What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
C-reactive protein is a protein produced by the liver and found in the blood that is an indicator of the level of inflammation in your body. While it cannot tell you exactly where the inflammation is located, the cause of the inflammation or how it might be affecting your health, it can provide valuable information that can help you monitor chronic conditions or lower your risk for certain health issues.
Your CRP level can be determined by a simple blood test ordered by your healthcare provider and is often used to monitor inflammatory diseases, determine how well certain treatments are working or look for infection. Increased CRP can be related to cancer, heart disease, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments. It is also widely believed by healthcare professionals that inflammation is connected to a variety of health issues and increases your risk for certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.
An elevated level of CRP in your blood can occur after surgery or trauma and may not indicate a serious health condition; however, as a blood marker indicating inflammation, high CRP levels generally call for additional testing to determine the cause of the inflammation. Additionally, lowering the amount of inflammation in your body can reduce your risk for future health issues.
How to Naturally Lower Your CRP
Patients who present with high CRP levels in their blood may be prescribed statin drugs as a treatment. However, there are several natural ways to reduce inflammation that can be used alongside these medications or as a natural alternative, if approved by your doctor.
Natural ways to decrease inflammation and lower your CRP level include reducing stress, smoking cessation, increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight. Supplementing your diet with vitamin C, vitamin E or Krill oil can also help lower inflammation throughout the body. Eating a plant-based diet and limiting your intake of dairy and saturated fat can also help. Even indulging in a bit of dark chocolate on occasion can boost your efforts to reduce inflammation.
When using natural methods to decrease inflammation and lower your CRP, you will want to schedule regular blood tests to monitor CRP levels and determine the effectiveness of your efforts. This is particularly important if you have other risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, or if you are working with your doctor to reduce your reliance on statin drugs.