Do you know why to get tested for inflammation? Inflammation has a terrible reputation, let’s face it. A large portion of it is merited. After all, persistent inflammation is a factor in both chronic illnesses and fatalities. If you only read the headlines about health, you may believe that stopping inflammation will also stop dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and possibly even aging itself. Sadly, that is not the case.
However, in recent years, our knowledge of how chronic inflammation can harm health has substantially increased. Three typical inquiries follow from this comprehension: Could inflammation be present without my knowledge? How can I determine whether I do? Exists a test to detect inflammation? Absolutely, there are.
Why to get tested for inflammation: the detection of inflammation
In medical care, a number of reputable tests are frequently employed to find inflammation. However, it’s crucial to note that these tests can’t differentiate between acute inflammation, which might appear alongside a cold, pneumonia, or an injury, and the more harmful chronic inflammation, which may come along with a variety of conditions including diabetes, obesity, and autoimmune diseases. It’s critical to comprehend the differences between acute and chronic inflammation.
The four most typical tests for inflammation are as follows:
- rate of erythrocyte sedimentation (sed rate or ESR). This examination gauges the rate at which red blood cells sink to the bottom of a vertical blood tube. Increased blood protein levels cause red blood cells to clump together and fall to the ground more quickly when inflammation is present. A normal result is typically 20 mm/hr or less, while a value above 100 mm/hr is rather high, though ranges vary by lab.
- protein C-reactive (CRP). When there is inflammation, this liver-produced protein tends to increase. Less than 3 mg/L is considered a normal value. CRP levels exceeding 3 mg/L are frequently used to determine an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease; nevertheless, systemic inflammation can cause CRP levels to climb to 100 mg/L or more.
- Ferritin. This blood protein measures how much iron is kept in reserve by the body. Most frequently, it is requested to determine whether a person with anemia is iron deficient, in which case ferritin levels are low. Or, the body may have high ferritin levels if there is an excess of iron present. However, when inflammation is present, ferritin levels also increase. However, a common normal range is between 20 and 200 mcg/L. Normal findings vary per lab and tend to be slightly higher in men.
- Fibrinogen. The levels of this protein tend to increase when inflammation is present, despite the fact that it is most frequently examined to assess the health of the blood clotting system. 200 to 400 mg/dL of fibrinogen is considered normal.