detection of inflammation can allow one to extinguish the smoldering fire before it rages out-of-control through lifestyle choices and nutritional supplements.
What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
C-Reactive protein is a protein that is produced in the liver and abdominal fat in response to inflammation in any part of the body and can be found circulating in the blood.
Elevated levels of CRP in the blood can be a reliable indicator of either infection or disease that needs to be addressed.
Since it is not specific for any disease or place in the body CRP is only a general indicator of some underlying health condition.
CRP can be temporarily elevated due to such benign things as an insect bite to a the common cold. It’s the chronic elevation of CRP that is of concern.
However, people with chronically high CRP levels are 4.5 times more likely to have a heart attack compared to those with normal levels according to Jack Challem and is a better indicator than LDL levels known as “bad cholesterol”.
It is easy and inexpensive to test your CRP levels and you can ask your physician to test for it.
Blood is drawn from a vein in a clinical setting and sent to a diagnostic laboratory for analysis.
Since many things can influence your CRP levels you should have another sample taken in two weeks from the initial sampling.
What If My CRP Levels Are High?
Dr. Ronald Hunninghake in his short easy to read book, “User’s Guide to Inflammation, Arthritis, and Aging: Learn How Diet and Supplements Can Reduce Inflammation and Slow the Aging Process” describes his personal journey in lowering his elevated CRP level.
He determined that his diet was playing a role in elevated CRP and by adopting a “Hunter-Gatherer Diet” of whole unprocessed foods and eliminating wheat products was sufficient to bring his CRP to normal levels.