Immune System Hacks: How Inflammation is Measured- Thomas DeLauer
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let’s talk a little bit more about the clinical side of inflammation you know I’ve done videos talking about inflammation here and there pertaining to certain foods but let’s talk about what you can do when you go to the doctor and you want to test for inflammation and you want to see what’s really going on in your body we’re not just talking about a little bit of bloating we’re not just talking about a little bit of water retention we’re talking about real inflammation chronic inflammation that could be affecting your organs could be affecting the way you feel and ultimately could be affecting your disease state even when you don’t really feel it so I wanted to do this video so you know what to look for so you know to go to the doctor and ask for specific tests and I want to explain briefly at a high level what these tests do so you can truly understand what we are talking about when we’re mentioning inflammation because the name implies that it’s just swelling and bloating but the thing is there’s way more to it than just that you see what actually causes inflammation at the cellular level is excess proteins being deposited into the blood from specific area so when it happens at a chronic level you have additional proteins that are going into the bloodstream and they’re causing inflammation so you’ve got things like prostaglandins that trigger this and I’ll get to that a little bit later on in the video so let’s talk about three different tests that are used to identify inflammation we’re going to look at inflammatory markers now the first one is one called erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR I know it’s a mouthful to say but it’s actually a pretty simple process you see what they do when they test your ESR is they draw your blood and they combine that blood with a chemical that allows the red blood cells to separate from the plasma so what’s going to happen in this case and what they’re going to look for is they’re looking at the sedimentation rate how long it takes for the red blood cells to fall and actually form sediment now what they’re looking for specifically is specific forms of inflammation specific types of proteins cause these red blood cells to bind together and when those red blood cells bind together they fall at a faster rate so they’re falling at a faster rate through the plasma and they’re developing as sedimentation a lot faster so they’re actually measuring the rate at which your red blood cells fall now what does this really mean to you well it’s telling you a lot about your amatory response in your body right now if you’re having those crazy amounts of red blood cells that are clumping together and falling very fast that means your body’s working really hard right now to fight inflammation so that is a test that your doctor can run to give you a little bit more of an indicator now the next test is one that’s pretty common and might be the most well known and that is your CRP or C reactive protein levels so you see when we’re talking about inflammation we’re talking about excess proteins anyway well the C reactive protein is one specific protein so it’s produced by the liver and it’s produced in excess by the liver when there is a chronic amount of inflammation in the body now the good thing with CRP is when you test for CRP and you have elevated markers of it you definitely have an indicator that you have some inflammation going on in the body however it is not tied to one specific kind of inflammation C there are so many different varieties of inflammation affecting so many different components of the body all that the C reactive protein level really tells us is that yes we have an inflammatory response within the body now research is kind of all over the place but some of it is even showing that after hard workouts in an inflammatory response triggered by prostaglandins can actually make your C reactive protein levels increase so it’s not the end-all be-all but when it’s combined with other tests and other kind of immunoglobulin tests which I’ll get to later in the video you can start to pinpoint what’s going on now the third test that your doctor might run on you is something called a PV test or a plasma viscosity test and what this plasma viscosity test does is it tests just that the viscosity of your plasma so when we look at ESR that first test we talked about the erythrocyte sedimentation rate we are looking at how fast those blood cells fall or collapse well in this case we’re sort of looking at the same thing except we’re looking at the resistance that is caused by the plasma based on how thick it is now this particular test is kind of narrowed down to those with rheumatoid arthritis so if you’re having an inflammatory response or you’re feeling like you have a lot of joint pain you go to the doctor they might test that P V level just to see if they can rule out rheumatoid arthritis so TVs not always used across the board but it’s still one of those tests that when combined with C reactive protein and combined with ESR can help pinpoint the issue of inflammation now we look at all these tests combined that is how we can start determining what is happening with someone at least in the medical field now I have to say I’m not a doctor I’m putting this video out there so that you can be educated at least at a high level when you go to the doctor so when you look at things like the Syriac t’v protein level they can look at how quickly those c-reactive protein levels come back down when they start a specific treatment so let’s say they start a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and they see that your c-reactive protein levels dramatically drop after starting that treatment well that is excelent indicator that that was the area that they needed to target so that seed reactive protein level since it responds so quick it gives us a good estimate of how well we are combating inflammation or just the opposite how fast we are being succumbed to inflammation the next area I want to talk about is an area of inflammation that’s all of our web sites lately and we’re starting to become a little bit more familiar with it or at least hearing the terms I’m talking about the autoimmune system I’m talking about the antibody response I’m talking about autoimmune diseases and conditions and what actually causes those issues well it comes back to again the immune system but more specifically it comes down to something called immunoglobulins and that’s a fancy way of basically saying antibodies but we’re talking about the immunoglobulins of IgG IgA and IgM specifically now what these immunoglobulins do is they respond when something comes into our body that isn’t really supposed to be there you know it could be a cold it could be a flu it could be a food that you have an intolerance to but what these IgG IgM and IgG immunoglobulins tell us is they allow us to get a little bit more specific with what might be causing an issue so let’s back up a little bit and say you run some c-reactive protein tests let’s say the doctor runs an ESR test you start finding that you do have inflammation but then upon further investigation you start finding that you have higher responses with IgG or IgM well the doctor can then start to pinpoint what might actually be causing the inflammation perhaps it’s something in the case of Hashimoto’s with your thyroid perhaps it’s rheumatoid arthritis perhaps it’s Lyme disease the list goes on and on but it allows you to start narrowing the process down a little bit so at the end of the day these immune responses they’re high or low can signify differ
