Total Protein represents the sum of albumin and globulin. It is more important to know which protein fraction is high or low than what the measure of total protein is.
Albumin is made mainly in the liver and helps keep the blood from leaking out of blood vessels. It also helps carry some medicines and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing.
Low albumin levels can indicate liver disease and can also be a marker for chronic ill-health, malnutrition and chronic inflammation. It can also occur in kidney conditions such as nephrotic syndrom and diabetes.
Raised levels are usually caused by dehydration.
Globulin consists of different proteins and is made by the liver and the immune system. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood and help fight infection.
The levels can be effected by medications – particularly steroids or birth control pills.