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C-Reactive Protein Screening (CRP)

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Heart disease continue to be one of the top causes of deaths in the United States and if you are at moderate risk then preventing heart disease through a variety of ways and means would give you a longer life. Measuring your C reactive protein levels can be useful in evaluating your health condition, according to the American Heart Association, whether you are at moderate or high risk of developing a heart disease.

The C reactive protein test measures the blood’s CRP levels. An increased level could mean any of the following conditions:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Peripheral arterial disease

While high levels of CRP can indicate the possibility of a heart disease, there are other factors that will be considered by your doctor when making a diagnosis such as your weight, stress level, blood pressure, family history and age. C reactive protein levels of 1 mg/L means you are at low risk for cardiovascular disease. A CRP reading of 1-3 mg/L means you are at average risk while a CRP testing level of 3 mg/L means you are at high risk. A very high CRP level of 10 mg/L may be an indication of an illness or an infection which necessitates another screening after two or three weeks.

While it is not a specific test, Crp blood test conducted for a person suffering from lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can be used by doctors to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment for the said conditions. And since it is a general indicator, a low level should not be interpreted as an indication that there is no inflammation.

Who should undergo a C reactive protein test?

Heart disease or Diabetes

If you have a family history or any of the risk factors that can make you a candidate for heart disease or diabetes then you should get this test if only to monitor your present health condition.

Inflammatory bowel disease

Up to two million Americans are affected by IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease which involves damage to the intestinal tract lining. Some of the symptoms are bloody diarrhea, weight loss, fever and abdominal cramps.

Arthritis

There are more than 100 forms of arthritis which can be triggered by infection or fracture. If you are experiencing swelling, redness or pain in the joints, then check with your doctor for a possible Crp blood test. One of the most common forms that have affected an estimated 27 million Americans is Osteoarthritis. Another is rheumatoid arthritis which has affected an estimate 1.3 million Americans.

Autoimmune diseases

You need to check your C reactive protein levels if you have Lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Lupus is a chronic disease that can affect the internal organs including the lungs, heart and the kidneys.

A high C reactive protein or even a C reactive protein normal range results would give you enough basis to undergo the proper medication or certain lifestyle changes that can make you healthier despite existing health conditions. The screening is easily done since you do not need to fast or do anything in advance to prepare for the screening, so there is no excuse to forego this important testing for your health.

References:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/C-Reactive_Protein_test_to_screen_for_heart_disease.htm



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