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Diagnostic Tests 2023

Exam of íproteins in total and fractionsç&otyld;es: what é and how to understand the result

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Exam of íproteins in total and fractionsç&otyld;es: what é and how to understand the result
Exam of íproteins in total and fractionsç&otyld;es: what é and how to understand the result

The measurement of total blood proteins reflects a person's nutritional status and can be used in the diagnosis of kidney, liver and other disorders. If total protein levels are altered, further tests should be done to identify which specific protein is altered so that the correct diagnosis can be made.

Proteins are very important structures for the proper functioning of the body, taking a variety of forms such as albumin, antibodies and enzymes, performing functions such as fighting disease, regulating body functions, building muscle, and transport of substances through the body.

Reference values

The reference values ​​for people aged 3 and over are:

  • Total proteins: 6 to 8 g/dL
  • Albumin: 3 to 5 g/dL
  • Globulin: between 2 and 4 g/dL.

However, these values ​​should be used as a guideline and may vary slightly between laboratories.

To perform this test, the measurement is made on the serum that is taken from the blood sample, and between 3 to 8 hours of fasting is normally required before collecting it, however, you should consult the laboratory for more information about preparing for this exam.

When to take the exam

Total protein testing may only be part of a routine examination, or it may be performed in cases of recent weight loss, when there are signs and symptoms of kidney or liver disease, or to investigate fluid accumulation in the fabrics.

The dosage of fractions can also be performed, which consists of dividing the proteins into two large groups, albumin and another with the rest, in which the majority is globulin, to make a more accurate diagnosis.

What does the exam result mean

The change in protein levels values ​​can be indicators of various diseases, depending a lot on the protein that is altered.

1. Low total proteins

Possible causes that lead to a decrease in blood proteins are:

  • Chronic alcoholism;
  • Liver diseases, which impair the production of albumin and globulin in the liver;
  • Kidney diseases, due to loss of protein in the urine;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Overhydration;
  • Cirrhosis;
  • Hyperthyroidism;
  • Calcium and vitamin D deficiency;
  • Heart failure;
  • Malabsorption Syndrome.

In addition, severe malnutrition can also lead to a reduction in blood protein levels. Here's what to eat to normalize protein levels.

2. High total protein

The possible causes that lead to an increase in blood proteins are:

  • Increased production of antibodies in some infectious diseases;
  • Cancer, especially in multiple myeloma and macroglobulinemia;
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus,
  • Granumatous diseases;
  • Dehydration, because the blood plasma becomes more concentrated;
  • Hepatitis B, C and autoimmune;
  • Amyloidosis, which consists of abnormal protein accumulation in various organs and cellular tissues.

Although decreased protein levels can be a sign of malnutrition, a high-protein diet does not raise blood protein levels.

What can be protein in urine

Protein can also be quantified in urine, in cases of proteinuria, in which the amount of protein is higher than normal. Proteins are usually unable to pass through the glomeruli or kidney filters during blood filtration due to their size, but it is normal to find residual amounts.

However, there are some situations that can cause a temporary increase in protein levels, which may result from exposure to intense cold, heat, high fever, intense physical activity or stress, not being a cause for concern, or an increase in that lasts longer and may be a sign of the presence of disorders such as kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension or rheumatoid arthritis, for example.Learn more about proteinuria.

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