Breaking Down Blood Markers: High Sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP)
by Dr. Mitchell Rasmussen, DC, CFMP, FRC-ms
In the conventional medical model, you'll get your annual bloodwork run and when things come back in "range", your doctor simply says, Everything Looks Good, and you move on. ..But do you ever get a chance to truly understand those markers?! What is the 'normal range' anyway?!
In this series, Dr. Mitchell Rasmussen breaks down blood markers from a functional medicine perspective. We talk about tighter functional lab ranges, and WHY numbers outside of range matter, and HOW to address them using lifestyle intervention.
LESSON ONE: HIGH-SENSITIVITY C-REACTIVE PROTEIN (hsCRP)
CRP is a type of protein secreted by the liver. It increases in response to inflammation. SO, when we are inflamed, our CRP goes up. Essentially, inflammation starts the cascade.
When certain inflammatory molecules (IL-6 being the first that comes to mind) are released into the bloodstream due to trauma, infection, or inflammation, the liver releases CRP.
CRP is NONSPECIFIC, in that elevations could be caused by any condition resulting in inflammation or infection.
C-reactive protein is released and circulates in the blood during the acute phase of inflammation or infection. It also will tend to be elevated during chronic (ongoing) inflammation.
The take home point is this: CRP levels will respond quite rapidly to the insult; and they will decrease just as rapidly with the RESOLUTION of the condition.
This is what we are working for. To help you resolve your inflammatory triggers... (aka, poor eating patterns, poor environment, poor stress management, etc)! [See Also: Sleeping/Pooping/Blood Sugar Control]
CRP and the Immune System.
I find this interesting - CRP is thought to act as a surveillance molecule for certain pathogens. This recognition provides us with early immune defense; and it leads to a pro-inflammatory signal. This activates our adaptive immune system (the complicated, highly evolved, highly specific immune response that develops days after the initial immune response to an insult).
What are some of the more common times we see elevated CRP?
1- GI disorders (including dysbiosis/SIBO, poor motility, pathogens, food intolerances, and more)
2- metabolic syndromes (poor blood sugar control, insulin resistance)
- poor diet
-high blood sugar
BOTTOM LINE : If your CRP is elevated, lifestyle change will almost always bring your values down.
How do we manage these issues in the context of Functional Medicine?
Test > Treat > Step back and re-assess > Tweak as needed > Continue Progress
Functional Medicine is personalized lifestyle medicine tailored solely around the needs of each patient.
There are no boxes we need to fit in. We want to know any concerns, new symptoms, changes, etc. you may have going forward. Dietary choices and lifestyle habits are primary drivers of our health. It sounds so cliché, BUT it’s true. All of the high-end metabolic testing and nutrient protocols would be for naught if we didn’t support a true lifestyle change. It comes from education about what exactly to eat and what habits to put in place.
This is NOT going to be an easy, straight-shot, no bumps in the road kind of affair. This is your life we are helping you take back control of.
We are all in this with you.
The support I have from my team, as well as the experiences we’ve gained together having treated complex cases, gives me great excitement at the possibilities for anyone’s long-term health projection. I believe strongly that if you follow through with the guidance earned through your sessions with my team and me, you will achieve a level of health that you likely assumed was never again possible for you.
Health is a VERB, not a NOUN.
Want to work with a functional medicine doctor to run labs and assess nutrient status? Struggling with hormone imbalance, IBS, weight gain, mood changes? Let's look at BIOCHEMISTRY. Read more about Functional Medicine at The Facility here.
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