Testing Inflammation with CRP
Chronic inflammation is not good for the body and can play a negative role in many disease processes such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer, diabetes, and arthritis.
USNews writes that ...
"Cancer, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's—these seemingly diverse diseases are increasingly thought to have a common denominator: inflammation."
The back jacket of the book The Inflammation Syndrome shows a quote by Dr. Fred Pescatore that reads "Many of our most debilitating diseases can be traced to an inflammatory cause."
But how can we tell if we have chronic inflammation or our level of inflammation?
C-Reactive Protein Test
There is the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test that can measure your level of C-Reactive protein and hence your level of inflammation. In particular, the "high sensitivity" C-Reactive Protein test (hs-CRP) is sensitive to even low levels of the protein. The difference between the regular CRP and the hs-CRP is that they are sensitive to different range levels of the protein. The hs-CRP is sensitive to the lower range amounts of the protein.
The CRP Test stands for the C-Reactive Protein Test.
Dr. Mark Hyman writes that ...
"A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST can save your life. It is called C-reactive protein and it measures the degree of hidden inflammation in your body. This is important because almost every modern disease is caused by or affected by hidden inflammation, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, and dementia as well as arthritis, autoimmune disease, allergies, and digestive disorders"
A WebMD article has charts showing what CRP levels are considered normal. The article says that "High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) measures very low amounts of CRP in the blood. This test may be helpful in predicting your risk for heart problems, especially when it is combined with total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol tests."
The C-Reactive protein test was one of the four tests listed in Chapter 10 "Four Medical Tests That Can Save Your Brain" of the book The Better Brain Book.
The test is relatively simply involving a blood draw to be analyzed. You can learn more about the test at LabTestOnline.org. Since high CRP may not present itself with any outwardly symptoms, a blood test such as the high-sensitivity CRP may provide useful information.
How to Lower C-Reactive Protein
Of course, lifestyle changes such as exercise and healthy diet also lowers CRP.
Medscape article concludes that "a combined aerobic and resistance exercise training program may serve as a promising therapeutic modality resulting in a decline of serum concentration of CRP".
Virginia Hopkins Health Watch article says Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Krill oil, fruits and vegetables, and even small amounts of dark chocolate can reduce CRP.
For lowering high CRP levels, Dr. Weil says to eat an anti-inflammatory diet that includes fish, ginger, and tumeric. [reference]
Dr. Oz writes ways to lower CRP includes a Mediterranean diet, vitamin C, fiber, and some dark chocolate. [reference]
For more information about inflammation, the article on LifeExtension provides more detail.