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Detection of Acute Chronic Inflammation with C Reactive Protein Blood Test
- Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection. Early detection of acute inflammation is essential
- Signs of inflammation include: pain, swelling and surrounding skin is hot to touch
- A wide test to detect the inflammation process is the C reactive protein test (CRP test) which measures inflammation but doesn’t tell where the infection is occurring
- CRP is a risk factor and can lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury or infection. It is caused when the body reacts by flooding the affected are with blood which helps the healing process. In the case of infection, many people think that the inflammation or swelling is the infection; however, it is actually the body trying to heal the injury or infection. Early detection of acute inflammation is essential so the health care provider can intervene immediately to stop the source of inflammation.
To aid in determining whether you are having an inflammation response you first have to know what the signs of inflammation are. Swelling of the affected is the first and most obvious sign of inflammation. However, there are some other inflammation responses that you should be aware of. Another sign of inflammation is the temperature of the surrounding skin is hot to the touch. As blood rushes to the area of injury or infection it builds up under the skin making the blood which is warm heats the skin itself. The unfortunate side effect of acute inflammation is pain. Using ice and pain medication this can be reduced effectively unless the patient suffers from acute chronic inflammation which presents many more problems from an inflammation response.
Surgery also presents a challenge for the health care team where early detection of acute inflammation is essential to the healing process. One of the most widely used tests to detect the inflammation process is the C reactive protein blood test (CRP test). This test measures the presence of the protein which is present during the inflammation response. While the C reactive protein blood test is a positive indicator of inflammation it does not tell the doctor where that infection is occurring. In cases of acute chronic inflammation this makes it difficult to treat the inflammation without further, more invasive tests. The C reactive protein level in the blood stream is particularly effective after a surgical procedure. CRP is a risk factor of heart disease so high levels of c reactive protein may lead to heart attack or stoke.
It is important for the patient to know the difference between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation refers to any inflammation that is severe and immediate. Acute inflammation is the most immediately important inflammation process to occur. However, chronic inflammation has a more long term effect for the patient and can bother the patient indefinitely. Chronic inflammation is usually associated with diseases such as lupus and arthritis.
One of the most difficult conditions a person must face is a combination of the two types of inflammation. This is called acute chronic inflammation and is both severe and long lasting. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common cause of acute chronic inflammation and often causes long term suffering for the patient, especially since there is no permanent cure. There are medications that are effective at controlling and minimizing the pain associated with this particularly bothersome form of arthritis.
Inflammation is a very complex medical condition that is the precursor to potentially fatal infections. It is absolutely imperative that any signs of infection are treated immediately. Any delay in treating an infection can lead to serious tissue damage and in some cases even death.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Elevated CRP12 Dec 2008|