Are you wondering about the best blood tests for inflammation and want to know more about inflammation in general?
Inflammation is a natural and necessary process that the body uses to fight infection and heal wounds.
However chronic inflammation causes many health problems including:
- heart disease
Chronic inflammation is a very common condition that affects millions of people in the United States alone.
One way to best diagnose inflammation levels in your body is through blood tests that can detect different markers for inflammation!
Please know a great idea is to always consult with your doctor first. If you have insurance, it may help you cover the costs, and hopefully with not too much paperwork.
But if you want to conveniently order an inflammation blood test online then keep reading!
This blog post reviews what we consider to be the top 4 best blood tests for inflammation.
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Criteria For Best Blood Tests for Inflammation
Major Marker of Inflammation:
We selected tests that assess blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP). According to our research, this is the the most significant and common marker for inflammation.
First your liver makes CRP which then goes into your bloodstream when your body senses inflammation.
Normally, your C-reactive protein levels are quite low. But be careful if high levels because those levels indicate inflammation or even a more serious infection or disease, such as:
- Infections like sepsis or a fungal infection
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Autoimmune disorder like arthritis
We selected blood test vendors that had been certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Then we gave high consideration to third-party assessments and Better Business Bureau ratings for each service.
We searched for websites that provide thorough explanations of tests, offer results in an easy-to-understand format, enable you to track health developments as you order additional tests, and deliver rapid outcomes.
Best Price: Walk-In Lab
- Price = $32
- # of Labs in US = 3700
- # of Reviews = 16,605
- Average Rating = 4.8/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A
The BBB gives the Walk-In Lab an A rating after it was accredited for more than 12 years.
Their “High Sensitivity” C-Reactive Protein Blood test costs $32, which was the lowest price in our research.
Most other standard CRP tests are around $49, and other high sensitivity tests were priced closer to $79.
However Walk-In Lab also offers a bevy of related inflammation blood tests. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, this might seem overwhelming.
Best for Locations: Health Labs
- Price = $49-$99
- # of Labs in US = 4500
- # of Reviews = 15,500
- Average Rating = 96%
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
After 11 years, the BBB has given Health Labs an A+ grade.
Also lab locations at Health Labs are the most numerous of all blood testing services.
With over 4500 accredited labs, the odds are best Health Labs offers a testing facility nearby.
However as with all blood testing services if you live in a rural area you may have to drive farther to the lab to get drawn.
Health Labs has several tests geared to inflammation that you can choose from:
- $49 C-Reactive Protein Test (General) which is best for just inflammation
- $79 C-Reactive Protein Test (High Sensitivity) is best for inflammation as well as detection of cardiovascular problems and other diseases
- $99 Rheumatoid Arthritis Test – Rheumatoid arthritis is often diagnosed and predicted using the Rheumatoid Factor (RF) blood test.
Best for Rheumatoid Factor: Personalabs
- Price = $55
- # of Labs in US = 2300
- # of Reviews = 1557
- Average Rating = 4.8/5
- BBB Rating = N/A
If you are looking specifically to test for arthritis by measuring your Rheumatoid Factor (RF) then Personalabs should be your top choice.
Both Walk-In Lab and Health Lab offer the RF Factor blood test for $99 so by going with Personalabs you’ll save about 40%.
No other provider we found offered RF testing services at this low price.
Best Comprehensive Test: Ulta Wellness
- Price = $219
- # of Labs in US = 2000
- # of Reviews = 2728
- Average Rating = 4.9/5
- Better Business Bureau Rating = A+
After being accredited for eight years, Ulta Lab receives an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
According to the Better Business Bureau, there’s only been two complaints over the last 8 years, both of which were resolved.
Ulta Lab’s $219 comprehensive “Inflammation 1 Panel” is best if you want a premium blood test designed for all types of inflammation.
Their test looks at 68 different biomarkers.
In comparison to other premium inflammation tests, this $219 price tag for 68 biomarkers seems like a steal.
For example, Walk-In Lab, our low price leader for CRP tests, offers a $319 inflammation test that covers 59 biomarkers.
Now, we’ve covered our top choices so let’s explore more about inflammation in general and answer some frequently asked questions.
What is Inflammation?
There are two types of inflammation:
Acute inflammation is typically short-term and helpful. It’s the body’s response to injury or infection. It is marked by swelling, redness, and heat, which occur when the body sends blood to the injury site. Acute inflammation is necessary for healing.
Chronic inflammation occurs on an ongoing basis and is bad. It can damage tissues and organs. Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Signs of Acute Inflammation
- Warm to touch
If acute inflammation is not resolved, it can turn into chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation
- Depression and anxiety
- Digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea
- Weight gain
According to studies, chronic inflammation is linked with many major chronic problems.
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation has been linked to the following factors:
1 – Infections
A good example of this is chronic sinusitis. Sinus infections are a common cause of inflammation, because they can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut and digestive issues that irritate your body’s immune system.
It has been suggested by some experts that if you experience recurring or long-term infections like colds and flu, or even just seasonal allergies – it could be an early sign of autoimmune disease.
Infections can also trigger arthritis flares for patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Research shows RA sufferers who have had Strep throat at least once before their diagnosis were more likely to go on to develop joint problems.
Other infection examples include:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- E. coli infection
- Yersinia enterocolitica
- Chlamydia pneumoniae
- Mycoplasma genitalium
All of these can trigger chronic inflammation if not treated properly.
2 – Diet
A poor diet high in trans-fats is another cause of inflammation. Trans-fats are commonly added to baked goods, prepackaged foods and deep fried foods like french fries.
If you eat a lot of processed food or fast food (which is high in trans fats), this can lead to inflammation over time.
3 – Sitting Too Much
Most people might think exercise leads to inflammation but the opposite is true, too.
Yes, if you injure while exercising you’ll experience acute inflammation as your body sends blood to the injured area to heal.
But on the other hand, if you have an inactive lifestyle, this actually leads to chronic inflammation.
For example, have you ever known somebody whose shoulders and back hurt from sitting all day?
When you don’t move your body and get the blood circulating in your body the blood accumulates in one spot – and this is the same thing as inflammation!
Repeated day after day for years, this will cause chronic inflammation.
4 – Stress
Chronic stress is significantly linked with CRP markers.
As noted above, CRP (C-Reactive Protein) is a protein that the liver makes in response to inflammation.
Chronic stress can increase levels of CRP, as well as other inflammatory markers such as IL-18 and TNF-alpha.
This increased level of inflammation can lead to all sorts of health problems over time.
5 – Environmental Chemicals
If you are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke from cigarettes or consume a diet heavy in heavy metals, then this can cause chronic inflammation too.
Third Party Resources:
- Better Business Bureau for Ulta Wellness
- Better Business Bureau for Walk-In Labs
- Walkin Lab verified reviews
- Better Business Bureau for Health Labs
We hope you’ve learned a few things about inflammation by reading this article.
What type of inflammation do you deal with?
Let us know what questions or concerns you have about blood tests in the comments below.
If you suspect you have a deficiency and read here if you want to know good blood testing options for vitamin deficiency.