High Blood Protein (Hyperproteinemia)

Overview

What is high blood protein?

High blood protein (hyperproteinemia) means you have more protein in your blood than is normal.

Blood contains two main kinds of proteins: albumin and globulins. Blood proteins help your body produce substances it needs to function. These substances include hormones, enzymes and antibodies.

Usually, the amount of total protein in your blood is relatively stable. High blood protein may be a symptom of underlying medical conditions, including dehydration, infections like hepatitis C or cancers like multiple myeloma.

Possible Causes

What causes high blood protein?

High blood protein is not a disease. It is a sign of another underlying medical problem.

Many diseases or medical conditions may cause elevated protein blood levels (hyperproteinemia) or an imbalance of the ratio of albumin to globulins. These conditions include:

How is high blood protein diagnosed?

A blood test provides information on high blood protein. Protein levels are often included as part of a comprehensive metabolic panel, a blood test ordered by doctors as part of an overall examination. The health provider collects a blood sample through a small needle inserted into a vein in your arm. A laboratory analyzes the blood sample to measure the amount of total protein in your body, among other items.

The blood test results often include total protein levels, albumin level and the ratio of albumin to globulins. An abnormal level of blood proteins may require further follow-up testing like protein electrophoresis and quantitative immunoglobulins.

Care and Treatment

How is high blood protein treated?

Treatment for high blood protein depends on the underlying cause. For example, if you have hyperproteinemia because of mild dehydration, your doctor may recommend that you drink more liquids and then recheck your blood.

Doctors treat high blood protein due to other medical conditions according to the problem and your symptoms.

If a test shows high blood protein, check with your doctor. Make sure that you get any additional testing that your doctor recommends. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointments. Follow-up care can help make sure the underlying cause is adequately treated and to reassess the need for further blood tests.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/30/2020.

References

  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Accessed 6/1/2020.Total Protein and Albumin/Globulin (A/G) Ratio. (https://labtestsonline.org/tests/total-protein-albumin-globulin-ag-ratio)
  • American Society of Hematology. Accessed 6/1/2020.Blood Basics. (http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Basics/)
  • Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed 6/1/2020.Dehydration in Children. (https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/dehydration-and-fluid-therapy-in-children/dehydration-in-children#v1088879)
  • Common Laboratory Tests. In: LeBlond RF, Brown DD, Suneja M, Szot JF. LeBlond R.F., Brown D.D., Suneja M, Szot J.F. Eds. Richard F. LeBlond, et al.eds. DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination, 10e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2014.
  • Whalen KL, Borja-Hart N. Whalen K.L., Borja-Hart N Whalen, Karen L., and Nancy Borja-Hart.Interpretation of Clinical Laboratory Data. In: Nemire RE, Kier KL, Assa-Eley M. Nemire R.E., Kier K.L., Assa-Eley M Eds. Ruth E. Nemire, et al.eds. Pharmacy Student Survival Guide, 3e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2014.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy