Globulin Test: Normal, High and Low Levels

Many people may not be familiar with globulin. In fact, it is a kind of protein in the human body. Protein is an important part of human cells and tissues. They are essential for human growth, development, and maintenance of health. Abnormal globulin levels usually indicate some underlying health problems.

According to Medlineplus.gov, the normal value of Serum globulin are 2.0 to 3.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or 20 to 35 grams per liter (g/L). However, what do the high or low globulin levels mean? This article will discuss what globulin, globulin test, and globulin levels are.

What Is Globulin?

There are two types of proteins in the human body: albumin and globulin. Albumin accounts for about 60% of total protein, and globulin accounts for 40%. Albumin is produced by the liver. Its function is to nourish tissues, deliver vitamins, drugs, hormones, and prevent fluid leakage from blood vessels.

Globulins are a special group of proteins in the blood that include antibodies, enzymes, carrier proteins, and other proteins.  Most of the globulin is produced in the liver, and the immune system produces a small amount.

The main function of globulin is to fight infection, help blood clots, and transport nutrients to muscles. In addition, it acts as plasma cells and regulates the circulatory system. To maintain healthy circulation, there must be enough globulin in the human blood. 

Globulin Test
Globulin Test: Normal and Abnormal Globulin Levels

What is a Globulin Test?

The globulin test is a blood test that measures the level of globulin. There are generally four types of globulin in our body: α1, α2, β, and γ. Two types of tests can be used to measure globulin: total protein test and serum protein electrophoresis test.

The total protein test can measure the content of albumin and α1, α2, and β globulin. This blood test can be used to diagnose liver or kidney disease.

Serum protein electrophoresis test can measure the content of gamma globulin and other proteins in the blood. This blood test can help diagnose immune system diseases and certain cancers such as multiple myeloma.

Globulin Ratio

The globulin to albumin ratio is as known as the A/G ratio. The normal ratio is usually between 1.2-2.0. If the ratio becomes extreme, it means that your body may have potential health problems. A low ratio can be a sign of kidney disease, liver disease, or autoimmune disorders. A high ratio may indicate some genetic conditions or certain types of cancer.

Although low or high Globulin levels may indicate certain diseases, some abnormal results may also be caused by dehydration, medication, or other factors. Therefore, the result of this test alone is not sufficient for diagnosis. The doctor needs to consider other laboratory indicators and your overall health.

Other Fact about Globulin Test:

  • The globulin test usually does not require any special preparation. But if you plan to do other blood tests, make sure not to eat or drink a few hours before the test.
  • The test is basically risk-free. You may feel slight pain when entering or exiting the needle.
  • The test time is very short; it is usually less than five minutes.
  • If the results are normal, you do not need to perform any other tests. However, if the results are abnormal, the doctor may recommend other tests.

Normal Globulin Levels

A common method of determining globulin levels is to subtract albumin from total protein. The normal range of globulin in an adult is about 2.0 to 3.5 g/dL (20-35 g/L). Some laboratory standards are 2.0-3.9 g/dL (20-39 g/L) or 2.6-4.6 g/dL (26-46 g/L). The difference in the value range is due to differences in equipment, technology, and chemicals used. In some cases, the globulin levels may be elevated. For example, high globulin levels during pregnancy are normal.

Globulin in the normal range usually means that enzymes, antibodies, and carrier proteins maintain a normal balance. Your body has not suffered from inflammation, viral infection, or immune disease. However, the test result does not mean that there is no medical condition. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on medical history, physical examination, and other tests.

High Globulin Levels

Studies have shown that high globulin is associated with an increased risk of disease and death. This is because an increase in immunoglobulin indicates an increase in inflammation in the body. This explains why older people with higher globulin levels are more likely to die than older people with lower globulin levels.

High globulin levels usually indicate infection, immune disorders, or inflammatory disease. These conditions usually include leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, kidney disease, syphilis, ulcerative colitis, and autoimmune diseases.

In some cases, high globulin levels may also indicate certain types of cancer such as malignant lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or Hodgkin’s disease. However, abnormal results may also be due to dehydration, viral and bacterial infections, and certain drugs. You need to perform further tests to determine which of these diseases is causing the globulin levels.

To reduce high globulin levels, you can participate in some aerobic exercises and strength exercises. These exercises can help significantly reduce globulin levels. During exercise, you need to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

You may also need to stop taking protein supplements which may cause globulin levels to rise. In addition, too much stress can also increase certain types of globulin. You can reduce stress by running, yoga, meditation, or listening to music.

Low Globulin Levels

Common causes of low globulin levels include kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and congenital immune deficiency. In addition, acromegaly, acute hemolytic anemia, lung cancer, oligoglobulinemia, and gamma globulinemia can also lead to decreased globulin levels.

These diseases usually affect the digestive system’s ability to absorb and decompose proteins and globulin production. Just like high globulin levels, doctors need other indicators to determine the root cause of symptoms.

Diet therapy is a simple and effective way to increase globulin levels in the body. You can add foods that help detoxify the kidneys and liver in your diet. These foods include asparagus, garlic, onions, beets, cabbage, and broccoli.

Studies have shown that probiotic supplements such as Bacillus polyfermentum and Lactobacillus Plantarum also help increase globulin, especially immunoglobulin. In addition, regular intake of lean protein such as turkey and fish can help increase protein levels.

Conclusion

Both high and low globulin levels can indicate potential health problems.  You need a medical examination to determine if the globulin level is normal. However, abnormal results may be caused by dehydration, certain medications, or other factors in some cases.

You need to consult your doctor to determine what your results mean. Doctors usually determine the cause of abnormal globulin levels based on test results and other test data. Then they will use drugs or natural remedies to help you restore globulin to normal levels.

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