Inflammation is a natural physical response to infection or injury. It’s an important step in your immune system’s healing response. However, chronic inflammation (or inflammation that persists for weeks… even years) is not healthy, and it can pose a number of long-term problems.
There are a number of autoimmune disorders associated with chronic inflammation, including arthritis, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, grave’s disease, psoriasis, IBS, allergies and even cancer. So, how do you know if you’re at risk of an inflammation caused complication? Thankfully, there’s a straightforward solution. Ask your doctor for this simple blood test to find out exactly how much inflammation you have in your body.
How to Measure Your Inflammation
Before you start noticing the outward symptoms of chronic inflammation (which will show up after the problem has already persisted for some time), you can find out if you have inflammation through a blood test. It’s called the C-reactive protein test (or “CRP”).
C-reactive protein is manufactured by your liver. It’s a type of protein called an acute phase reactant, meaning that more of it is produced when there is inflammation in your body. Of course, this makes it the perfect measurement for the blood test.
How to Interpret the Results
So you went to the doctor, drew some blood, and the lab results came back. Now, what? Here are a few guidelines for understanding what your test means:
- 0 CRP per 1mL of blood is great! This means you have no inflammation in your body
- 1-3mg CRP per 1mL of blood is normal. You have some inflammation, but it doesn’t put you at risk for complications like heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
- 3mg+ CRP is a red flag. This means you have too much inflammation in your body. Although the test can’t tell you where it’s coming from, now you can work with your doctor to find the exact source.
How to Reduce Inflammation Naturally
If you find high levels of CRP in your blood test, don’t fear! There are a number of things you can do at home to naturally reverse inflammation anywhere in your body. In fact, we recommend these steps to everyone, whether they’re at risk of chronic inflammation or not.
- Reduce your intake of sugar in your diet
- Avoid eating refined carbs (substitute them with whole food sources instead, like barley, legumes, squash, honey, and sweet potatoes)
- Stop eating fried foods
- Exercise regularly (start slow if you have to. Every workout counts! Gradually build up your strength and stamina with a variety of fitness exercises)
- Eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables
- Increase your Omega-3 intake
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