What does high total protein mean in a blood test?
High levels of total protein can mean that either albumin and globulin are high. High levels of albumin are usually because a person is dehydrated. High globulin levels can be from blood diseases such as multiple myeloma or autoimmune diseases such as lupus, kidney disease, or liver disease.
A high-protein diet doesn't cause high blood protein. Certain proteins in the blood may be elevated as your body fights an infection or some other inflammation. People with certain bone marrow diseases, such as multiple myeloma, may have high blood protein levels before they show any other symptoms.
- High blood protein (hyperproteinemia) is an increase in the concentration of protein in the bloodstream. High blood protein is not a specific disease or condition in itself, but it might indicate you have a disease. High blood protein rarely causes signs or symptoms on its own.
- A normal albumin range is 3.4 to 5.4 g/dL. If you have a lower albumin level, you may have malnutrition. It can also mean that you have liver disease or an inflammatory disease. Higher albumin levels may be caused by acute infections, burns, and stress from surgery or a heart attack.
- Serum albumin accounts for 55% of blood proteins, and is a major contributor to maintaining the osmotic pressure of plasma to assist in the transport of lipids and steroid hormones. Globulins make up 38% of blood proteins and transport ions, hormones, and lipids assisting in immune function.
High blood protein is not a specific disease or condition in itself. Certain proteins in the blood may be elevated as your body fights an infection or some other inflammation. People with certain bone marrow diseases, such as multiple myeloma, may have high blood protein levels before they show any other symptoms.
- Normal plasma cells produce antibodies, also called immunoglobulins (Ig). The abnormal plasma cells in myeloma do not produce the normal vast array of different immunoglobulins. Instead, myeloma cells may produce an abnormal immunoglobulin called a monoclonal protein, or M protein.
- High levels of plasma total immunoglobulin E (IgE) were associated with low risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and possibly of multiple myeloma, without strong evidence for high risk of any cancer type, a new study published online in the journal Annals of Oncology has shown.
- The goals of treatment are to eliminate myeloma cells, control tumor growth, control pain, and allow patients to have an active life. While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, the cancer can be managed successfully in many patients for years.
Risks of eating too much protein
- Weight gain. High-protein diets may promise weight loss, but it may only be short term.
- Bad breath.
- Kidney damage.
- Increased cancer risk.
- Heart disease.
- If your calorie intake is low that day, your cells can convert excess amino acids to molecules that can burn as fuel. On the other hand, if you consume plenty of calories, your body has no choice but to convert the extra protein to fatty acids and store them in your adipose tissue.
- Stringy, limp, or sticky hair generally needs more protein. If your hair feels tough or hard, it probably has too much protein in it. However, if your hair is dry, tangled, and weak, it needs moisture. Overly soft hair that is breaking and won't style has too much moisture.
- The US Department of Agriculture recommends that all men and women over the age of 19 should get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (or 0.37 grams per pound). That means a woman who is 130 pounds should get at least 48 grams of protein, which could look like 7 ounces of salmon or 7 eggs.
Updated: 3rd December 2019