Contributed by- Krushna Charan
What is the total serum protein test?
Proteins are essential for the body’s development, advancement, and well-being process. The total serum protein test is used to measure the amount of albumin and globulins in the body. Albumin proteins keep liquid from spilling out of blood vessels whereas globulin proteins play a vital role in maintaining the immune system.
If a person has symptoms like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, then the doctor may order this test as a part of a routine health checkup.
Who should get tested?
Any person who’s at risk of getting an infection or any kidney or liver diseases, they should go for a total protein test to find the causes and early treatment. This test can help to determine the nutritional status and diagnose liver and kidney disorders as well as other diseases.
If anyone has medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and obesity, then a doctor may order a protein test because these conditions may cause serious diseases at a later stage.
Why is the total serum protein test needed?
People who have medical conditions like liver or kidney diseases may go for a total protein test to monitor their recovery during treatment because these diseases can affect the major body organs. It may be ordered if the doctor suspects any symptoms such as –
- Fluid buildup in the belly
- Unexpected weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Yellow skin and eyes
The total protein test specifically looks for the amount of albumin and globulin in the blood by measuring the albumin to globulin ratio that is also known as “A/G ratio”.
What does the total serum protein test results mean?
A doctor may analyze the total protein test results along with other tests. If the total protein level is abnormal, additional tests must be performed before the diagnosis to identify which protein is low or high. The normal range of total protein level is 6 to 8.3 grams/dL. The result of the total protein test may vary according to gender, age, lifestyle, and process of different laboratories.
High protein levels may indicate:
- Bone marrow disorders
- Diseases such as viral hepatitis B, C or HIV
Low protein levels may indicate:
- Inflammatory conditions
- Multiple myeloma
- Chronic kidney or liver disease
The A/G (albumin to globulin) ratio is always slightly higher than 1. If the ratio is below the normal range, the person may have –
- Autoimmune diseases
- Multiple myeloma
- Kidney disease
A high A/G ratio may indicate genetic deficiencies or leukaemia. If anyone is taking medications, then they should talk to their doctor because certain medications can affect the test result.
How is the test done?
The test is performed by using the person’s blood sample. To get a blood sample, a lab technician or healthcare provider will draw blood from the vein in your arm. First, they’ll clean the area with an antiseptic liquid. They will tie a band around your upper arm to apply pressure to the area and gently insert a needle to draw the blood sample. They will mark the blood sample and send it to the laboratory for testing. There is no need for any kind of special preparations before the test.
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