Worried About C-Reactive Protein Levels?
Cardiovascular disease remains one of the biggest health threats to Americans. For years, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels were 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. Have your provider order your level today and know that optimal is less than 1.0 and average risk is 1.0 to 3.0. You and your provider can then plug your number along with your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers into a Reynold’s Risk calculator to estimate your ten-year cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke) 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.
It that does not seem to be making a difference, consider more intense focuses like identifying food sensitivities by following an elimination diet for 6 weeks, adding a probiotic or looking for a trained Integrative Medicine doctor from our fellowship to help in the fight.
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