One Blood Test That Can Save Your Life

One Blood Test That Can Save Your Life

I remember the day in early 2012 when I was watching The Doctor Oz Show episode The Best New Test To Predict Heart Disease. Dr. Oz caught my attention when he said, “What if I told you one simple test could predict your risk for a heart attack. It’s called CRP, C-reactive protein.”

The C-reactive protein (CRP) test measures the level of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is said to contribute to almost every modern disease, including thyroid disease. A light bulb went off in my head when I recalled that a CRP test had been done for me a year before. I was in the habit of saving my blood work and I remember seeing CRP but I wasn’t aware of its significance in my life until that TV show.

Dr. Oz explained that there are three CRP Risk Levels:

Low risk: less than 1.0 mg/L

Average risk: 1.0 – 3.0 mg/L

High risk: above 3.0 mg/L

A warning bell shot off through my body and I ran to my file where I save my lab results. There it was…my CRP level was 5.1 MG/L (high risk).

Dr. Mark Hyman is on the Medical Advisory Board at The Doctor Oz Show. I’m happy to have him here at Hypothyroid Mom to give us more information about this important blood test.

Are you aware that you have the option to order your own lab tests? A trusted brand that I use and love where you can order your own lab tests like the C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Blood Test yourself is True Health Labs. Use coupon code Limited_5 for 5% off an order for Hypothyroid Mom fans.

Written by Mark Hyman, M.D.

The next time you visit your doctor for blood work, make sure that along with your lipid profile you request a C-reactive protein (CRP) test. CRP measures the degree of hidden inflammation in your body.

Mounting evidence underscores the critical role that inflammation plays in the development and continuation of diabesity. One study in JAMA: The Journal of the Medical Association found people with a high C-reactive protein blood level have a 1,700 percent increased probability of developing diabetes.[1]

Besides obesity and type 2 diabetes, inflammation contributes to almost every modern disease including heart disease, cancer, and dementia as well as arthritis, autoimmune disease (such as the thyroid autoimmune diseases Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease), allergies, and digestive disorders.

Acute Versus Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation comes in two “flavors.”

Acute inflammation is your body’s appropriate response to infection or trauma. You’ve experienced a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle.

But inflammation should do its job and then leave. With allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, or asthma, an overactive immune response and chronic inflammation can slowly wreak havoc, eventually leading to illness and rapid aging.

Your CRP levels should be less than one. Anything higher provides a giant warning sign that you have hidden inflammation.

Inflammatory Culprits

Especially with high CRP levels, you want to do everything possible to reduce inflammation. Even if your results come back within normal range, you’ll want to target inflammatory culprits, including:

  • A high-sugar, processed foods diet
  • Inflammatory fats (omega 6 fats like processed vegetable oils and trans fats)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites
  • Mold and other environmental allergens
  • Toxicity from an overload of environmental toxins

8 Strategies to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Couple the Standard American Diet – with its abundance of vegetable oils, trans fats, and sugar – with high stress levels and crappy sleep, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for chronic inflammation.

Reversing inflammation can reduce your risk for disease, help you lose weight, and leave you feeling and looking better no matter what your age. When my patients have high CRP levels or otherwise experience chronic inflammation, I employ these eight strategies to normalize inflammatory levels. Speak with your healthcare practitioner to determine the right supplements for you.

  1. Eat real food. Too many sugary foods, including wheat flour, raise insulin, eventually paving the path for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. A vicious cycle results as insulin resistance creates even more chronic inflammation. Eat an anti-inflammatory high fiber, plant-based, whole foods diet.
  2. Make an oil change. Besides sugar, omega-6 rich soybean, corn, and other vegetable oils stoke your inflammatory fire. Eat healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, avocados, and omega 3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon. My book Eat Fat, Get Thin Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes. If you don’t eat wild-caught fish at least three or four times each week, consider a high-quality fish oil supplement like Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil.
  3. Exercise regularly. One study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found exercise protected against chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.[2] If you’re just starting out, incorporate aerobic exercise 30 minutes, five times a week. If you want to step things up a few notches, try interval training and weight resistance.
  4. Actively relax. Learn to actively relax to engage your vagus nerve, the powerful nerve that relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation, by doing meditation, deep breathing, or even taking a hot bath. One study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found yoga could reduce inflammation and stress, and “regular practice could have substantial health benefits”.[3]
  5. Address food allergies and sensitivities. One study in the journal Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes compared obese kids to normal-weight kids and found obese children had a threefold higher level of CRP and 2.5 higher level of IgG antibodies for the 277 foods tested.[4] Food sensitivities, weight gain, and insulin resistance are intricately connected. Eliminating common highly reactive foods including soy, gluten, and dairy can dramatically reduce inflammation.
  6. Take probiotics. Studies show among their benefits, a probiotic supplement can help reduce intestinal inflammation. These healthy gut flora also improve digestion, further reducing inflammation.[5] Look for a high-quality probiotic supplement like this one by Pure Encapsulations that contains 10 billion CFU of Bifidobacteria species and Lactobacillus species.
  7. Address nutrient deficiencies. Look at a high-quality multivitamin/multi-mineral as your best insurance policy that covers any gaps you might not get in a whole foods diet. Here are a few that I recommend to my patients: Metagenics Phytomulti with Iron (iron interferes with the absorption of thyroid medications so take all supplements that contain iron 3-4 hours apart from your medication), Metagenics Wellness Essentials Women’s Prime (for menopause and beyond) or Metagenics Wellness Essentials Men’s Vitality. One study in The American Journal of Medicine found a multivitamin could lower C-reactive protein levels.[6]
  8. Spice it up. Turmeric is one of my favorite spices to help reduce inflammation. Others include ginger, rosemary and garlic.

About Mark Hyman, M.D.

Dr. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician and a ten-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of books like The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet and Eat Fat, Get Thin. He is the Director the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. He is chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, medical editor at The Huffington Post, and member of the Medical Advisory Board at The Doctor Oz Show.

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1. Pradhan AD, Manson JE, Rifai N, Buring JE, Ridker PM. C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, and risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. JAMA 2001 Jul 18;286(3):327-34.

2. Petersen AM, Pedersen BK. The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Apr;98(4):1154-62.

3. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Christian L, Preston H, Houts CR, Malarkey WB, Emery CF, Glaser R. Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice. Psychosom Med. 2010 Feb;72(2):113-21. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181cb9377. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

4. Wilders-Truschnig M, Mangge H, Lieners C, Gruber H, Mayer C, März W. IgG antibodies against food antigens are correlated with inflammation and intima media thickness in obese juveniles. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2008 Apr;116(4):241-5. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

5. Mengheri E. Health, probiotics, and inflammation. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2008 Sep;42 Suppl 3 Pt 2:S177-8. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31817eedc4.

6. Church TS, Earnest CP, Wood KA, Kampert JB. Reduction of C-reactive protein levels through use of a multivitamin. Am J Med. 2003 Dec 15;115(9):702-7.

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini M.A., Ed.M., founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

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