Protein Total, Serum
Understanding Protein Total, Serum
What is Protein Total, Serum?
A Protein Total, Serum test measures the levels of different proteins in the blood. This test helps assess liver and kidney health along with detecting any underlying problems associated with these organs. It may also help determine your nutritional status and detect any nutritional deficiencies.
Proteins are the fundamental molecules for body functioning. Most of the protein available in your body is produced by the liver; albumin and globulin are two major proteins found in your body. They help in the growth and development of the body, to catalyze chemical reactions, protect against diseases, and in cell signaling. Thus, a protein test can provide insight into your overall health.
A Protein Total, Serum test may be advised if you experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, edema, belly pain, belly swelling, dark and pale urine, frequent urination, muscle cramps, and the yellowing of the skin and eyes. Your doctor may also suggest this test if you are at a higher risk of developing liver or kidney disease to detect problems at an earlier stage. Usually, no special preparation is required for this test; eat and drink normally as per your daily routine.
Test result ranges are approximate and may differ slightly between different labs depending on the methodology and laboratory guidelines. Talk to your doctor about your specific test results. Narrate your complete medical history to help the doctor correlate your clinical and laboratory findings. The test results will help them determine your medical condition, make recommendations for lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, decide whether or not medication will be required to manage your overall health, and formulate your treatment plan.
What is Protein Total, Serum used for?
A total protein test is done:
- As part of routine health checkups.
- To detect liver and kidney diseases.
- To monitor liver and kidney health if you are taking medications that can affect these organs.
- In case of unexpected weight loss or fatigue.
- To check nutritional status.
What does Protein Total, Serum measure?Contains 4 tests
A Protein Total, Serum test measures the amount of proteins in the body. Proteins are known as the building blocks of all cells and tissues. They play a crucial role in the growth and development of most of your organs and in making enzymes and hormones. There are two types of proteins found in the body, namely albumin and globulin. About 60% of the total protein is made up of albumin, which is produced by the liver. It helps to carry small molecules such as hormones, minerals, and medicines throughout the body. It also serves as a source of amino acids for tissue metabolism. On the other hand, globulin is a group of proteins that are made by the liver and the immune system. They play an important role in liver functioning, blood clotting, and fighting off infections.
The Protein Total test measures the total amount of major proteins in your body, namely, albumin and globulin. It is also used to detect diseases related to improper protein metabolism and diseases that affect the liver, kidneys, or immune system. A higher than normal level of protein total in your body may indicate medical conditions such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, HIV/AIDS, multiple myeloma, etc. On the other hand, a lower-than-normal level can indicate conditions like liver disease, malnutrition, kidney disease, or an autoimmune disorder.
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A Serum Albumin test measures the level of albumin protein in your blood. Albumin is one of the major proteins found in your body; about 60% of the total protein is made up of albumin, which is produced by the liver. It helps carry small molecules, such as hormones, vitamins, minerals, and medicines, throughout the body. It also serves as a source of amino acids for tissue metabolism. Albumin helps stop the fluid from leaking out of the blood vessels. When the albumin level is insufficient, the fluid can leak out of your blood vessels and build up in your lungs, belly, or other parts of your body.
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A Globulin, Serum test measures the levels of globulin protein in the blood. Globulin is one of the major proteins (about 40% of the total protein) found in the body and is produced by the liver and immune cells. It usually exists in different forms: alpha globulins, beta globulins, and gamma globulins. These forms play an important role in liver and kidney functioning, blood clotting, and fighting off infections.
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Albumin/Globulin Ratio, Serum
The Albumin/Globulin Ratio, Serum test is performed if a liver or kidney disease is suspected. It quantifies the concentrations of two essential blood proteins, albumin and globulin. The test is a comparison figure in which albumin present in your body is divided by the amount of globulin to get the Albumin/Globulin) ratio. This ratio helps assess how well these two proteins are balanced and helps evaluate liver or kidney health.
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Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Protein Total, Serum
Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Total, Serum
Q. What is a Protein Total, Serum test?
Q. Is fasting required before a Protein Total, Serum test?
Q. Is there any risk associated with a Protein Total, Serum test?
Q. What are the signs and symptoms associated with deranged protein levels?
Q. What happens if my total protein level is low?
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- Total protein test. nhs.uk. Published October 18, 2017. [Accessed 01 Feb. 2023]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/total-protein-test/#:~:text=A%20total%20protein%20test%20measures
- Total Protein and A/G Ratio - Health Encyclopedia - University of Rochester Medical Center. Rochester.edu. Published 2019. [Accessed 01 Feb. 2023]. Available from: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=total_protein_ag_ratio
- Busher JT. Serum Albumin and Globulin. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 101. [Accessed 01 Feb. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK204/