What is C-reactive Protein & How Does it Affect Your Health?

C-reactive protein test
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C-reactive protein is made in the liver. It does not become active unless it comes in contact with Vitamin K. C-reactive protein is present in small quantities in the blood. The liver releases these glycoproteins as a response to inflammation. In case of injuries, the body produces the C-reactive protein. The liver can also produce C-reactive protein in case of autoimmune diseases.

Why order a C-reactive protein test?

The C-reactive protein test is ordered in a few scenarios by your doctor due to suspected diseases or specific symptoms. These are: 

  • Bacterial infections – In case of a bacterial infection like Sepsis, the doctor can order a C protein test. The C-reactive protein levels will indicate a bacterial infection. The C-reactive protein is an indicative test, so other tests are required to confirm the disease.
  • Fungal infections – In the case of fungal infections, the liver produces a high level of C-reactive protein. This infection can cause inflammation in the body.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease– This disease hampers the body’s bowel movements. IBD develops because of allergies or develops with age. C-reactive protein tests can indicate Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • Autoimmune diseases – The body’s immune system attacks its healthy cells in autoimmune diseases. The immune system misinterprets healthy cells of the body as pathogens. Autoimmune diseases cause severe inflammation, and the C-reactive protein test ascertains that.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis is the swelling caused in the joints. It causes inflammation and is a painful condition. Some forms of arthritis cause the C protein to increase. It could also be the other way around when the increase in C reactive protein can cause arthritis.

The procedure of the C-reactive protein test

A C-reactive protein test is a blood test. The following is the procedure for the test:

  • A pathologist will tie a tourniquet on your upper arm, just about your elbow.
  • The pathologist will tell you to make a fist with your thumb below your fingers.
  • The above two processes ensure that you have a good supply of blood and that the vein from which the blood is drawn pops.
  • Generally, the blood is drawn from veins on your inner elbow.
  • The pathologist will insert a needle into the vein and collect the blood in a syringe or a tube.
  • The collected blood is marked with your name and sent to the lab for testing. The C-reactive protein test cost depends on the city and lab.

Precautions for the C-reactive protein test

A C-reactive protein test is a blood test. The following is the procedure for the test:

  • This test does not require fasting. You can eat or drink normally before the test.
  • As desirable before any test, consumption of alcohol and smoking are avoidable. 
  • Consult your doctor about supplements and medications that you take regularly. If the supplements or medicines are to be stopped, the doctor will tell you so.

Test results for the C-reactive protein test

The results of the C-protein test are available within two days to a week. Your doctor assesses the test results and explains them to you. There are some general notations about the C-reactive protein test results. They are as follows:

  • levels below 10 µg per liter are considered normal.
  • Levels of 10 mg per liter are high or abnormal C-reactive protein levels. Although it is a standard result, many labs have their
  • levels which may be slightly different.
  • That is why it is better to consult a doctor regarding lab results.
  • Less than 6 mg/L denotes normal values. These values are present in a healthy person and do not indicate inflammation.
  • Values from 6 mg/L to 10 mg/L denote that there is slight inflammation. These values can be called moderate values. These values are present in the person going through conditions like obesity, pregnancy, or being a smoker.
  • Values from 10 mg/L to 100 mg/L denote inflammation in the whole body.
  • This value indicates the presence of autoimmune disorders, heart-related conditions, or cancer.
  • Values of 100 mg/L indicate a higher level of inflammation in the whole body. This value indicates a severe bacterial infection.


The C-reactive protein test is essential as it indicates the amount of inflammation in the body. It simply displays the level of inflammation. Other tests are conducted to find the exact reason for the inflammation. The results are sometimes surprising because the patients do not know the existing conditions. Nevertheless, it is better to test and consult a doctor about test results. It is advisable to get the test done from a reputed lab for accurate results, based on which the doctor will formulate the course of treatment.

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