C-creatine protein (CRP) is a protein that is produced by the liver when there is an inflammation or infection as well as after surgery, trauma, and heart attack. Research has shown that long term low level inflammation can increase the risk for heart disease. Higher CRP levels are also linked to other health problems such as obesity, diabetes, some cancers, and high blood pressure.
A wide variety of inflammatory conditions can cause increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, including the following:
Organ and tissue injury
Pericarditis (inflammation of the heart lining)
Autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, and certain types of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Some other conditions that may cause an elevated CRP level include:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
When should I get tested?
Symptoms of increased CRP levels depend on the underlying conditions that cause them. Symptoms of a moderate infection and injuries or conditions that cause chronic inflammation:
Loss of appetite
Symptoms of an Acute bacterial infection which is linked to very high CRP levels:
Rapid heart rate
Difficulty in breathing
Strong headaches, pain, or stiffness
Uncontrollable chills and sweating
Persistent or uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea
Light-headedness or dizziness
Dry lips, mouth, and skin
What is being tested:
A CRP test measures the level of C-reactive proteins in the blood to diagnose chronic or acute conditions that cause inflammation. Although, unlike a normal CRP test that measures high levels of C-creatine protein, A high sensitivity CRP (hr-CRP) test is performed to pick up the low levels of C-creatine protein, which is used to detect low-grade inflammations.