Concerned About C-Reactive Protein Levels?
Cardiovascular disease remains one of the biggest health threats to Americans. For years, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels have been the measuring stick for cardiovascular risk, but recent studies have indicated that elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels – which measure inflammation – may be a better indicator of one’s risk for heart attack and stroke. In particular, it is the high sensitivity or ultrasensitive CRP that matters. Request this ultrasensitive CRP marker with your next blood draw or realize that most states allow you to order your own blood tests and see where you rank. Optimal levels, meaning low risk for cardiovascular event, are less than 1.0 with average risk between 1.0 and 3.0. Taking this number and your cholesterol numbers, look online for a Reynolds Risk Calculator and assess your 10-year of event risk.
What can you do to lower your CRP? It sounds familiar: If you reduce your stress levels, exercise regularly, eat an anti-inflammatory diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, stop smoking, and lose excess weight, your CRP levels will decrease naturally, along with your risk of heart disease and numerous other illnesses.
If that does not seem to be making a difference, consider more intense focuses like identifying food sensitivities, adding a probiotic, taking additional anti-inflammatory supplementation or looking for a trained Integrative Medicine doctor from our fellowship to help in the fight.
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