ent disease states now again I’m clarifying I’m not a doctor I’m not here to diagnose you with any of these markers I’m just giving you the facts so that you can investigate a bit further now lastly let’s talk about non-steroidal anti-inflammatories NSAIDs because people talk about them all the time and they think they get them a little bit confused with chronic inflammation and acute inflammation so an insight something like an aspirin or something like an Advil anything like that that’s going to reduce inflammation well what that does is that works on something called the Co X enzyme so it’s the cyclooxygenase enzyme one and the cyclooxygenase enzyme – what these enzymes do is they trigger the release of what are called prostaglandins these prostaglandins are what caused that redness and that’s swelling when you get stung by a bee or when you get sore off your workout you get swollen and you get a little bit inflamed so those cox-1 and two enzymes trigger the prostaglandins and that triggers the inflammatory response well this can happen at a cellular level and this is essentially what triggers a lot of the antibody response what triggers a lot of that c-reactive protein level so you have to be cognizant of that now a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory actually inhibits the cox-1 enzyme from working so basically an aspirin or an Advil or ibuprofen tells your body to not release prostaglandins so you can see how over time it might not be the best thing to continually take anyhow I hope that this gives you a solid understanding of how inflammation works a little bit more at a high level rather than just how it can affect your gut how it can affect your mood how it can affect your brain as always keep it locked in here on my videos and I will see you in the next one
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Immune System Hacks: How Inflammation is Measured- Thomas DeLauer:
We deserve to know how inflammation affects us. This quick educational piece will teach you! Learn more at
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury and infections and is essential in healing. This is how the immune system responds and delivers white blood cells and other things essential for getting well. When we have chronic inflammation, however, this becomes a problem. Chronic inflammation can lead to other diseases and can also be a signal of conditions in the body. But how can you know if you have chronic inflammation in the body? It is not always as obvious as bloating, and even when it is, the cause and treatment may not be clear. When a part of your body is inflamed that inflamed tissue will release extra proteins into your blood. These extra proteins can be found in blood tests and are known as inflammation markers.
3 common tests for increased protein: ESR, CRP and PV-
ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate): A blood sample is taken and treated with a chemical so that the red blood cells will fall away from the clear liquid plasma. The rate at which the red blood cells fall is measured. When certain proteins are present they will cause the red blood cells to stick together and fall more quickly. Thus a high ESR rate shows that there is inflammation somewhere in the body.
CRP (C-reactive protein): CRP is a substance that is produced in the liver. More CRP is produced when there is inflammation in the body. Increased CRP is tied to the increase of one specific protein and is thus a bit more specific than an ESR, but still does not reveal what condition specifically is causing the inflammation.
PV (plasma viscosity): Similar to ESR, but used specifically for rheumatoid arthritis
Evaluation of these tests over time acts as a signal to a doctor, and provides additional information about inflammation.
ESR and PV change more slowly than CRP. CRP is affected by fewer factors than PV and ESR, making it a better marker for certain types of inflammation. Raised ESR, CRP and PV are signs of many infections, including:
-muscular and connective tissue disorders
These are non-specific tests and further tests are needed to narrow down the specific cause of the inflammation. Doctors will often recommend these tests twice or more spread out over weeks to months to see how the levels change over time. As CRP changes more quickly it is often used to see how well a treatment is going. Lower CRP signals an improvement.
Quantitative Immunoglobulins Test: Another test that is often run to find inflammation markers, is one that measures the levels of the three main immunoglobulins (IgG, IgA, IgM). Both high and low levels are markers of different conditions and diseases. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that are produced during your body’s response and play a role against bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. This test is run when chronic inflammation is suspected or continuous infections occur. This helps to diagnose and monitor conditions. Used together and with other tests depending on symptoms and results, it is possible to diagnose and measure progress to treatment for many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Understanding Treatment: When an area in the body is inflamed, COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes produce more prostaglandins (PGs), which play a key role in the inflammatory response. When you notice redness, swelling and pain, this is due to the prostaglandin response. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work to block the synthesis of PGs and thus the pain associated with inflammation. Future therapeutic measures for chronic inflammation may look at PG signaling. PGs may play a role in both the formation and resolution of inflammation. Lifestyle changes such as healthy eating and exercise are key in reducing chronic inflammation.
1. Blood tests to detect inflammation
2. Elevated C-reactive protein
3. Quantitative Immunoglobulins
4. Prostaglandins and Inflammation