A healthy heart is key for a healthy body. Thus, it is important to monitor your cardiac risks from time to time. The CRP blood test is thus, an effective method to keep a tab on your cardiac health.
Many people suffer from a high LDL level, which is a marker for bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol can lead to a whole host of other problems such as heart attacks, strokes or worse. Thus, it is important to maintain an optimum cholesterol level for proper cardiac health. The CRP test is one which helps in this respect.
CRP, or the C-reactive protein, is a substance produced by the liver. In optimal doses, it is good for the body. However, higher levels of CRP in your body can cause inflammation in the body.
The level of CRP in the body is a marker for most inflammatory diseases. These include arthritis, vasculitis and lupus. Higher levels of inflammation can also cause other serious heart diseases, certain forms of cancer, Alzeimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few of the chronic effects. Blood test labs consider CRP a non-specific marker for such diseases, it is a good way to safeguard against chronic ailments.
The CRP blood test is of two types. The base test shows non-specific elevated levels of CRP is the body. This is usually a marker for internal inflammation. Patients with previous auto-immune diseases or cases of arthritis are considered the most at risk. Thus, a CRP test may be done alongside a TSH blood test. A level of 10mg/L is considered a normal level for evaluation.
The stage-2 test is called the hs-CRP (highly sensitive CRP) test. This specifically measures inflammation in blood vessels. For people with cardiac problems, this test establishes the optimum risk for heart diseases. A level of 1–3mg/L is considered the normal level. Fluctuations from this level are indicators of low or high risk for heart disease.
The CRP test is becoming widely popular in hospitals, and is considered a good course of treatment. Reputed medical institutions such as Dr Lalchandani Labsconsider it common practice for patients with a history of heart disease.
The most common practice is to ask for a CRP test when checking a patient’s cholesterol levels, or during a CBC blood test (complete blood count). It may also be performed alongside a blood-group test, to check a patient’s blood group.
An alternate preventive measure is to prescribe patients an anti-inflammatory diet. Abstaining from smoking and drinking, and regular exercise can also lead to low CRP and proper cardiac health.