Liver is the largest organ in the body. It weighs around 1.5 kg in adults. It is located in right upper quadrant of the abdomen under the cover of right ribs. It plays vital role in various bodily functions. For example it is concerned with majority of metabolic functions, it aids in digestion of food as it secretes bile, and it filters various toxins from the circulating blood.
Causes of high protein in liver:
Normally there two types of protein, namely albumin and globulin circulating in blood that is measured with blood test. Their ratio can also be detected in the blood test. Albumin is produced in liver and it circulates in the blood.
In a healthy individual the protein level is between 6 to 8 gm/deciliter. Conditions that cause rise in level of liver protein are as follows:
- Viral infection such as hepatitis. Hepatitis B, C, can lead to abnormal level of protein in blood. It is due to inflammatory process in the liver.
- Dehydration markedly increases level of liver protein. Blood contains water. When water is depleted there is concentration of blood components which also includes albumin and globulin level.
- HIV and AIDS raise level of albumin and globulin.
- Diseases such as multiple myeloma. It is a type of bone marrow cancer.
- In leukemia the ration between albumin and globulin in increased.
Certain diseases and conditions can also lower liver protein. It usually occurs in liver diseases or kidney disease. Low protein level is also seen in people who are malnourished since long time. People whose intake of protein is less may have low serum protein. Problem also occurs when food is not absorbed due to gastrointestinal diseases as in case of IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome). Physical injury such as burn can lower serum albumin level. Albumin level is found to be low in chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis of liver. When kidney is not functioning well albumin patient often has low protein level. Low protein leads to edema in legs and abdomen. Abdominal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneum is called ascitis.
High liver protein or low protein level is not a disease but it is a laboratory test that helps in revealing diseased condition.