hs-CRP - CNSLab

hs-CRP

The CNSLab hs-CRP test uses a skin prick blood sample to assess low grade levels of inflammation, which research has linked to chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The results can be used as a tool to suggest where preventative strategies may be implemented or to monitor the effectiveness of these strategies.


Male
Female

1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CRP?
C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute inflammatory protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation. It is considered a non-specific “marker” for disease and infection. Inflammatory markers are known as acute phase reactants, others include erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and ferritin. They can be used separately or together to monitor a person’s health. 
What does a hs-CRP stand for?
High sensitive C-reactive protein.
What is the difference between CRP and hs-CRP?
They both measure the same protein, but hs-CRP is a more sensitive test enabling low grade inflammation to be detected. Low grade inflammation may contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerotic vascular disease, and other chronic health conditions.
Why do an hs-CRP test?
hs-CRP is a tool for assessing low grade inflammation. It is used medically to predict a healthy person’s risk of heart attack or other heart conditions as part of a cardiovascular profile. Those with hs-CRP results in the highest quartile have 2-4 times the risk of developing atherosclerosis compared to those in the lowest quartile. Within a functional medicine approach the test is used as a marker to identify the presence of low-grade inflammation and results can be used to monitor a person’s health establishing the effectiveness of recommended protocols.
Can hs-CRP be raised in response to elevated IgG food reactions?
Yes, evidence suggests that inflammation may result in response to elevated IgG food antibodies and a diet based on the elimination of foods showing the highest level of IgG antibodies may contribute to a reduction in inflammation. As such, comparing hs-CRP levels at the beginning and end of an exclusion programme, keeping all other variables such as medications and supplements constant, may be a useful tool to assess the success of an IgG elimination diet along with symptom improvement.
What other conditions are linked to systemic lower grade inflammation?
Low grade inflammation may contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerotic vascular disease.
Is a raised hs-CRP level harmful to the body?
No, it is just a marker protein that is stimulated in response to inflammation and in itself poses no risk to health.
When shouldn’t I test hs-CRP levels?
Do not test when you have an active infection or with a known inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and irritable bowel disease (IBD). Your CRP levels will be markedly elevated. CRP can increase up to 1x1000 fold at sites of infection or inflammation.
What should I consider before testing?
Levels may rise marginally after eating in response to the subsequent rise in lipid and glucose levels. We suggest taking the test first thing in the morning before food and drink. Consider medication also, see below.
What will the test results tell me?
The results will score your inflammation levels from low to high risk.
At what point should I inform my medical practitioner of my results?
If your results are over 8mg/L, we suggest that you seek medical advice as this level reveals higher grade inflammation. CRP levels will be considered alongside other markers as part of a health profile. Please note that as CRP is a non-specific marker there may be multiple sources of potential inflammation including atherosclerosis, gum disease and viral infection.
What would help to lower my inflammation levels?
Diet can help improve inflammation levels and your practitioner will be able to guide you in relation to this. The use of anti-inflammatory functional herbs and spices, such as ginger and turmeric, may also be included. Lifestyle factors may also be focussed on for example smoking, sleep patterns and the avoidance of negative stressors. Regular, appropriate exercise could be suggested as research indicates that as fitness levels decline C-reactive protein levels go up. 
How many tests can I take?
A single test will give you a baseline reading of hs-CRP levels, reflecting inflammation in the body at that time and, once lifestyle changes have been implemented, a further test can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the protocol. For example, in order to assess the effectiveness of an IgG based elimination dietary protocol, we recommend taking an initial baseline test at the beginning of your dietary programme and again after three months into the programme to assess progress. Please ensure all other variables such as supplements and medications are constant.
I’m taking medications, will they affect the results?
Some medications, such as statins and steroids, will affect your results. If possible, it is recommended to stop the use of asthma inhalers and topical steroid preparations 7 days prior to a test, but not without seeking medical advice first. Some NSAIDs such as naproxen and lumiracoxib may also affect results and high dose aspirin may lower CRP levels, although this has not been noted at lower levels. If your medication regime is constant, you may still choose to test the success of an anti-inflammatory dietary regime or an IgG elevated elimination diet.
What is the test turnaround?
Results are available within 5 working days.