Understanding your high C-reactive Protein levels (Elevated CRP) Test Results

Today we’ll be discussing the causes, effects and remedies for high levels of CRP in the blood and it’s relationship to inflammation.

Please view and read our disclaimer before continuing

What is C-reactive protein and what does it do for the body?

CRP stands for C-reactive Protein, which plays specific, beneficial roles for the body. In this post we will use both names interchangeably.

CRP is a native protein that’s first synthesized by the liver and then found in blood plasma where part of its role is to respond to inflammatory stress.

One of it’s physiological roles is to bind to compounds found on the surface of dead or dying cells. Once bound, it helps activate other bodily systems related to the inflammatory response, acting as an important support for the bodies innate immunity as it plays a role in an early defense system against infections.

With the help of CRP the body eventually clears deceased cells and unhelpful bacteria, as well as thwarting viral or bacterial attacks.

What causes CRP levels to become elevated?

As stated above, levels of the protein can elevate in response to any form of inflammation in the body.

What’s most important though for health warning signs are the causes of inflammation.

Sometimes a reactive protein test can show high results from a non-chronic, non-threatening condition. In these cases inflammation can heighten from strenuous daily activities or seemingly small colds and sicknesses.

But other times high levels of inflammation can prove a marker for much worse conditions.

For example:

  • chronic bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
  • Inflammatory diseases such as tissue wasting disorders, necrosis, rheumatism etc..

When these conditions are present in the body the liver could trigger high production of the protein for it’s immune response.

CRP levels raise within about two hours of the inflammations onset, peaking around two days, and has a half life of around two days. The half life means that level can easily rise and stay chronic.

Because of it’s strong relationship to inflammation, c-reactive protein can be used as a marker of inflammation. A potential interfering factor that could mess up the proteins production relationship relative to inflammation is in the case of liver/renal failure. If the liver isn’t working right, then production may falter; regardless of inflammatory levels.

While elevated levels will show a clear indication that there’s inflammation in the body, they will not likely help determine where in the body the condition is located.

What levels are are considered normal range? What levels are high?

The levels below are averages. Consult your doctor about what is deemed medically sound for you

  • Normal: 1-10mg/L

  • Moderate/High: 10-40 mg/L

  • Elevated: 40-200 mg/L

  • Very high >200 mg/L

Normal range levels in a healthy individual are most commonly lower than 10mg/L. They can be a little bit higher in older individuals.

Moderately high levels, which can be found during pregnancy, in cases of mild inflammation and viral infections. These levels typically hover around can 10-40 mg/L. Medications which effect estrogen (birth control, hormone therapy) can also slightly raise levels above average.
High levels of 40-200 mg/L will occur in active inflammation or chronic bacterial infection.
Very high levels (above 200 mg/L) result from bacterial infections, burns and severe chronic conditions. Those with elevated levels are at an increased risk for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

I got my test results back and my levels are high. What’s causing this?

So you’ve got your results back and you want to improve your situation.

What can you do now?

First of all it’s good to rule out non-serious causes that may have spiked your levels temporarily.

For example:

  • You have just exercised.
  • You have a mild infection.
  • You have an intrauterine device (IUD) in place.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are very overweight

If you’ve ruled out those possibilities and still think something is up then you’ll want to pinpoint what it is that’s causing the elevated CRP levels. Maybe it’s still just something passing through your system, but it might be a serious infection or disorder.

But how to find out?

Since C-reactive protein is so closely related to inflammation, you’ll want to ask your doctor about investigating deeper into inflammatory disorders/diseases that you might be prone to developing or have already succumb to.

There’s broader tests that can show more indicators of inflammation and can help you and your doctor pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

A test I highly recommend (for everyone to take, actually) is a broad health check which looks at a bunch of markers in your blood.

The Health Check Plus test from True Health Labs looks at these markers, is inexpensive and can be done without an appointment with your doctor. (feel free to bring your results to your doctor though.)

Health Check Plus Test Markers
Health Check Plus Test Markers for CRP (C-reactive Protein) among others

Now you have a better understanding of what’s causing your eleevated C reactive protein levels. What can you do to improve your condition?

