How do I lower my blood protein?
May 6, 2008 7:51 PM   Subscribe

How can I lower my blood protein?

I attempted to donate plasma the other day with a friend (poor college student, only able to work full time, trying to help out with some odds and ends bills) but was told my blood protein level was about 14, when it should have been between 6 and 9. They asked me if I ate a lot of red meat (which I don't- almost 95% white meat only). Are there any alterations I can easily make to my lifestyle or my diet that would make it so I can donate plasma?
posted by Glitter Ninja to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First check with your doctor that the high protein level is not a symptom of some illness, according to the Mayo Clinic diet does not affect blood protein level.
posted by winston at 8:25 PM on May 6, 2008

According to the Mayo Clinic, diet has no effect on blood protein. I really wouldn't go getting worked up about the apparent concern of a blood drive phlebotomist (this is not a slam on phlebotomists generally) especially about something with manifold causes and effects like serum protein. Ask your doctor if you're really concerned.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:28 PM on May 6, 2008

You're asking the wrong question. The real questions are is your serum protein really high, and if so, why. I think total protein levels that high would be exceedingly unusual (it's unusual to begin with), especially in someone your age. I suggest maybe seeing a doctor and getting retested as this may have been a lab error.
posted by drpynchon at 9:54 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

14 is a very high protein number. Agree with drpynchon it may have been a lab error; if not, it's likely a sign of serious illness. Go see a doc.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:45 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just to give you an idea of how high that is - 6.3 to 8.3 is about the normal reference range for protein. Reference ranges are typically +/- 2SD of the mean (the central 95.5% of healthy patients) so in the case of total protein the SD is about 0.5. A total protein of 14 is roughly 10-11 SD above 97.5% of the rest of the healthy population. That's really really high. Does it happen, sure, but most of those patient's are pretty sick.

So another vote for lab error, but it's worth getting checked out. Just tell your physician about it.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:30 AM on May 7, 2008

You need a blood test called SPEP (serum protein electrophoresis). You really, really need it.
posted by neuron at 8:45 AM on May 7, 2008

I worked in large plasma donation facilities for about 5 years and I don't believe I ever saw anything over a 10 or 11. Get it checked out.
posted by kamikazegopher at 10:20 AM on May 7, 2008

Response by poster: Two technicians checked my blood, and did two different pricks, so I don't believe it's indicative of lab error. Headed to the doctor later this week- wish me luck.
posted by Glitter Ninja at 9:00 PM on May 7, 2008

You sure it was total protein, and not blood urea nitrogen? A blood urea nitrogen of 14 is no big deal, and eating a lot of protein will certainly raise that number.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:40 PM on May 7, 2008

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