Posts Tagged ‘inflammation’

Food Intolerance or Allergy?

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Food intolerance is difficulty digesting different foods, or in other words  non-allergic food hypersensitivity. Food intolerance differs from food allergies because it doesn’t trigger the immune system and allergies do. An example would be people who are lactose intolerant. It can often be difficult to determine whether you are suffering from an allergy or if you are intolerant to certain foods. One important difference when deciding which one you have is that food intolerance takes longer to emerge than allergies. Allergy symptoms occur relatively quickly while food intolerance can take up to 48 hours to show. You may experience bloating, migraines, irritable bowel, and hives among many other things. Food intolerance can often be chronic while allergies can be outgrown. One out of five people outgrow their peanut allergy. However, some people with intolerance to certain foods have found that abstaining from these foods for a while and then reintroducing them has built tolerance, so they no longer suffer side effects after consuming it. There are blood tests you may have done in order to determine whether or not you are sensitive to any foods. These tests are called Alcat and they are offered on our website www.HealthOneLabs.com

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Sedimentation Rate

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Sedimentation rate or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a blood test offered to show the inflammation in your body. Inflammation is your body’s self-protecting response to get rid of harmful stimuli, however chronic inflammation is terrible for your body and can cause many diseases. This test can be done to diagnose or monitor inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. When your blood is drawn it is placed in a tube and your red blood cells slowly settle to the bottom of the tube.  Inflammation often causes the blood cells to clump, thus making them denser causing them to sink to the bottom at a faster rate. The sedimentation rate test measures inflammation by how fast the red blood cells fall in one hour. The farther the blood cells have fallen, the greater the inflammation in your body. Your doctor might request you get a sedimentation rate test in order to monitor your arthritis, to assess unexplained fevers, or to diagnose conditions like Giant cell arteritis. Because this test does not pinpoint the cause of your inflammation, it is often accompanied with other blood tests. The sedimentation rate test is offered at www.HealthOneLabs.com for $34.95, there is no special preparation required for this test.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

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Oral Hygiene, Inflammation and CRP tests

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I have read many medical articles, including clinical studies, that show correlations between the mouth and body – poor oral hygiene can lead to numerous health issues within your body.  For example:

Poor oral hygiene = overgrowth of bad bacteria = gum disease = inflammation = heart disease.

Granted, if you have poor oral hygiene you won’t necessary have heart disease, but a healthy mouth can decrease the odds of getting other factors that lead to heart disease.

healthy mouth healthy body

Dentists are increasingly treating the onset of gum disease.  In fact, gum disease affects up to 75 percent of all adults and is primarily caused by the build up of bacteria in the mouth, especially the gums.  When the bacteria are significant, the gums react and will become red, swell and bleed.  Gum disease is known as gingivitis and if left untreated can provide serious tissue and/or bone damage.

The relationship between gum disease and heart disease has been studied by the American Heart Association as a direct causal relationship with a strong association:  there’s an increased risk of heart attack.

More research is being conducted, but the biggest factor appears to be inflammation because this is the way bacteria can enter the blood stream.  Many people test their blood for inflammation :

The Cardiac C-Reactive Protein Test (hs) is a tool for assessing risk of cardio vascular disease.

CRP is a protein present in the blood when certain inflammatory processes are occurring. It is now known that arteriosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries are an inflammatory process that correlates with C-reactive protein, and it is believed to be a good prognosticator of heart disease. The test can help estimate your chance of developing cardiovascular disease, and your risk of having a sudden heart attack. This blood test was redesigned from the traditional C-Reactive Protein test to be sensitive enough to detect chronic low-level inflammation. Test results are independent of cholesterol, family history, and other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The test can be used in conjunction with traditional tests, such as cholesterol, to determine your risk. Recent illness or tissue injury, and chronic inflammation from arthritis can increase C-RP levels and falsely influence the risk rating for heart disease from this test.

With so many adults having increasing incidences of gum disease, it is important to monitor inflammation to identify potential risks.

Research has also shown that significant numbers of premature and low-weight births are accompanied by unhealthy gums.   Hormonal changes during pregnancy can exacerbate sensitive gums and can aggravate symptoms.  Again, studies have shown that inflammation provoked by bacteria is one of the possible factors affecting the premature and low-weight birth data.

