What is CRP?
Whenever you feel unwell or simply need to know if you are still of sound body, your doctor would have you undergo a number of tests. In some cases, you might come across what they call as the CRP test, but what is exactly is CRP?
CRP, or what medical professionals refer to as C-Reactive Protein, is actually kind of protein that can be used by doctors in order to assess the level of inflammation in the body. Generally, a high amount of C-Reactive Protein would mean an existing infection as well as the probable presence of long-term diseases. Now, while the CRP Test could not clearly point to where the infection is coming from, it is typically used by medical professionals in order to monitor the progress of such conditions as Lymphoma, Lupus, Osteomyelitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. There is, however, a certain form of CRP, the hsCRP, or high-sensitivity CRP, that is currently proving to be useful for cardiologists.
Your Heart and the CRP Test
Recent studies have seem to indicate that the level of CRP in one’s body can be used to determine that person’s risk for certain heart diseases. Aside from that it has been shown that CRP tests can also be as reliable when it comes to predicting cardiovascular risk as cholesterol levels. Based on observation, women, especially those who are already post-menopausal, who had high numbers of CRP were four times at risk for heart attack or stroke.
So how does this happen?
Most medical professionals believe that, as the plaque build up along the walls of the blood vessels, the latter becomes injured and could become inflamed. When this happens, the body experiences a rise in CRP. This now allows medical professionals to determine just how high a risk someone is for a heart attack. All they have to do is draw blood from you and have it analyzed. You need to keep in mind, though, that there are also other factors that could affect the result of a CRP Test. This would include obesity, the presence of an IUD, if you are pregnant, and if you have just finished exercising.
How do you treat an elevated CRP?
In relation to cardiovascular disease, there is actually now way to treat CRP itself. Your best move would be to understand the underlying causes and then deal with those. For example, if what is causing your elevated CRP is artherosclerosis, you should consider watching what you eat. It would also be beneficial to you to make sure that you indulge in regular exercise. Depending on the gravity of your case, your doctor might also prescribe medications that would help lower your cholesterol level. Some of the medications which they could prescribe would include aspirin as well as statin.
Now, since heart attack as well as sudden cardiac arrest could both happen with very little to no symptoms, you need to make sure that you are ready for anything. This would mean undergoing CPR training programs so that you would know how to administer one, as well as keeping an AED unit on hand.