Inflammation is important in the body’s defense against harmful substances or infections. However, chronic infections, food allergies, toxic exposures, and a host of other environmental triggers and toxicants, can chronically activate the body’s inflammatory responses. Chronic inflammation can then lead to the body damaging its own tissues and cells and slowing the natural turn over of dying cells leading to premature or accelerated aging. Inflammation in the brain can damage neurons and lead to conditions such as Autism or Alzheimer’s. Inflammation from whatever source is often elevated when patients complain of fatigue and lethargy. Here are a few important markers that can tell us if the body’s inflammatory responses are activated.
Baseline labs we run on new patients and as part of an annual review may include: CRP-high sensitivity, Sedimentation rate
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a protein made by the liver that is sent into the bloodstream in response to inflammation. This protein will elevate in the presence of an active autoimmune disease, or a new or chronic bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection. It is possible that this inflammation marker may also elevate with free radicals in particular when antioxidant activity is insufficient.
Sedimentation Rate(Sed rate)
The sed rate is a blood test that can reveal inflammatory activity in the body much like CRP. Sed rate tests might be useful when evaluating unexplained fevers and some types of arthritis and symptoms that affect the muscles. A sed rate test helps determine the severity of the inflammatory response and also monitor the effect of any prescribed treatment. Because a sed rate test can’t pinpoint exact location or root cause of the inflammation, it’s usually followed by other confirming and diagnostic labs.