Causes of Low Globulin in the Body
Globulin is a serum protein which plays an important part in the immunity of the body. Low levels of globulin can signalize problems with the kidneys, liver disease or anemia.
Globulin together with albumin is a serum protein in the blood. Globulin contains antibodies and various molecules and enzymes which act as carriers. It is produced by the liver and the immune system. Globulin which is released by the immune system plays a very important part in protecting the body against viruses and bacteria and is known as immunoglobulin.
Globulin can be of four types: alpha-1 globulin, alpha-2 globulin, gamma globulin and beta globulin. Whenever the globulin level in the body drops, concerns regarding the immunity of the body appear. Usually 2.3-2.8 g/dl is the normal level of globulin. The albumin/globulin ratio is also calculated because it can pinpoint towards serious medical conditions. This ratio should be around 1 or higher in a healthy body. A lower ration can indicate low levels of albumin which are symptoms of conditions like liver disease, autoimmune disease, kidney disease, leukemia, cirrhosis or hormonal imbalances. Ration below 1 can also signalize medical conditions which cause globulin to go up like cirrhosis or multiple myeloma.
Low levels of globulin in the body are medically known as hypoglobulinemia. This condition can be diagnosed by performing laboratory blood tests and it needs to be treated. Some of its causes can be dangerous.
Potential Causes of Low Globulin in the Body
- Kidney disease - ideally, there should be a small amount of protein in urine because the glomeruli of the kidneys are supposed to filter large protein molecules. In case of a kidney infection, the function of the glomeruli might be impaired and protein, including globulin, might be lost through urine leading to low globulin in the body.
- Hemolytic anemia - red blood cells which contain globulin usually live in the human body for 120 days. The body is normally able to produce new red blood cells in this time interval. In case red blood cells are destroyed faster or in case the body fails in producing them in 120 days, hemolytic anemia occurs. Low levels of red blood cells implicitly lead to low globulin levels.
- Liver disease - the destruction of red blood cells can lead to increase levels of bilirubin which causes jaundice, a common consequence of liver disease.
- Malnutrition, inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.
Low globulin levels have some symptoms which make it easier to establish a diagnosis. Common symptoms experienced by people with low globulin include edema and low immunity which leads to recurrent infections.