C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein produced by your liver. It responds to inflammation. Elevated CRP usually means there is inflammation throughout your body.

A blood test can measure the amount of CRP in your blood. However, the test can’t tell you exactly where the inflammation is.

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What is a CRP test?

CRP is a blood test that is often used to check for inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or vasculitis. It is also used to determine if anti-inflammatory medicine is working.

CRP tests can’t always tell you if you have rheumatoid arthritis, though, since the elevated levels could be for other reasons.

You should talk to a healthcare provider about getting the test if you are at risk for heart disease. Risk factors for heart disease are smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and family history.

What do CRP levels mean?

Normal CRP levels vary between labs, but there typically shouldn’t be any CRP detected in your blood. Your healthcare provider can tell you what your specific test results mean.

If your CRP level is higher than 3.0 mg/L, you are at a high risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke.

High CRP levels, or a positive test, mean that you have inflammation somewhere in your body. Sometimes, oral contraceptives and the last half of pregnancy can also produce elevated CRP levels.

Positive test results may indicate that you may have a more serious condition and will probably lead to further testing.

Some causes for inflammation include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Lupus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Tuberculosis

CareNow Can Help Provide Blood Testing

If you are in need of blood testing, contact the nearest CareNow® urgent care clinic to set up a visit.

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