Levels of inflammation in the blood

What are the inflammation values ​​and what do they mean?

The terms inflammation values ​​or inflammation parameters represent collective terms for various laboratory values, which can be measured in increased amounts in the blood in the case of different diseases, but above all inflammatory processes.

Accordingly, they play a major role in suspected pathological processes in everyday clinical and outpatient medical practice.

They are important both in diagnostics and in monitoring the course of diseases.

However, it is difficult or hardly possible to derive an exact diagnosis from individual or grouped changed inflammation values ​​(be they increased or decreased), precisely because they are changed in so many diseases.

Man's blood is made up of one Diversity of components together. In addition to the red blood cells (erythrocytes) and one large proportion of water also different proteins and the white blood cells (leukocytes), which are used in blood laboratory diagnostics as a marker for inflammatory and other pathological processes can serve.

As classic inflammation parameters The following apply among others C-reactive protein (which is an important part of the immune system) that Procalcitonin (a prohormone) and the Interleukins (a group of messenger substances that control the activity of immune cells).
Other parameters of inflammation are the Number of white blood cells (the number of white blood cells) and their exact distribution in the differential blood count, as well as that Sedimentation rate.
The latter, as the name suggests, is a comparatively simple test that observes how far the solid components of the blood sink within a specified time.
It is helpful in that it increases due to a high level of antibodies in the blood, as this leads to a cross-linking of the red blood cells, so that they fall faster.

As already mentioned, these values, should they be changed, valuable information on pathological processes and their course over time give.
However, you can get through their sole change, viewed without any signs of illness or further diagnostics are carried out hardly a statement about the cause of their change or possible illnesses.

So can abnormal inflammation levels for both simple inflammation through flu infections or also Inflammation of the urinary tract or the Abdominal organs talk as well Evidence of autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease or even give tumor diseases.

Indeed they are Inflammation parameters however strong can be influenced by a large number of factors. These include the Taking certain medications, the drifting of competitive sport or even one pregnancy.
In some cases they are Inflammation values ​​even changed, without any disease value being seen in it.

You can find more information on the topic here: Inflammation blood

Symptoms with increased inflammatory parameters

Laboratory values ​​in general can mostly not be associated with specific symptoms, especially since they can vary greatly from individual to individual.

You can as marker For certain processes in the body only give indications of pathological processes or their course.
This is all the more the case with inflammation values, since these represent very unspecific markers.
Inflammation levels can be increased or too low in a number of diseases.
These include both Autoimmune diseaseswhich in themselves represent a very large field of diseases with extremely different symptoms, as well Tumor diseaseswhich in turn show very different symptoms depending on the type of tumor.

Be ahead of all Inflammation values in many cases, however, also with inflammatory processes connected.
Do the inflammation parameters actually correlate with inflammation, can general symptoms such as fatigue, fever and pain in the inflamed area to be expected.

On the other hand, it is important to mention that inflammation levels increase in some cases even at all have no disease value and no disease can be found in the affected patient which could provide an explanation for the increased values.

Causes of greatly increased inflammation levels

Significantly increased inflammation values ​​(for example a CRP value of over 100 mg / dl) in blood laboratory diagnostics are always an alarm signal and should result in further diagnostics without delay.
A whole range of different diseases can be the cause of a sharp increase in the inflammation parameters. However, just looking at these laboratory values ​​can hardly be used to judge which disease is responsible for increased inflammation values.

Serious bacterial infections such as meningitis or pneumonia or even sepsis (blood poisoning) are possible. Complicated inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) or active rheumatic diseases, as well as chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) are also possible. Large tumors are also conceivable.
At the same time, increased inflammation levels can also simply be the result of extensive surgery.

Read more about the causes of increased inflammation values ​​at: Inflammation of the blood and causes of increased CRP levels

C-reactive protein (CRP value)

The C-reactive protein (abbreviated CRP) is an endogenous protein that circulates in the blood plasma, which can be measured at increased levels in the event of tissue damage in the context of various diseases such as infections, rheumatic diseases or tumor diseases.
If the CRP value in blood tests is increased, conclusions can be drawn about illnesses or the severity of illnesses.

CRP is produced by the liver and is part of the immune system as part of the so-called acute phase proteins. In short, it has the task of attaching itself to the membrane surface of bacteria or to membrane components of destroyed cells and thus to draw the attention of other parts of the immune system to them and to activate them.

Elevated CRP levels in the blood indicate that a pathological process is taking place in the body.
Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to draw a conclusion from this as to exactly what kind of disease is going on.
For example, CRP can increase in all possible inflammatory processes such as respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, appendicitis or chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn's disease).
A moderate increase in the value can even occur in pregnancy, but also in the case of virus infections or parasites.
Even heart attacks, blood clots (thrombosis) or tissue damage after operations or injuries often result in at least a slight increase in CRP.

Would you like to know how to lower your CRP value? - Then read our article How can I lower my CRP value?

