What is CRP? In what situations does CRP increase?

By | 11 May 2021

CRP (C-reactive protein) is a protein produced in the liver. Our body responds to a complex response to situations such as infection, tumor, and trauma. Increasing serum CRP concentration, increasing body temperature, and increasing the number of white blood cells are part of the response. This physiological response is aimed at eliminating the cause of infection or inflammation, reducing tissue damage, and activating the body’s repair mechanism. Serum CRP (C-reactive protein) concentrations are very low in healthy subjects. With the onset of the response we have mentioned here, serum concentration may increase rapidly, up to 1000 times within 24 hours. When the factor causing the increase in CRP disappears, the amount of CRP in the serum decreases within 18-20 hours and returns to normal levels. The CRP test is used as a parameter in the diagnosis of inflammatory and infectious diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, and in monitoring the response to treatment.

How is CRP (C-reactive protein) value measured?

By taking your blood sample in the laboratory, the CRP concentration in your blood serum is measured. The CRP test is not affected by hunger and satiety. There is no change in values ​​during the day, it can be done at any time. However, since some of the tests that are likely to be performed together require fasting, they are preferably measured while fasting.

Why is CRP (C-reactive protein) measured?

You may be asked to measure by your physician to clarify the diagnosis of conditions such as infection, any inflammatory disease, tumor formation or tumor metastasis, heart attack, and stroke risk. In addition, if you are being treated for these diseases, the measurement may be requested to understand the extent of the response to the treatment.

What is the HS-CRP test? Why is it done?

In recent studies, it has been shown that cardiovascular diseases are related to the formation of “atherosclerotic plaque”, which is known as arteriosclerosis among people, by the deterioration of the vascular wall. Inflammatory mechanisms are thought to play a role in the deterioration of the vessel wall and the formation of plaque and narrowing of the vessel. The fact that CRP (C-reactive protein) was isolated not from healthy vessels but from atherosclerotic vessels where plaque formation is shaped has made the CRP measurement an important parameter for the detection of cardiovascular diseases.

Increased CRP levels indicate inflammation (in the heart arteries) that increases the risk of a heart attack. In the post-heart attack period, high CRP may be mentioned. If you have a higher risk of heart disease or other inflammatory diseases than the general population, your physician may also order the higher sensitivity hs-CRP (high-sensitivity CRP) test instead of the CRP (C-reactive protein) test.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the use of CRP in cardiovascular risk detection. The risk classification is as follows. Hs-CRP;

  • Low risk if <1 mg / L
  • If 1-3mg / L is medium risk
  • > 3 mg / L is considered to be a high risk for heart disease.

What is the normal value of CRP?

It is low in newborns but rises after a few days and reaches adult values. The average serum CRP level in healthy individuals is 1.0 mg / L. With aging, the average value of CRP can rise to 2.0 mg / L. In 90% of healthy individuals, the CRP level is below 3.0 mg / L. It is thought that CRP values ​​above 3 mg / L are not normal, and even if there is no clear disease picture, it is thought to be an underlying disease. Some laboratories give the CRP concentration in mg / dL. In this case, the result can be evaluated as 1/10 of mg / L.

In which diseases does the CRP (C-reactive protein) value increase?

  • Infections
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Meningitis

Inflammatory diseases: Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Familial Mediterranean Fever, Kawasaki disease, rheumatoid arthritis (joint rheumatism), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Trauma, burns, and fractures
  • Organ and tissue damage
  • After surgical interventions
  • Cancer

Apart from these situations, a small amount of increase can be seen in pregnancy. An increase in CRP has been observed in women receiving postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy. Higher values ​​may be in question in smokers and in the presence of obesity.

What does an increase in CRP (C-reactive protein) mean in the blood?

Plasma (C-reactive protein) value is very low in healthy people. An elevated (C-reactive protein) value indicates inflammation or infection in the body, risk of stroke or heart attack, a recent heart attack, tissue death, or tumor. It also gives an idea to our physician about the course of your disease that causes the (C-reactive protein) shot. The disease is not a specific finding in terms of diagnosis, that is, it cannot be diagnosed only by looking at the elevated C-reactive protein value. In order to make a diagnosis, other examination methods, including physical examination, and the findings obtained from the examinations are evaluated together.

Is the increase in CRP (C-reactive protein) noticeable?

The increase in It value is not felt directly, but the increases in the presence of inflammation and infection. Symptoms such as an increase in body temperature specific to inflammation, local temperature increase, pain, redness, swelling or weakness, fatigue may be felt.

What does CRP (C-reactive protein) drop mean?

The normal value of that (C-reactive protein) in blood plasma is below 1.0 mg / L. In other words, it is found in very small amounts. The lower your value, the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease or inflammatory diseases. If you have a specific disease before and your value has decreased after the treatment you have received for that disease, it indicates that you have responded well to the treatment. For example, if your CRP value has increased due to severe bacterial infection and your CRP value has decreased after antibiotic treatment, this means that the infection has disappeared.

How to lower the CRP (C-reactive protein) value?

İt (C-reactive protein) is a marker for the diseases mentioned above. In order for the value to decrease, the underlying disease should be diagnosed and treatment planning should be made. When the underlying disease is treated, the CRP value also decreases in response to treatment. There is no drug therapy to directly lower the CRP value.

It is possible to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes by making changes in life habits, except for obvious illnesses. Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes cause the CRP value to increase. As a precaution against these diseases, when we make changes in our life habits, we can indirectly reduce the CRP value. These measures are not only related to CRP but also to protect health in general.

For example;

  • Getting rid of excess weight
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Not to overdo it with alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding high-calorie foods and saturated fats
  • Prefer foods prepared with vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter, tallow, and margarine.
  • Preferring dairy products such as milk and cheese, yogurt with or without fat.
  • To create a diet based on vegetables, grains, and legumes instead of animal foods
  • Nutrition rich in pulp: The parts of the plants that are not digested are called “pulp”. The consumption of fiber-rich foods such as oats, rye, barley, rice, bulgur, peas, beans, leeks, spinach, chickpeas, and dried beans also helps to reduce cholesterol.
  • Limiting red meat consumption to 1-2 servings per week, choosing chicken or fish instead of red meat
  • Trying to eat a diet rich in omega-3s
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding processed foods
  • Avoiding ready-to-eat foods that contain high levels of trans fat (cake, biscuit, wafer, chips, etc.)
  • The way food is cooked can also trigger an inflammatory response in the long term. Grilling, boiling or baking is recommended instead
  • of frying and charcoal cooking.

If you are at risk of cardiovascular disease; If you have chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, if you are receiving cancer treatment, it is of great importance that you do not disrupt your routine controls and do not leave the doctor’s follow-up.




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