bathroom scale

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You're Overweight

Some fat cells, such as those in excess belly fat, can trigger the production of CRP. (According to one study, 50 percent of overweight individuals and 75 percent of obese people had elevated CRP.) 

infectious bug

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You Get Frequent Infections

A repeated inflammatory response to any kind of bug—from bronchitis and Lyme disease to bladder and sinus infections—can elevate your CRP. 

sliced bread

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You Eat a Lot of Refined Carbs

A Harvard Medical School study of otherwise healthy women found that those who ate the most high-glycemic carbs—the kind that the body rapidly breaks down into sugar, such as white bread, muffins, and cold breakfast cereal—had the highest CRP. Sugar raises levels of insulin, which can have a pro-inflammatory effect.


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You Don't Floss

Bacteria between your teeth can infect your gums, allowing more bacteria to enter your bloodstream, where they can cause inflammation of the arteries. This is why severe gum disease can nearly double a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.

sleep deprived

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You Don't Sleep Enough

Whether it's self-imposed or caused by a sleep disorder, a lack of slumber leads to the release of both cortisol and CRP. (Chronic stress can do the same thing.)


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You're on the Pill

The hormones in oral contraceptives can stimulate the liver to produce CRP. One study found that CRP levels were two times higher in women taking the pill.


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You Have Chronic Allergies

Allergens prompt the immune system to develop antibodies, which cause tissue cells to release chemicals, including histamine, that fuel an inflammatory response.

Next: 5 Ways to Lower Your CRP Levels