Globulins are groups of proteins found in your bloodstream. There are about 60 types of globulin in your body. They are vital in regulating the proper function of your circulatory system. If you have an abnormal globulin level, it can definitely lead to health problems. In these cases, medications are used in order to return the body’s proper globulin level.
The levels of globulin in your body affect how many proteins will be available to your bloodstream. If the proper ratio is not kept, your body will not be able to properly clot, transport nutrients to muscles or fight infection properly. This is what leads to health issues.
Medical examinations can be done to find out whether your globulin levels are what they need to be, and what could cause them to be higher or lower than is ideal. Then, medications are useful in returning your globulin levels to a normal state, which will help you to avoid potential health dangers.
What is Globulin?
The general term globulin describes the 60 proteins in your body. They include gamma globulins, also known as antibodies, and glycoprotein, which is a protein-carbohydrate compound.
Your body has four groups of globulin-type proteins. They are called gamma proteins, alpha-1 and alpha-2 proteins. This globulin aids in transporting proteins through lipoproteins. They help your blood to clot and work as plasma cells that can be indicative of bloodstream antibody deficiency. Much of the globulins that are utilized for this purpose are produced in the liver.
These protein levels are measured against the other main protein type in the bloodstream, known as albumin. You must have the proper ratio in order to maintain your body’s ideal circulatory system functioning. The ratio of globulin to albumin may be high or low, and each of these levels presents a danger to the body.
What is the Albumin/Globulin Ratio?
This ratio is the albumin amount divided by the globulin amount in your blood. The ideal range is between 1.7 and 2.2. A ratio lower than the 1.7 mark could indicate disease in your liver. A higher ratio than 2.2 could be indicative of low globulin, sluggish thyroid gland function, or an over-supply of glucocorticoids in the body.
- A low globulin level usually indicates some type of disease in the liver. It could also be caused by kidney disease, hemolytic anemia, some types of cancer, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or an inability of your body to absorb or digest proteins from your diet.
- A high globulin level in your blood may indicate one of a number of infectious or inflammatory conditions or diseases, carcinoid tumors, kidney or liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, bone marrow disease or leukemia.
How can you Increase your Globulin Count?
If your physician suspects that you have a low globulin count, you will need lab work to confirm this. When the results are back, your doctor may have you try medication or diet to increase these levels.
Foods high in globulin include those foods rich in protein, like seafood, red meat, kale, spinach, mustard greens, raisins, prunes, peas and dried apricots. Whole grains and eggs are also good choices.
If you are unable to raise your globulin levels with just changes in your diet, your physician may prescribe supplements or medications to raise that level.
When is Immune Globulin Used?
Immunoglobulins are the antibodies found in your blood serum. If your body is unable to produce sufficient immunoglobulins for fighting infection, your physician may have you take in immune globulin in IV form. This will help your immune system. Some more common uses for immune globulin include:
- Kawasaki Syndrome
This syndrome is not fully understood – even its exact cause is unknown. It produces throat, mouth and lip inflammation, rash, coronary aneurysms, swollen glands, feet and hands and high fever in children. Immune globulin administered in IV form is effective in the prevention of coronary aneurysms.
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
This illness causes antibodies to attack the nerves on the spinal cord exterior. It causes paralysis that can even affect proper breathing. This disease can be arrested or at least slowed by IV immune globulin.
- Immune System Diseases
These diseases are brought on by immune system deficiencies and IV immune globulin can help the body to overcome them.
- Hepatitis B
Immune globulin protects your body immediately after it is given, against Hep B.
- Spider or Snake Bites
Using anti-venom and immune globulin together help the immune system if it is compromised by bites from coral snakes, rattlesnakes or black widow spiders.
- ITP – Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura
This disease can affect children and adults. It is not very harmful for children, and they can even make a full recovery without medical treatment. If adults are affected, their body creates platelet-destroying antibodies. Platelets are required for proper blood clotting. Adults who have ITP may experience severe bleeding. Immune globulin in IV form fights the antibodies that destroy platelets.
Pay Attention to Drugs you Take
Attention must be paid to the drugs you put into your system. Insulin, progesterone, steroids, growth hormone and androgens can raise the levels of protein in your blood at a rate that is not safe for your body. Estrogen or drugs that create toxic issues in the liver may cause your levels of globulin to drop enough that it is unsafe. If you start a new drug and your levels of protein are being altered by it, your physician may need to change or eliminate that medication.
Severe Health Issues
If your physician performs a protein test that indicates globulin levels that have been altered significantly, this can be symptomatic of liver dysfunction, cancer, immune disorders, impaired nutrition or kidney dysfunction.
Your physician will check any other symptoms you exhibit, to determine the cause of the fall in the globulin ratio, so that it can be treated. This treatment may include taking specific medications, altering your diet, starting treatment for cancer, removing a tumor or beginning a program of dialysis to help your body in managing your bloodstream in a more effective way.