Part of our extensive bloodwork at Healthy Living Dallas is an inflammatory panel. One of the markers we monitor is called highly sensitive C-reactive protein or (hs-CRP). C-reactive protein measures general levels of inflammation in your body. In the sensitive format that we measure this is also a useful marker for determining risk of CVD, heart attacks and strokes.
One of the most underestimated obstacles in fertility is inflammation. According to a 2014 study published in Seminars in Reproductive Medicine showed that inflammation can change estrogen and progesterone levels which can make it difficult to get pregnant or take a baby to full term.
Inflammation Causes and Interventions
Causes of Elevated hs-CRP:
Many functional medicine professionals will agree that the following factors can contribute to elevated inflammation:
Processed foods, especially those high in simple sugars, hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup which promote bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel
Insufficiency of fiber which helps pull toxins from the GI track and acts as a broom to sweet them out
Insufficient phytonutrients like those found in fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds
Eating a high saturated fat diet that is also high in arachidonic acid such as that found in meat and dairy
Food allergies in which the person continues to eat the particular food item
An abnormal lipid panel (elevated triglycerides, elevated total cholesterol, low high density lipoprotein (LDL).
Chronic disease left untreated such as diabetes
Obesity and being overweight specifically in the the presence of visceral fat, the type of fat that occurs inside the abdomen around the internal organs as opposed to subcutaneous fat under the skin, is associated with increased levels of inflammation
An elevated homocysteine level
Chronic stress and lack of relaxation or sleep
Lack of exercise and movement
Vitamin D deficiency
A fatty acid imbalance in which omega-6 is much higher than omega-3 and the diet is rich in saturated and trans fats
What can you do to help correct your elevated hs-CRP or chronic inflammation?
The World Health Organization recommend adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
Eat the rainbow daily
The Institute of Functional Medicine recommends aiming for 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. A typical serving would equal half a cup of cooked vegetables, one cup of raw leafy vegetables, or a medium sized piece of fruit.
Weight loss if you are overweight or obese
Invest in a good quality probiotic specific to your individual needs and symptoms
Steer clear of known allergens, and be aware of increasing food sensitivities as well. Gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and nuts are some of the most common dietary irritants
Support phase I and II of the inflammatory response
Avoid Trans fat found in chips, sweets, and fast food
Normalize your vitamin D levels
Balancing your omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio
Normalize you blood pressure
Normalize your insulin sensitivity with a low glycemic diet and movement
Reduce your exposure to free radical damage and heavy metals
If you are interested in seeing if inflammation is a concern for your health or a potential future pregnancy, schedule your new patient appointment at Healthy Living Dallas to assess your hs-CRP and many other factors in our advanced labwork panels. Instead of guessing, let’s test and see what is out of balance and then we’ll teach you lifestyle habits that will help reduce inflammation and keep it at bay.