April 6, 2009

Health Update: Thyroid & CRP

I had blood drawn last week to check my TSH levels and see how the Levoxyl is working for my thyroid. They did some other tests that they do on all patients at my endocrinologist as well.

I just got a call from the doctor's office. They are increasing my Levoxyl from 50 mg to 75 mg per day. This means that even though I've been feeling better and losing some weight, my thyroid is still not at full function. The good thing about this is that it probably means I'm going to feel EVEN BETTER! I feel like the weight loss is going very slowly, but I am trying not t obe impatient. This might help. Who knows?

The nurse also said that my CRP is elevated, which has something to do with your heart, and that the doctor wanted to talk to me about treatment options at my next appointment (which is in June). Obviously it's not something urgent since I don't need to come in specifically to discuss it, but I didn't know what it was, so I did a little research.

CRP stands for C-reactive protein, which is a protein found in the blood in response to inflammation (an acute-phase protein). CRP is produced by the liver[1] and by fat cells (adipocytes).[2] It is a member of the pentraxin family of proteins.[1] It is not related to C-peptide or protein C. (from Wikipedia). Get it? No, me either. So I decided to look at some other websites!

From About.com: CRP is a protein released into the bloodstream any time there is active inflammation in the body. (Inflammation occurs in response to infection, injury, or various conditions such as arthritis.) Evidence is accumulating that atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease) is an inflammatory process. The fact that elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack tends to support the proposed relationship between inflammation and atherosclerosis.

From Web MD:

High levels of CRP are caused by infections and many long-term diseases. But a CRP test cannot show where the inflammation is located or what is causing it. Other tests are needed to find the cause and location of the inflammation.

A C-reactive protein (CRP) test is done to:

  • Check for infection after surgery. CRP levels normally rise within 2 to 6 hours of surgery and then go down by the third day after surgery. If CRP levels stay elevated 3 days after surgery, an infection may be present.
  • Identify and keep track of infections and diseases that cause inflammation, such as:
  • Check to see how well treatment is working, such as treatment for cancer or for an infection. CRP levels go up quickly and then become normal quickly if you are responding to treatment measures.
What Affects the Test

You may not be able to have the test or the results may not be helpful if:

I also found an article that said that anger, hostility and depressive symptoms have been linked to high C-reactive protein levels. Interesting.

Here's something: I am overweight AND I did just exercise before going to the lab, although I didn't mention that, and of course didn't know that just now when I talked to the nurse. So, next time I get blood drawn, I'll make sure that I DIDN'T just exercise and then we can see if it has an effect on the test results.

I'm not worried about it, but it will be interesting to see if it really is high or if it was just because I'd just come from working out! If not, then we'll go from there. I will also talk to the doctor about whether we should do treatment for my Insulin Resistance at my next appointment.

For now, I'm feeling healthier, and I've got more energy and am actually starting to enjoy exercise! So, things are going in the right direction for sure!


Momo Fali said...

That definitely sounds like the right direction. Good luck to you! I hope it just keeps getting better, because that sure sounds like a lot to deal with.

Megan R. said...

Wow, that is great that you are going to be feeling even better!!! You are doing SO great!!

Claire said...

Yay for more energy! You go girl!