So assuming you’ve taken further testing, let’s now look at what we can do with the results that you got back.

If you’re suffering from a chronic condition or disease, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor for what to do next.

But if it’s nothing major, and instead just a result of a not-so-healthy lifestyle, then there’s lots you can do to alleviate your inflammation and lower your CRP levels on your own.

Here are some things that you could focus on to lower inflammation:

Exercise. 

Fitness is a great way to lower chronic inflammation. Oddly enough exercise actually produces inflammation itself, but it is a different kind – acute rather than chronic. Acute inflammation is helpful and necessary for the body to remain healthy, while chronic inflammation is not. Exercise causes the release of certain hormones – like cytokine – that signal the body to lower the inflammatory response.

Of course, everything in moderation. Too much exercise can cause damage to the body, as many intensive athletes have found out.

Clean up your diet.

Unhealthy foods are a major culprit in inflammatory conditions. Food allergies and unhealthy foods will directly interact with and increase C-reactive protein levels.

Over eating sugar, refined flours, PUFA’s (poly-unsaturated fats) and processed foods will cause inflammation. Eating healthy, regenerative foods will reverse it. To learn more about cleaning up your diet for inflammation we highly recommend reading up on how to adjust your diet. Clean Cuisine by Ivy Larson offers an 8-week program for easing into a low-inflammation diet. Even if you don’t try out a whole 8-week program there are plenty of good nutritional tips.

Supplement your diet for improved inflammation response.

Below are some powerful supplements that help your body respond to inflammatory problems

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant found in sea life such as salmon, shrimp and algae. It directly aids the body in many ways, including inflammatory control, eye and skin health. Here are 5 reasons to take it every day. You can find it in high-potency supplement form here on Amazon.

Omega-3 essential fatty acid

Omega-3 oils are an important and essential part of the human diet. And one we modern humans are not getting enough of.

Omega-3 controls inflammation and supports a myriad of psychological factors that aid our bodies. Not only are we not getting enough of them today, we are getting far too much of their counterparts – omega-6 and omega-9.

Omega 6 is especially overabundant in the standard American diet and can single handedly raise our CRP levels when over consumed. The human body should receive a nutritionally balanced ratio of omega-3/omega-6 at a 1:1 ratio.

But instead of a 1:1 ratio, most people in the west are getting a 1:20 ratio. Sometimes even as high as 1:40 ratio. Having 20-40 times as much omega-6 in our diet causes broad and chronic inflammation in the body if continually consumed.

If you want to take control of your omega-3 levels then we advise supplementing it. Krill oil is the best source of omega-3 (DHA & EPA.) It’s up to 50x as potent as fish oil. Our prefered source of Krill oil is from Viva Labs. You can find it here.

Rest your body and relax your mind.

Once you have essentials like diet, supplementation and exercise figured out, the next best thing for you to do is to learn to relax your body and mind. These days its far to easy to keep ourselves constantly busy and tense. It becomes habit to “always be on” and not calm and relaxed.

When we get caught up in a crazy-busy lifestyle our body responds by constantly activating the stress response “fight-flight” mode. And when we get stuck in this cycle we don’t sleep as much and constantly seek out distractions that reinforce our stresses.

With a stressed out body and mind our system never gets the opportunity to slow down and heal. After awhile of this we get stuck with chronic inflammation.

So make sure to get plenty of sleep and make time to do relaxing activities that aren’t overly stimulating. Soon enough your CRP levels should drop to a normal level.

Understanding your high C-reactive Protein levels (Elevated CRP) Test Results by

29 thoughts on “Understanding your high C-reactive Protein levels (Elevated CRP) Test Results”

      1. It’s really not a contest is it? Lol☺️😊😊 I know pain is pain to me. I know ranges stated on CRP tests indicate ” moderate” as above 11 I think I read.point being we probably all were not feeling our best when labs were drawn. Hope y’all are feeling better. I’m living minute to minute and hour to hour… Etc! Today’s been low pain. I am not nauseated praise the LORD! I still need daily nausea medicine” phenergan” for my nausea control. Ok I’m also osteoporotic at 26 got dx. Take care of them bones y’all ! God bless
        E

        1. At those comparing numbers, complete unnecessary. A question was asked about ONE test, which btw, is a very general inflammatory marker. It doesn’t reveal the health status of an individual, good or bad.
          Very good points made by others. Thank you.

