What causes high protein in the blood?

High protein in the blood is usually the result of inflammation or infection. A blood test can determine the level and type of protein, and this can provide important clues to the underlying cause. Physicians may order such tests if they have reason to believe a patient's levels may be elevated, and high levels may also be discovered on routine tests. In all cases, the testing laboratory should provide a detailed breakdown along with reference levels so that a physician can determine where a patient falls within a range of results from the same laboratory, as each laboratory may be slightly different. different.

Chronic inflammation is a possible culprit behind high blood protein. Patients with arthritis and certain bone marrow diseases tend to have elevated protein levels because their immune systems work harder. Bone marrow diseases such as amyloidosis and multiple myeloma are associated with high protein content in the blood and can also cause bone pain, aching and fatigue. Some patients may also have protein in their urine if their kidneys are stressed by inflammation or ongoing disease.

Infection can also be a cause. Infections force the immune system into overdrive, and this can raise protein levels in the blood beyond the normal range. Chronic infections like hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) lead to a high level of protein in the blood. Monitoring protein levels in patients with known infections can provide important information about how well they respond to treatment and whether additional or more aggressive treatment is necessary.

When a doctor finds high protein in the blood, the first step is usually to order a few more tests to determine the cause. The lab can check for other evidence of infection or inflammation. The doctor may also interview the patient to gather information about risk factors and other symptoms that the patient may not realize are related. This information is critical to making a correct diagnosis, and patients should be sure to provide a detailed medical history.

Once your doctor knows more about the cause, he or she may recommend treatments. These may include medications and changes in diet. During the course of treatment, follow-up tests may monitor the protein levels in your blood to see if they drop. If they don't, it may be necessary to pursue more aggressive treatment options, such as different medications or a combination drug regimen. Treatment is important because persistent high protein levels can put a strain on the kidneys and lead to health complications for the patient.

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