It should therefore be noted that the C-reactive protein is a very unspecific laboratory parameter.
It is therefore primarily used for monitoring the progress and assessing the severity of diseases.
However, CRP is helpful in that it increases even before clinical symptoms such as fever appear.
Once the inflammation has subsided, however, it also falls back to normal values ​​just as quickly.
CRP values ​​that are more than slightly elevated therefore always require clarification.

Nevertheless, it has a certain informative value about the cause of the disease. Strongly increased values ​​(from 50 mg / l blood serum) indicate a bacterial process, and slightly increased values ​​(up to 50 mg / l) indicate a viral or otherwise pathological process.
The highest values ​​(sometimes well over 100 mg / l) are reached in sepsis (blood poisoning) or meningitis (meningitis) and pneumonia (pneumonia).
The reference value of the CRP value in the blood is in the range of 5 mg / l blood serum or less.

Read more on this topic at: CRP value or CRP value in cancer

You might also be interested in this topic: Ferritin

Blood sedimentation

A number of diseases can lead to an increase in the rate of sedimentation.

The blood cell sedimentation rate (ESR) or simply called blood sedimentation is a non-specific laboratory test for inflammatory processes in the body. The method is based on the continuous decrease of the red blood cells (erythrocytes) over time, which is accelerated by a crosslinking of the same, for example by antibodies in the course of an inflammation.

The ESR is mainly unspecific because this test can neither determine what the inflammation is due to nor how severe it is.
A whole range of diseases can lead to an increase in blood sedimentation.

The BSG plays an important role in the assessment of autoimmune diseases, sepsis (blood poisoning), and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

On the other hand, an ESR that is not normal can also be an indication of sarcoidosis, liver cirrhosis or tumor diseases.

At the same time, the reference values ​​are extremely variable and strongly dependent on age and gender. Even in the literature, there are sometimes very different statements about the standard values. In the case of under 50-year-olds, however, these range from around 15mm after one hour for men and below 20mm after one hour for women.
For people over 50, they are around 20mm (men) and 30mm (women).
In 5% of all abnormal blood sediments, however, there is actually no cause.
In addition, blood sedimentation can also be influenced by taking certain medications or engaging in competitive sports.

Read more about blood sedimentation at: Sedimentation rate

Inflammation Levels Too High - Is This A Sign Of Cancer?

Inflammation values ​​in the blood test can be a whole range of diseases, but often without an explainable cause be changed. On the one hand, simple inflammatory processes, but also autoimmune diseases and tissue damage of all kinds can lead to an increase in the inflammation parameters.
But they are, as it were, too often changed (both too high and too low) without this having any disease value.

There malignant tumor diseases However, their invasive, displacing growth also causes tissue damage can increased inflammation values ​​actually also a Note on cancer be.

However, the assumption that a tumor disease is behind increased inflammation values ​​usually arises only if appropriate clinical symptoms exist or no other explanation can be found.
For Typical cancer symptoms are among others a severe unwanted weight loss from several kilograms, night sweats and fever (summarized as so-called B symptoms).

Elevated inflammation levels during pregnancy - what could be the cause?

A pregnancy is always associated with an extreme adjustment of the body to its new situation. This affects many areas of the body, such as the vital parameters. Both breathing and the circulatory system must be upregulated, as the child must be supplied with nutrients in addition to their own body.
At the same time, the need for calories and nutrients increases and the hormonal balance is subject to fluctuations and changes.

At the same time, some parameters also change in the Blood laboratory diagnostics.
Among other things, it is perfect normal and healthy, if the Inflammation values, above all that C-reactive protein (CRP) that Sedimentation rate (BSG) and the White blood cell count (White blood cell count) will steadily increase with the length of pregnancy.

This increase in the inflammation parameters is usually mild, comparable to slight flu-like infections.
At the same time, however, they shouldn't be much increased, as this is actually a Endangering the course of labor and the Good of the child can mean.
The CRP for example should have a Value of about 10 - 50 mg / l (Note unit of measure!) Do not exceed.

If you are still unsure about your blood values ​​during pregnancy, it is advisable to do so as soon as possible Consultation with your family doctor or gynecologist to keep. If the inflammation values ​​are clearly too high, it is important to check them to be checked regularly and to look for possible causes for this, because abnormal inflammation levels can generally be many, both harmless as well as dangerous, causes to have.

What do increased inflammation parameters mean in children?

children are in medicine, as in other life, by no means as small adults consider. Many diseases express themselves and take their course different. Similar it behaves at of the Laboratory diagnostics.

Self banal infections can become one in children significant increase of the Inflammation parameters, above all the CRP.
On the other hand are above all Newborns and very young children are more susceptible to infections in general and Teething problems in particular threatened.

For this reason, a Increase in inflammation levels in children always taken seriously become and a more detailed diagnostics entail, the inflammation parameters should be increased over a longer period of time.
Changed inflammation values ​​can be the same as in adults Result of very different diseases be. This can include infectious diseases, both viral and bacterial, but also chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
In either case is one Observation of the inflammation values in regular intervals, as well as one close observation of possible symptoms of the child advising to intervene should there be indications of a disease that requires treatment.