What does a CRP level of 5 mean in a blood test?

  • What does a CRP level of 5 mean in a blood test?

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    C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation in the body. Therefore, its level in the blood increases if there is any inflammation in the body. C-reactive protein, along with other markers of inflammation (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, sed rate, or ESR) are also sometimes referred to as acute phase reactants. C-reactive protein is produced by the cells in the liver.

    It is important to recognize that CRP, similar to other markers of inflammation, can be elevated because of any inflammatory process or infection and, thus, its interpretation needs careful assessment of the entire clinical picture by the ordering physician. Other inflammatory processes, such as active arthritis, trauma, or infections, can raise the c-reactive protein level independently.

    Because of the these variables and fluctuations, it is also recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to measure fasting and non-fasting c-reactive protein levels ideally two weeks apart, and to use the average of these two results for a more accurate interpretation if the CRP level is used as a screening tool for cardiovascular disease.

    High sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) blood tests able to measure down to 0.3 mg/L — which is necessary in risk assessment for vascular disease are available. Anyway you can go with mobile App for blood testing solution.

    High c-reactive protein levels may predict a higher risk for cardiovascular disease alone or in combination with these other known predictors. Some studies have suggested an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease associated with elevated c-reactive protein levels even after correcting for the other risk factors.

    C-Reactive protein(CRP) levels in healthy human are between 5 and 10 mg/L and higher levels in pregnants, burns, infections and active inflammation. In people with cardiovascular diseases:

    • low: less than 1.0 mg/L
    • average: between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L
    • high: above 3.0 mg/L

    CRP is released by the liver and is an indication of an infection or inflammation. It is a sign for potential risk factor for heart disease. Inflammation is actually considered as an important contributing factor for coronary heart disease. Many epidemiologic studies have shown a significant associaton of CRP and the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events among patients with heart disease.

    Therefore, it is important to reduce inflammation through medications or diet/ supplements/exercise in order to reduce cardiac risk. Statins (HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) lead to reduction of CRP. Aspirin reduces another inflammatory marker IL-6 but not CRP. Jenkins et al. have found that diet has a similar effect as medications on CRP reduction and lowering cholesterol. Oxidative stress can trigger inflammation. Therefore, a diet high in fruits and vegetable and increasing omega-3 fatty acid may decrease inflammatory markers.

    C-Reactive Protein is produced in the liver in response to some chemicals made by immune cells in the process of an inflammatory response. These chemicals can be produced in response to a short-term inflammation (infection, tissue trauma, etc), or can be produced long-term if the inflammation is chronic.

    CRP below 1 is considered “low risk.” That risk is in reference to risk of a cardiovascular issue in particular. Between 1 and 3 is considered “average risk,” and above 3 is “high risk.” Obviously if the elevation is due to a recent infection or trauma or surgery or something, it would be an expected elevation and it should drop accordingly over time.

    But if the elevation remains upon serial testing over weeks or months, that is indicating a chronic inflammatory process happening in the body, which should be investigated and treated as appropriate. Chronic inflammation is, in many ways, the root of all biological evil. The vast majority of modern maladies are driven by an underlying inflammatory process.

    As a final note, I consider a CRP level in the “average risk” range to be in need of addressing. Heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the US. Being of average risk for it is certainly not optimal.

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    I’m going to assume that there is no other source of inflammation in your body such as infection. I’m going to assume this is a general systematic level of CRP in your body:

    That level of CRP is not good. You need to take steps to lower inflammation in your body. According to Harvard Medical School anything over 3 is high. Read that last link twice, it’s really that good.

    So, the first thing to do is cut sugar out of your diet. Even low to moderate amounts of sugar sweetened beverages significantly increases CRP in healthy young men.

    You may want to consider drugs that are anti-inflammatory. The easiest are doses of aspirin. As much as I generally loathe the drugs, you may want to consider taking statins.

    I can tell you from personal experience that the ketogenic diet is good. It has been studied and shown to reduce inflammation in the body. I’ve been doing it for 3 years and my last CRP was 1.6.

    Theoretically SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, polycystic ovary syndrome etc if doctor ordered and you have joint pain or obese, diabetic. I am option-less because missing SLE will make life worser, early diagnosis offers near normal life. Suspected SLE, rheumatoid arthritis like relatively common reasons where we order CRP.

    Liver produces it. Liver failure, pulmonary TB to psychological distress, fracture, burn, respiratory tract infection — all can increase CRP. It is meaningless to order CRP. For that reason not tested.

    You really need not to worry if you are under a doctor. If you are not under any doctor, suddenly ran test, you need to worry lesser. Because those odd not significant reasons can increase.

    All will ask about rash on face, joint pain, haemoblobin if you only show the test. CRP is not confirmatory but modest increase in 22 years old lady points to such. You have not written whether you have less haemoglobin, joint pain, red rash on face etc. That is the bias. In PCOS none probably order CRP, but that is another reason.

    So SLE or rheumatoid arthritis or PCOS are theoretically correct but CRP actually get increased for inflammation. Cell death needed to invoke that path.

    Thanks for A2A.

    Normal CRP is 0–10 mg/dl

    where as hs CRP range should be <3mg/l

    So, essentially you have increased CRP.

    CRP is a non-specific marker for diseases, just like ESR.

    So, if your CRP is increased it is indicative that you may have some problem/disease, which needs to be looked into.

    This includes

    1. Infections

    2. Myocardial Infarction

    3. Any inflamation

    4. others, and the list is long.

    So, essentially STAND ALONE CRP report does not give any information.

    It needs to be looked in clinical perspective.

    Now, since you have increased TSH. This indicates Hypothyroid, due to which your body metabolism would have decreased there by decreasing the Hb levels and leading to anemia.

    You may also be having oligo-menorrhoea, i.e. decreased frequency of menses, or can say otherwise your periods will be happening late, like every 40 days. (40 days is just an example)

    Hypothyroid also precipitates other problems in body, which may be causing increased CRP.

    So, all I can say is,

    GET YOUR THYROID PROFILE DONE PROPERLY, AND TREAT THYROID, AND THEN REPEAT CRP MAY BE 1 MONTH, AFTER YOUR TSH HAS COME TO NORMAL RANGE.

    IT IS NOTHING TO WORRY AS SUCH.

    Good Luck.

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