High Blood Protein (Hyperproteinemia)

Overview

What does it mean to have high protein in my blood?

Like its name, high protein in blood (hyperproteinemia) means the levels of protein in your blood plasma are higher than normal. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. There are two main blood proteins — albumin and globulins:

  • Albumin: Your liver makes albumin protein. This protein keeps fluid from leaking from your blood vessels. It also helps enzymes, vitamins and other substances circulate throughout your body. A normal albumin range in an adult is 3.5 to 5.0 grams per deciliter (g/dl).
  • Globulins: Your liver and your immune system make globulins. This protein helps fight off infections. A normal globulin range in an adult is about 2.0 to 3.5 g/dl.

What are high blood protein symptoms?

High blood protein levels don’t cause symptoms. You may learn you have high blood protein if a healthcare provider orders a comprehensive metabolic panel. The results will show your total protein levels, albumin levels and the ratio of albumin to globulins, or A/G ratio. (A normal A/G ratio is 0.8 to 2.0.) If your blood protein levels are unusually high, a healthcare provider may order more tests, such as protein electrophoresis or total immunoglobulin levels.

Should I be worried if I have high blood protein?

No, you shouldn’t worry about a test result that shows your blood protein is higher than normal. Your test result doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious illness. If your blood protein level is unusually high, your healthcare provider may order additional blood tests to get more information. They’ll also explain what may be causing a high blood protein level and what other tests they’ll order to identify the underlying condition.

Possible Causes

What causes high blood protein?

High blood protein levels are linked to several medical conditions and issues:

Care and Treatment

How do healthcare providers treat high blood protein?

High blood protein isn’t a medical condition. It’s a sign of an underlying issue. By treating the underlying issue, healthcare providers solve your blood protein problem.

Can I prevent high blood protein?

Many things may cause high blood protein levels, from dehydration to infections to certain blood cancers. In general, you can’t prevent all of the issues that may cause high blood protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

A blood test shows I have high blood protein. What should I do next?

If a test shows you have high blood protein, you should:

  • Make sure you get any additional tests your healthcare provider recommends.
  • Follow up with your healthcare provider. They may schedule additional appointments and tests so they can diagnose the issue causing high blood protein.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

It’s human nature to worry when medical tests show abnormal results. If a test shows you have high blood protein, you’re probably wondering why. You may worry that the test result means you could have a serious medical issue. If this is your situation, it’s important to remember a single blood test result isn’t a diagnosis. It’s a signal to your healthcare provider that there’s something going on in your body. If you have high blood protein, ask your healthcare provider to explain what your test results mean and what next steps they recommend.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/11/2022.

References

  • American Board of Internal Medicine. ABIM laboratory test reference ranges. (https://www.abim.org/Media/bfijryql/laboratory-reference-ranges.pdf) Accessed 10/11/2022.
  • Corbett J, Banks A. Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses. Page 228. 8th ed. Pearson; 2018.
  • Health Research Funding. IgG Blood Test Results Explained. (https://healthresearchfunding.org/igg-blood-test-results-explained/) Accessed 10/11/2022.
  • LeBlond RF, Brown DD, Suneja M, Szot JF. LeBlond RF, Brown DD. Common Laboratory Tests: DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2014.
  • National Health Service. Total Protein Test. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/total-protein-test/) Accessed 10/11/2022.
  • Whalen KL, Borja-Hart N. Interpretation of Clinical Laboratory Data. Pharmacy Student Survival Guide. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2014.

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