A blood test is one of the main diagnostic techniques that makes it possible to detect a disease and prescribe adequate treatment. It helps to establish the level of protein, which is an indicator of the inflammatory process. If the reactive protein is elevated, the causes can be quite serious. What prevents its increase in concentration?
Marker of inflammatory processes: what is CRP?
C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as general, is a catalyst for biochemical processes that constantly occur in the human body. It is formed in the liver and makes it possible, at an early stage, to detect infection, diseases of such vital organs as the kidneys and liver, to detect malignant tumors and metabolic disorders. Thus, CRP shows how healthy a person is. CRP very quickly (already 12-24 hours after the beginning of the development of the pathological process) reacts to inflammation and tissue damage. Moreover, its level can increase by 20-100 times!
The analysis for CRP is prescribed for the accurate diagnosis of acute infections and tumors. Conducting such a laboratory study is necessary in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment of a chronic disease (including antibiotic therapy). It is carried out after surgery and organ transplantation to identify complications and the development of tissue rejection. Another reason for referral to this analysis is the need to determine the degree of necrosis of the heart muscle after a heart attack.
In addition, research on CRP is indicated for healthy elderly people who are sick with hypertension and coronary heart disease. It is advisable to carry out after the end of the course of therapy in patients with cardiovascular diseases.
The result of the analysis may be affected by improper preparation for delivery. It is taken strictly on an empty stomach (the last meal should be no earlier than 12 hours before blood collection). If an elevated reactive protein is found in the blood, the causes may also be associated with taking oral contraceptives and hormonal pills (as part of replacement therapy). Such a deviation from the normal values is also observed during pregnancy, after heavy physical exertion and in active smokers. In all other cases, this indicates ill health.
What is a normal CRP value?
In a healthy adult and a child, the CRP rate will be less than 5 mg / liter. Moreover, this rule is the same for both men and women of any age. Excess of this indicator to a value above 8.2 mg / l (and more) is an alarming sign and a reason for further medical examination.
For newborns, a CRP of below 1.6 mg per liter is considered normal.
Alarm: with reactive protein elevated - causes
Why is blood CRP elevated? So the body reacts to inflammation or tissue death. The stronger the inflammation, the more c-reactive protein is found in the serum.
How dangerous is it for a person if the analysis showed that the reactive protein is elevated? Causes (more than 10, but not higher than 30 mg / l) are usually associated with infection. It can be viral (with minor deviations), bacterial (up to 100 mg / l) or fungal. With proper treatment, after 5-6 days, the CRP will begin to return to normal, and the patient will recover.
Unfortunately, high CRP may indicate more terrible and intractable diseases, namely:
- meningitis, tuberculosis. The protein level rises to 100 mg / l (and in some cases even more);
- rheumatoid arthritis, systemic vasculitis;
- heart attack An increase in CRP (from 40 to 200 mg / l) is recorded already 18–32 hours after the onset of the disease. On the 20th day, its indicators decrease, and on the 40th day they are normalized. With repeated infarction, its values will increase again;
- pancreatitis (more than 150 mg / l);
- sepsis, injuries and burns. CRP increased to 300 mg / l and above;
- surgical manipulations. The C-reactive protein may be kept at around 40 to 200 mg / l at first after surgery. If it does not fall (or, on the contrary, it becomes even higher), this indicates the development of complications — inflammation or tissue rejection;
- malignant neoplasms (which affect different organs - lungs, ovaries, stomach, prostate gland) and metastasis. At the same time, the CRP increases to 10–30 mg / l. To confirm this diagnosis, it is imperative to use other tumor markers;
- gastrointestinal tract diseases;
- low blood pressure.
Thus, if, against the background of a normal state of health (and especially ill health) in the serum, the c-reactive protein abruptly went up, then in no case should this fact be ignored. Should continue to survey. After all, such a change in blood parameters is a sure sign that an inflammatory process is already underway in the body or a serious disease is developing.
Analysis of the level of CRP also helps to draw conclusions about the correctness of the prescribed treatment and to make a prediction on how the recovery proceeds.
Why does CRP in children increase?
If a child has a fever for a long time or it rises against the background of normal health (there are no other symptoms of the disease), and also if a fever occurs frequently, he will also be prescribed a direction for blood donation for CRP. This will help in the diagnosis.
Such laboratory diagnostics is carried out in children with acute viral infections (flu, chickenpox, measles, rubella). In the early days of the disease, usually with a reactive protein is elevated. Causes in children may be associated with surgery. If for 4-5 days after it the level of CRP continues to remain high, then you should look for bacterial infections. It happens that a change in this indicator is the only sign confirming the accession of the infection.
Sinusitis, sore throat, pneumonia - all these diseases, as well as burns and injuries are provocateurs of an increase in the level of CRP in children. This is because the protein "tries" as soon as possible to eliminate the source of inflammation and restore the normal structure of tissues.
An increase in CRP is also recorded in newborn babies. If it reaches 12 mg / l or even exceeds this value, it is urgent to begin treatment (with antibiotics).
How to bring c-reactive protein back to normal?
The main thing that determines the prognosis and choice of methods of medical care, if the analysis showed that the reactive protein is elevated, causes. In any case, treatment will be directed not at combating elevated protein, but at eliminating the disease that provoked such an organism reaction. Based on laboratory test data, patient complaints, other tests and examinations, the doctor will prescribe medications that can help cope with the inflammation or improve the patient’s condition. Perhaps, to defeat the disease will need surgical intervention.
As the patient begins to recover, the CRP index will become normal.
If a person has a poor heredity (there are cases of heart attacks and other heart problems in the family), and a predisposition to dangerous diseases is found, then he should be regularly examined to determine the amount of c-reactive protein. This will help him not only to preserve health, but to increase the life expectancy.