The brain is not immune from inflammation. Inflammation can occur anywhere in your body. There is a blood test called the C-reactive protein (CRP) test. CRP is a plasma protein. It is produced by your liver in response to inflammation in your body. It is non-specific – it won’t tell you where the inflammation is in your body. Typical sources of inflammation can be:
● Cardiovascular disease
● Alzheimer’s disease
● Parkinson’s disease
● Inflammatory bowel disease
● Autoimmune diseases
● Poor diet choices (vitamin/mineral deficiencies)
● Certain cancers
● Heart disease
● Environmental toxins
● Processed foods (too many omega-6 fatty acids)
CRP levels increase as the level of inflammation in your body increases. You cannot tell if you have elevated levels of CRP. There are no symptoms or feelings. If you are healthy, generally your test results should be less than 1 mg/L of CRP. If your test results are higher than 3 mg/L CRP, then you have something causing inflammation in your body.
I had my annual physical recently. My CRP was less than 0.5 mg/L of CRP. However, I also had a keteroancanthoma (a low-grade skin cancer, a squamous cell carcinoma) on my right forearm. The skin cancer did not raise my body’s CRP level. It is a good test, but not the total answer for good health. It is a blood test that is typically not administered during an annual physical. Ask your physician to add it to your laboratory tests.
If your CRP test results are above 3 mg/L, then your physician might order a highly sensitive CRP (hs-CRP) blood test. It will reveal the level of inflammation at the micro-vascular level. The hs-CRP test is used mainly to assess heart disease. CRP testing can be used to track the trend of inflammation. Is your doctor’s treatment actually working?