C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by the liver - this protein tends to increase when inflammation is present in the body which is why a CRP test is commonly used to check for infection or certain medical conditions.
When results show high levels, it may indicate an underlying inflammatory disorder or other conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Risk of heart disease
See also: What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
What conditions cause high CRP?
A CRP test is commonly used to diagnose conditions that are known to cause inflammation. A high CRP level may indicate inflammation in the body and may sometimes suggest that one of the following conditions or disorders are present:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorder that can cause pain and swelling in the joints - usually in the hands, wrists and knees. While it can occur at any age, rheumatoid arthritis is most common amongst adults in their sixties .
See also: Anti Inflammatory Foods: Foods to Help Inflammation
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that can cause damage to any part of the body. It occurs when the body’s immune system begins to attack its own tissues and organs. Although the symptoms vary from person to person - inflammation, joint pain and swelling are some of the most common .
Risk of heart disease
Although it’s believed that a high CRP level may indicate an increased risk of heart disease, it’s important to remember that CRP levels tend to change over time and the results aren’t a definite indicator of your risk.
If you’re taking a CRP test to indicate your risk of heart disease, Mayo Clinic suggest that the current risk levels used include:
- Low risk: hs-CRP level of less than 2.0 mg/L
- High risk: hs-CRP level greater than 2.0 mg/L
How much CRP is dangerous?
Your results may vary depending on a number of factors - age, gender and health history being the most common. With that said, if your levels are above 10 mg/L it might suggest that an underlying condition or serious infection is present and some further tests may need to be carried out .
See also: 10 Simple Tips For a Healthy Heart
One of the most reliable ways to know more about your CRP levels is by taking a test. This can be done by taking a trip to your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home CRP Test works by identifying inflammation in your body with online results available within 2-5 days. Our expert medical team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should consider taking a test if:
- You are at risk for Crohn's disease
- You are at risk for bowel disorders
- You are overweight
- You require a risk assessment for cardiovascular diseases
- You require a risk assessment for cancers