What is CRP? In what situations does CRP increase?

C-reactive protein, often abbreviated as CRP, is one of the proteins that increase in blood during inflammatory reactions and are called acute phase reactants produced by liver and fat cells.

Crp or c-reactive protein is expressed as a substance produced by the liver. This parameter, which shows the protein value in the blood, is used to control the patient’s condition. To make a diagnosis, the (C-reactive protein) test is done without sweating only to confirm the diagnosis. Especially people over the age of 50 should have this test once a year. This test is also useful for infants and children who are often sick.

In operations, the CRP test is usually performed due to infection, cancer, connective tissue diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, tuberculosis, lupus, organ, and tissue incompatibilities. As a result of the test, the value can be high or low. These have different meanings.

High CRP Value

In healthy individuals, the protein level in the blood is between 3 and 6 micrograms. (C-reactive protein) is considered dangerous if the level is above this range. It is stated that people with chronically high (C-reactive protein)levels have a shorter life span.

Especially obesity, burns in the body, physical and psychological stress, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and alcohol addiction, excessive consumption of industrial foods cause high CRP. Drug therapy is often used to treat this condition. In addition, trans fats and fried foods should be avoided, and seafood such as sardines and salmon should be consumed. Vitamins E and C should be taken, and foods rich in magnesium should be emphasized. Patients should take beta carotene and vitamin A if they have alcohol and cigarette addiction.

What is CRP? In what situations does CRP increase?

The disease can be diagnosed early, thanks to high(C-reactive protein)symptoms. Individuals with high values have an extremely high risk of developing acute bacterial infections. Symptoms of high CRP include uncertain fatigue, muscle pain, stiffness and weakness, low body temperature, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, indigestion, insomnia, or difficulty sleeping. According to these values, which can occur in any inflammation, it is not known exactly where the inflammation is. Crp value may increase when there are vascular problems. At the same time, CRP can be high as a result of immune system diseases, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

What is CRP? In what situations does CRP increase?

(C-reactive protein) is a protein produced in the liver. Our body responds to a complex response to situations such as infections, tumors, and trauma. Increasing serum CRP concentration, increasing body temperature, and increasing the number of white blood cells is part of the response. This physiological response aims to eliminate the cause of infection or inflammation, reduce tissue damage, and activate the body’s repair mechanism. Serum (C-reactive protein) concentrations are very low in healthy subjects. With the initiation of the response we talked about here, the serum concentration can rise rapidly and can reach up to 1000 times within 24 hours. When the factor causing CRP increase disappears, the amount of CRP in serum decreases within 18-20 hours and returns to normal levels.

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

By taking your blood sample in the lab, the CRP concentration in your blood serum is measured. 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 tests that can be performed together require fasting, they are preferably measured while fasting.

Why is CRP (C-reactive protein) measured?

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

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

Recent studies have shown that cardiovascular diseases are associated with the deterioration of the vascular wall and the formation of “atherosclerotic plaque” known as arteriosclerosis among humans. Inflammatory mechanisms are thought to play a role in the deterioration of the vascular wall, plaque formation, and vascular narrowing. The fact that CRP (C-reactive protein) is not isolated from healthy vessels, but from atherosclerotic vessels where plaque formation occurs, has made the CRP measurement an important parameter for the detection of cardiovascular diseases.

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

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the use of CRP in cardiovascular risk assessment. Risk classification is as follows. Hs-(C-reactive protein)

  • Low risk if <1 mg / L
  • 1-3 mg / L if medium risk
  • > 3 mg / L is considered 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. In healthy individuals, the mean serum CRP level is 1.0 mg / L. With aging, the mean value of CRP can increase to 2.0 mg / L. 90% of healthy individuals have a CRP level below 3.0 mg / L and a CRP value above 3. mg / L is not normal and is considered an underlying disease even if there is no clear picture. Some laboratories give the CRP concentration in mg / dL. In this case, the result can be evaluated as 1/10 mg / L.

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

  • Infections
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Meningitis
  • Inflammatory (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 increase in pregnancy can be seen. 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 the increase in (C-reactive protein) mean in the blood?

THE Plasma CRP value is very low in healthy people. Increased CRP value indicates inflammation or infection in the body, risk of stroke or heart attack, recent heart attack, tissue death, or tumor. It also gives your doctor an idea of ​​the course of your illness that caused the CRP vaccine. The disease is not a diagnostic specific finding, that is, it cannot be diagnosed just by looking at the high 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 CRP value is not felt directly, but CRP increases in the presence of inflammation and infection. Inflammation-specific symptoms such as increased body temperature, local warmth, pain, redness, swelling or weakness, fatigue may be felt.