    1. Have your doctor follow your level and make sure he or she does appropriate tests- ie.-EKG base line that rules out recent heart attack or other cardiac disease or other illnesses you may currently have that may be to blame for elevating your CRP. But in my case I know it’s not my heart now since 2 high CRP tests are making my doctor screen my heart for changes by using in office an electrocardiogram test to rule out my heart. It was no change since last EKG , but I do have horrible chronic pancreatitis . I am getting more thorough blood test in a few more months and keep up my in office follow up appointments every other month or sooner if I’m in acute illness vomiting and I fe real bad bad pain mostly all the day and get worse acute flares if I eat at all. I have had many ERCP to try help relieve symptoms however nothing lasts long if it does work at all. Anyhow I am rambling- lol I know I’m not a dr but I have been working in medical field since age 17 as phlebotomist/ medical lab tech. I hope you find help and peace of mind- god bless
      E

      1. Wanted to add I have had diagnosis of Chronic pancreatitis since 1996. It’s been rough and very frustrating as well. I was so depressed from having constant upper left abdominal pain hot, burning ( wraps around back and shoulder blade( awful pain that doubled me over in fetal position and left me delirious and incoherent needing ER intervention to try to control and stop vomiting and dehydration .

  1. I have had high CRP levels high A/G ratio, sometimes high PTH levels, sometimes high calcium serum levels, severe abdominal issues, soft tissue injuries, osteoperosis, extreme fatigue, sometimes blurred vision, may have hyperparathroidism doctor is not 100% sure. I eat healthy, exercise 3 times weekly. I am 5/4 119 lbs. I am only 50 years old and feel sick everyday of my life. my doctor has offered no follow up care, and no direction as to whom I should see for help. I do not know what kind of doctor to see. No one s helping me. I just want to have some sort of life back. PLEASE!

    1. Have you heard of ‘Sarcoidosis’? It’s rare and nasty and in my case was mistakenly diagnosed

      as terminal cancer. It’s also known as the snowflake disease as it shows snowflake like granuloma

      under CT. An FBC will usually show only C-reactive protiens; LFT ESR Serum levels etc etc

      all come back as normal but your CRP’s will be off the scale. Your liver is trying to show that there

      is something to be concerned about, normal levels being below 5mg/ltr of blood.

      I don’t know what you’ve tried so far : antibiotics, clean liver diet etc. I am in the UK and now

      receiving the correct treatment. Flare ups are hell unless treated. good luck. It’s worth a try?

    2. I have also had high CRP level of 147 last year and like you feel unwell everyday and have a host of symptoms and chronic conditions. I was also diagnosed in 2011 with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which I learnt to manage ok and still had some sort of life but the last year since being unwell and having the high CRP my health has really deteriorated and the hospital were unable to find why my CRP levels were elevated so they monitored me and over the course of around eight days they started to decrease. Like you I would love some help/answers but not sure where to turn because when you have a diagnosis of a chronic condition every symptom you have is attributed to that even though you know your own body and know that something else is going on. I do hope you get some answers.

    3. Melissa Harrell

      hello. I realize this post is old. but I’m just reading it. I’m so sorry for what u are going thru. I hsve been in severe pain for 16yrs. I have 5children and a farm. I trained horse for a living and there wasn’t a man around who could out work me, except my dad and brother. I just had a major brain surgery 7months ago. I hsve all kinds of problems from working so hard and being smashed by horses falling on me. I understand pain. I do not take narcotics unless I’m desperate. . I use the power of the cross to get me thru. . I have attempted suicide more than once, thank the good Lord my family stepped in. you have got to giv e it all the God. he can take care of u. trust inHIM . get involved in church hiding out in your home doesn’t do any good I still do it sometimes. I don’t answer the door ALOT. but that doesn’t help u. . I’m so sorry. if u would like to talk I will give u my number

  2. My CRP is 610 and I’m in hospital had so many tests, drips and antibiotics in 12 hours. I’ve been admitted but they don’t know what’s wrong. I’m so concerned. Any suggestions what would cause such high levels?