There is a stronger connection with diabetes and gum disease: poorly managed diabetes compromises the immune system and the body must fight harder to fight any infections.  Inflammation can become heightened thereby creating an environment to developing gum disease.  Increased levels of inflammation are associated with a decrease in insulin sensitivity and higher blood sugar.

Stress is also known to compromise the immune system and increases the risk of developing infection.  It appears that cortisol, which is released when stressed, weakens the immune system and leaves strained bodies more prone to infection.  Additionally, when you are stressed out, you are less likely to take care of yourself, including getting adequate sleep.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


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What is CRP?

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What is CRP?

CRP is C-reactive protein, a protein found in the body that reacts to inflammatory response. Called a complement protein, CRP and other proteins like it respond to tissue damage.   When there is an injury anywhere in the body, these proteins and other aggregates of the inflammatory causeway react to help repair it.  This quick reaction to tissue damage and inflammation is part of our immune response.

CRP-hs blood test

Reactions to Inflammation

Because of how it responds, CRP levels are understandably elevated after surgery or accidental physical trauma. Vascular events that leave tissue without oxygen, such as heart attacks or strokes, can also affect CRP levels.  It is often after myocardial infarction or heart attack, that CRP levels are often watched, along with other blood tests to prevent another episode.

CRP & Infection

CRP levels will also be elevated when people are actively fighting infections, such as appendicitis, influenza, or pneumonia.  CRP levels, along with white blood cell counts, can help determine if a treatment is effective at eliminating the infection.

Autoimmunity and CRP

Autoimmune disorders are diseases where the body’s immune system begins to target its own cells.  Some examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, lupus, and hypothyroidism in some cases.  In addition to physical symptoms of pain and fever, autoimmune diseases will increase the inflammatory response.  In many cases, C-reactive protein levels will be evaluated by doctors, again, with other tests, to help determine the severity or progression of the disease or episode.

CRP & Heart

Since CRP is elevated after heart attack,  most doctors will follow its levels in patients after coronary events.  Initial CRP levels over 2.4 mg/dL are considered at risk for coronary events.  It is desirable to have CRP levels less than 1.0 mg/dL.  Statin drugs treated for hyperlipidemia reduce CRP levels, another reason to keep at risk patients on these drugs.  It is apparent that patients who consistently have higher CRP levels are more likely to have hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

CRP levels may be elevated in some cancers and is often very high during acute or chronic kidney failure.  Alone, a CRP blood test doesn’t diagnose a single disease, but can be significant in the presence of other symptoms.

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Medical Disclaimer:  The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

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An Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) blood test (also known as Westergreen Sedimentation Rate) is an important medical screening performed to detect inflammation in the body caused due to many reasons like infection, autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and the Kawasaki disease and also certain types of cancers. This test gives a measurement of the speed at which the red blood cells fall to the bottom of an erect glass tube. Abnormal proteins that may be present in the blood due to various reasons can cause the red blood cells to cluster together and sink down rather quickly. While it is important to know what ESR blood test is, it is also crucial to understand that this test alone is not sufficient to diagnose and conclude a disease.

test tub image for esr test resized 600

The ESR blood test needs no specific preparation and requires a technician to draw the blood sample from a vein of the patient and collect the same in a syringe or vial. The whole procedure takes a few minutes and the test results can be made available the ensuing day. If the results show inflammation, the patient’s health professional may ask him/her to undergo further tests to conclude the specific cause for inflammation.

Getting an ESR blood test done is easy nowadays and all one has to do is place an online lab test order and get it done at any local patient service center which is part of a reputed online health lab company. Clients can stay assured that the results of any test conducted by such online health labs are kept confidential and are also HIPAA compliant. Ordering and getting an ESR blood test this way is easier as it is not only cost effective but also the results of the test can be downloaded conveniently from the comforts of the client’s home.

In addition to the ESR blood test, the health lab companies also offer other online lab tests like the Comprehensive Health Profile, Thyroid Panel, PSA and the Cardio C Reactive Protein test. Corporate Companies can take advantage of the Online Corporate Health Promotion Services for their employees which is made available throughout the US.

Medical Disclaimer:  The information on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.  The writer is not a physician or health provider.

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