Your Heart Health, your CRP levels, and Inflammation

134976059Have You Had Your C-Reactive Protein Levels Checked Today?
C- Reactive Protein, abbreviated “CRP,” is a protein that is produced by the liver as a response to high levels of inflammation in the body. High CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of Heart Attack and Stroke.  CRP is also considered to be a reliable indicator of inflammation in the body. High levels of inflammation also contribute to feeling stressed.  

Inflammation has a positive health function… for awhile
Inflammation is a required response by your body that springs your immune system into action.  This helps your body to call in nutrients and chemicals when tissues are damaged, and to whisk away toxic debris, dead tissues and waste. Without inflammation, a simple injury could leave an area of our body permanently disabled. After inflammation has played its essential role in managing the acute response, your body also needs the capacity to shut it off when it is not needed.

Chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a state where many body tissues remain in a perpetual state of stress, which creates more damage and problems. Only our body’s innate intelligence can decide when it is appropriate to turn off, but we have to do our part by supplying the proper nutrients which allow it to do so.

In physiological terms, inflammation operates as a “positive feedback loop.”  What this means is that small inputs, in this case inflammation, creates instability that will grow exponentially and affect many areas of your body unless a signal tells it to stop. Sometimes when people suffer acute inflammation in the body, often they lack the nutrient “chemical intelligence” which directs your immune system to turn off this process when it is appropriate, which leads to chronic inflammation.  When inflammation is stuck in the “on” position due to missing nutrients, a state of “chronic” or “systemic” inflammation occurs.  Inflammation can be attributed to nearly every disease and injury in the body in varying degrees. Reducing inflammation can change the way your body feels.

Are Statin Medications A Good Way to Lower CRP?
The short answer is NO! Even though certain Statin medications have been shown to lower CRP values, they do not address the cause of inflammation, and allow inflammation to continue unnoticed in the body. As mentioned earlier, C- Reactive Protein, abbreviated “CRP,” is a protein that is produced by the liver as a response to high levels of inflammation in the body. Because “CRP” is made by the liver, we first must have a healthy liver in order to make adequate amounts of this protein.  If our liver is sick, then we will not make adequate amounts of this protein, even when we have high levels of inflammation in the body, and therefore may not even realize it.  

People who have diseases that affect the liver, or people with high liver enzymes, such as Hepatitis patients, people suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, patients on multiple drug therapies, and people taking Statin medications all have hindered liver function.  A Statin medication lowers cholesterol in the body by impairing the function of the liver, so it doesn’t produce cholesterol…this is how this drug works. When Statin’s impair our liver function, they essentially make our liver sick; it also cannot produce adequate amounts of CRP, even as inflammation levels rise in the body. Statins can give us a false sense of security that we have inflammation under control, when we really do not.

Identifying CRP (C- Reactive Protein) levels and lowering CRP levels naturally
In order to detect CRP levels, we use a Comprehensive Bioscreen blood panel, which is part of our general screening. We also use the Inflammation Panel developed by cardiologists at Cleveland Heart Lab, and this test is considered the premiere blood test when it comes to detecting heart disease or stroke.  We work with a blend of several nutrients to help reduce your CRP levels, addressing the cause of inflammation, which provides longer lasting results.

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