  3. My friend’s C reactive protein is 445.9. He’s been on on anti-imflammatories and prednisone for 6 days, but they don’t seem to be working. We believe he has reactive arthritis following salmonella poisoning. What should he do to lower this incredibly high level of C reactive protein?? Thank you!

  4. My son age 4.5 years. Today check his blood and report say CEO serum is 46.8 , what is meaning of this and what action need to take for my son.

  5. Just found out my inflammatory markers at 200 and Dr has no clue to why, I feel tired and slightly off kilter but they all look so worried and are arranging a CT scan asap when your Dr looks worried and says good luck it’s slightly scary, hope you all feel better soon

  6. My crp was 245 and ferritin way over 500.
    Got a fever tight chest and really fatigued. Also got low vitamin D.

    Normally fit and healthy slight asthma but exercise loads and eat okay (most of the time) they also found a shadow on my left lung at an a&e x-ray. I have been referred for a ct scan and a camera down my throat next year not great I feel all of you pain.
    Kind regards

  7. My 17 month old crp is 9.5 I am freaking out can’t get connected with his doc. He is ok no abnormal things I am noticing. He got his mmr varicella vaccine a day before the lab. Is that could be the reason?

  8. Hi, I started out with minor elbow soreness this past December, within a week or became horrible pain and stiffness in both elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles. Took a trip to the doc after about a week and a half, crp level at 52 ( I know there are ppl with so much higher). They have done RA factor test which came back negative, ANA’s were in normal range. So the rheumatologists ruled out RA and Lupus. I eventually had to have a 5 day round of prednisone to help relieve the pain and swelling in my ankles, I could not even get out of bed in the mornings until my 800 mg ibuprofen kicked in, and even then I was struggling. I’m fine now just tender and sore to touch my ankles and they occasionally puff up, but nothing like before. The rheumatologists called again and said my crp level is still high though. I’m just wondering if anyone has had this issue or something similar and what has been your diagnosis? I’m at my wits end trying to figure what is causing this inflammation. Thanks for any answers or advice.

    1. Harriet Protopapas

      Just cu your RF came back negative it doesn’t mean you don’t have Rheumatoid arthritis ! My husband was RF negative but he did another test called anti-ccp which is much more specific to RA and that was positive or high level so he got the diagnosis. Your doc should order that test…ASAP

    2. Hi Hannah – sorry to hear you are suffering with joints etc. I too have constantly moderate/high levels of crap and err (39 and 35) – has been higher than normal for at least 30 yrs but only taken seriously for last 8 years. Diagnosed with inflammatory rheumatism. Random joints flare up and are agony, and once they flare up they remain sore and tender. I also have really painful feet and ankles. When they are painful it’s really uncomfortable to stand and walk. Sometimes I have to use a walking stick to walk which i hate as I am only 46. I haven’t had painful feet for about 4 months but it’s slowly getting worse. I saw a rheumatologist and was prescribed hydroxyqhloraquine tablets to reduce inflammation. Have also heard a gluten/sugar free works wonders ( but I haven’t tried yet as addicted to sugar). Try getting a referral to a rheumatologist. I hope this post helps. Good luck. Cx

  9. My CRP level is 109, my symptoms are itchy body and burning feet and head only at night, acid reflex or heart burn so severe that I vomit and I have lost the vision in my right eye. The doctor requested more blood work. I’m only 37 and am quite active….I have put on a few extra pounds from 2 pregnancies in the last 4 years….any suggestions?

  10. Ah yes. Anything over 50 you should be seeing a doctor for consultation. Dont read too much into anything on the interwebs. Go see a professional.

    I suffer from lymphedema and a multitude of other conditions which exacerbate infections. I currently have one caused by who knows what, CRP is 190, caught it early. I’m on antibiotics for 10 days. I regulate my own, but notify the doctor who confirms it.

    Peeps, if you have any concerns with your bloods, please consult with a professional.

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