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

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

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

C-reactive protein) is a marker for the diseases mentioned above. In order for the CRP value to decrease, the underlying disease should be diagnosed and treatment planning should be made. When the underlying disease is treated, the CRP value 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 disease conditions. Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes cause the CRP value to increase. As a precaution against these diseases, when we change our living habits, we can decrease the CRP value indirectly. These measures are not only about CRP but also for maintaining health in general.

For example;

  • Getting rid of excess weight
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoking
  • Not to overdo it with alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding high-calorie foods and saturated fats
  • Choose foods prepared with vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter, tallow, and margarine.
  • Choosing dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, semi-skimmed or skimmed
  • Eating a diet based on vegetables, grains, and legumes instead of animal foods
  • Nutrition rich in meat: The parts of the plants that are thrown out without digesting 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 lower 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 (cakes, biscuits, wafers, chips, etc.) that contain high levels of trans fats
  • The way food is cooked can also trigger an inflammatory response in the long run. Grilling, boiling or baking is recommended instead of roasting and charcoal.


If you are at risk of cardiovascular disease; If you have chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and are receiving cancer treatment, it is very important that you do not interfere with your routine controls and follow up with a doctor.

The page content is for informational purposes only. Articles containing information about therapeutic health services are not included in the content of the page. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test

What is a C-reactive protein (CRP) test?

A c-reactive protein test measures the level of c-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood. CRP is a protein made by your liver. It is sent into your bloodstream in response to inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting your tissues if you’ve been injured or infected. It may cause pain, redness, and swelling in the injured or affected area. Some autoimmune disorders and chronic diseases can also cause inflammation.

Normally you have low levels of c-reactive protein in your blood. High levels can be a sign of a serious infection or other disorder.

Other names: c-reactive protein, serum

What is it used for?

A  test can be used to find or monitor conditions that cause inflammation. These include:

  • Bacterial infections such as sepsis, a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition
  • A fungal infection
  • Inflammatory bowel disease causing swelling and bleeding in the intestines
  • An autoimmune disorder such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • A bone infection called osteomyelitis

Why do I need a CRP test?

You may need this test if you have symptoms of a severe bacterial infection. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have already been diagnosed with an infection or have a chronic illness, this test can be used to monitor your treatment. (C-reactive protein) levels rise and fall depending on the amount of inflammation you have. If your CRP levels drop, this is a sign that your inflammation treatment is working.

What happens during the test?

A healthcare professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be drawn into a test tube or bottle. You may feel some pain when the needle goes in and out. This process usually takes less than five minutes.

Will I have to do anything to prepare for the exam?

You do not need any special preparation for the (C-reactive protein) test.

Are there any risks for testing?

There is little risk of having a blood test. There may be mild pain or bruising where the needle was inserted, but most symptoms resolve quickly.

What do the results mean?

If your results show high levels of CRP, it probably means you have some type of inflammation in your body. The CRP test does not reveal the cause or location of the inflammation. So, if your results are not normal, your healthcare provider may order further tests to understand why you are inflamed.

A higher than normal (C-reactive protein) level does not necessarily mean you have a medical condition that requires treatment. There are other factors that can raise CRP levels. These include smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your healthcare provider.

Is there anything else I should know about the CRP test?

The  test is sometimes confused with the high precision (hs) CRP test. Although both measure CRP, they are used to diagnose different conditions. A hs-CRP test measures much lower(C-reactive protein) levels. It is used to control the risk of heart disease.

Dr. Lecturer Member of

Cem Ozcan
Internal Diseases (Internal Medicine)
Medical Park Ankara (Batıkent)

Dr.

Cem Ozcan

References

  1. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. C-Reactive Protein (CRP) [updated 2018 Mar 3; cited 2018 Mar 3]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/c-reactive-protein-crp
  2. Lab Tests Online [Internet]. Washington D.C.: American Association for Clinical Chemistry; c2001–2018. Glossary: Inflammation [updated 2017 Jul 10; cited 2018 Mar 3]; [about 3 screens]. Available from: https://labtestsonline.org/glossary/inflammation
  3. medicalpark Turkey>.https://www.medicalpark.com.tr/

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