C Reactive Protein (CRP) is a protein marker of systemic inflammation. It is considered to be a marker of heart disease and a predictor of heart attack and stroke. CRP is measured through blood tests as ordered by your doctor and is also available through the Health Check Blood Screenings.
CRP can be an important test, especially if yours is high. While it is commonly used for heart disease, it can also point to any disease that involves inflammation such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, gum disease, and hidden infections. It can also be the result of smoking or using synthetic estrogens. Whatever the reason, it is good to know your level of CRP in the event you need to take some action.
Chronic inflammation is generally a response to our lifestyle. The standard American diet is pro-inflammatory because it promotes high blood sugar, acid pH, food sensitivities and oxidative stress – all of which contribute to systemic inflammation.
If you are wondering how to combat inflammation, you can make dietary changes to reduce your blood sugar and to incorporate more alkaline forming foods into your diet. You might also want to eat by your blood type – this is a great way to get rid of hidden food sensitivities that may contribute to systemic inflammation.
There several classes of nutritional supplements that can be helpful in reducing systemic inflammation. These include enzymes, anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, and herbs. One of my favorites is something called Intenzyme by Biotics Research. This is an enzyme formula that breaks down proteins that can lead to inflammation. Because it is an enzyme, it works best when taken on an empty stomach, or it will help digest your food.
Omega 3 oils are anti-inflammatory. They are one of the basic supplements I recommend for everyone because they are simply not in our day-to-day diet. Quality is important – impure or rancid oils will only promote inflammation.
Antioxidants such as grape seed extract, pycnogenol and resveratrol also seem to reduce inflammation while helping protect the body from free radicals.
If you are interested in measuring your systemic inflammation, get your levels of C Reactive Protein checked in your next blood test. If your levels are high, your health professional can help you determine why and more importantly, what actions to take to reduce it.
Health Check will be at The Green House on Tuesday, January 25th from 8:00-11:00 a.m. to take blood for laboratory analysis. Their service is relatively inexpensive and completely confidential. Call us at 325-347-6040 if you would like more information.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com