Types of protein in the blood

Patient

Q: Have been experiencing extremely heavy periods for over a year now and thought I might have some sort of infection. Went to see my doctor and he sent me for blood tests which have come back as having excess protein in my blood. I am constantly feeling faint, tired and my period this month has not stopped. It has now been 5 wks of heavy bleeding. I cannot get an appt with my doctor for the next 4 weeks. Can you tell me what could cause excess protein in my blood and if this is related to my inablity to stop bleeding.

Doctor

A:   There are various different proteins that may be found in excess in the body in different disease states. For example C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation (an acute-phase protein). A total serum protein test measures the total amount of protein in the blood, which usually falls into two major groups: albumin and globulin. If your total body protein is elevated you may need another blood test called serum protein electrophoresis which measures specific proteins in the blood to help identify some diseases. This test allows identification of abnormal proteins such as those found in multiple myeloma, macroglobulinemia, or amyloidosis. Your symptoms of feeling faint and tiredness may be related to heavy blood loss from menstruation and as a consequence you may have iron-deficiency anaemia. I would recommend a haemoglobin check when you visit your family doctor.

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