Inflammation Can Kill--But How Do You Measure It?
As you may remember, last week I wrote a blog called 5 Things Your Cardiologist Won’t Tell You. In that blog, I invited readers to ask any cardiology questions they had—and I’ll be answering all of them in future blog posts.
Today, I wanted to answer a question asked by Melanie. She wrote, “Dr. Sinatra, How does one know if they have inflammation of the heart?”
That’s an important question since inflammation is a significant predictor of heart disease—far more accurate than cholesterol levels, and a factor underlying most other diseases as well.
How do you know if you have inflammation of the heart?
1. Have your doctor request a blood test to measure your level of C-reactive protein (CRP). This is your body’s key inflammatory marker. While the overall numbers may vary according to the lab, look for a general reading below one. That would be considered normal. Anything above one may indicate silent inflammation.
If your CRP is high, I recommend any or all of the following: exercise, weight loss, nattokinase (50–100 mg/day), CoQ10 (100–200 mg/day), baby aspirin, omega-3 fish oil (2 grams/day), and vitamin E (200–400 IU/day). But CRP is not the only test that can help you identify whether or not silent inflammation may be a concern.
2. Have your doctor test your Lp(a) levels, which is a cholesterol particle that can cause inflammation and clogging of the blood vessels. High Lp(a) is usually hereditary. If you know elevated Lp(a) has been a problem for your family, you should ask your doctor to perform this test. In fact, should you have a strong family history of heart disease, you should have your inflammatory markers evaluated-- that means CRP, Lp(a) and homocysteine as well.
3. If both your CRP and Lp(a) levels are high, I recommend further testing for ferritin, fibrinogen, and homocysteine. All of these markers indicate the presence of inflammation in the body.
Now it’s your turn: Have you had your CRP level measured?
You May Also Be Interested In:
Enjoy What You've Just Read?
Get it delivered to your inbox! Signup for E-News and you'll get great content like you've just read along with other great tips and guides for Dr. Sinatra!
Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra's Favorites
Doctor-recommended support for healthy cholesterol ratios, blood pressure & overall heart health
Refuel your cellular engines for efficient heart function
Strength, energy, endurance--get the targeted nutrient support a man needs most
Stay youthful, healthy, vibrant and balanced with nutrient support designed to meet a woman's needs