By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC
Wondering What Are Inflammation Markers and How Are Your Levels?
Inflammation is one of the leading underlying causes of disease. For years I battled an illness that no one could figure out, and the only thing that kept coming up on test results were high inflammation markers. The most elevated marker was my erythrocyte sedimentation rate. And I seemed to have a high level of crp too. That showed the doctors that something was wrong, there was inflammation in the body, and we had to figure out why.
It wasn’t until I took classes in blood chemistry that I learned how to run blood tests for them and what each one can mean. It has helped me reduce illness in people and watch symptoms disappear and lives improve. Of course, I have to think about the severe health challenges natural anti-inflammatory support may have prevented.
Chronic inflammatory conditions can be heart disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mood swings, depression, weight gain, inability to lose weight, strokes, heart attack, and more. Plus, many autoimmune conditions or autoimmune diseases seem to have an underlying inflammation trigger affecting some part of your body.
It has been proven many times that diet, exercise, and correct supplementation can lower inflammation levels, improving health and wellness.
So what are inflammation markers? Here is some additional information to help you.
Homocysteine: A high level is a cardiovascular risk for people. Most of the time, an elevated homocysteine level will show up on blood work due to low folate or b12 status. Many people mistakenly think they need folic acid to help, which is the wrong thing to do. The problem is that folic acid is not converting correctly to folate, which is the usable form, so supplementation must be provided. Plus, lowering foods in the daily diet that contain homocysteine can be helpful.
Leptin: If you are overweight, underweight, or have an autoimmune disease or chronic inflammation, then leptin is relevant to your health. Leptin levels tend to go up as fat mass increases. So, increased body weight can cause leptin to go up. Leptin is one of the four main hormones that determine weight. Chronic high levels of leptin are associated with obesity, overeating, inflammation in the body, heart disease, and hardening of the arteries.
C-reactive protein: CRP is a substance produced by the liver that raises the body’s inflammation levels. You may never know by looking at someone that their CRP levels are high. When it is elevated, it can increase flares from inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, Lyme, vasculitis, IBS, and even be a cancer marker.
C-reactive protein can also indicate some neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This inflammation level can also be increased when a person is sedentary, has too much stress, is exposed to toxins, or eating a poor diet.
There are more inflammation markers, but these are a few important ones.
If you have been wondering what inflammation markers are and if yours are high, make an appointment.
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Medical disclaimer: Nutritionally Yours is not a medical clinic. Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor. We have a nutritionist, naturopath and a medical doctor on staff to help you feel your best.