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What causes excess protein in the blood?

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Quick Answer

Dehydration, amyloidosis and bone marrow diseases, such as multiple myeloma, can lead to high blood protein, according to Mayo Clinic. Chronic inflammatory conditions and HIV are also potential causes of high blood protein.

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High blood protein is not a particular condition but a laboratory finding typically discovered when an individual undergoes diagnosis of a symptom or condition, explains Mayo Clinic. It does not result from a protein-rich diet. In dehydrated people, the main culprit of having high blood protein is a higher than normal concentration of blood plasma. A person with an infection may also have higher counts of some proteins in the blood, as the body produces additional proteins to fight infection or inflammation.

Patients with multiple myeloma or other bone marrow diseases may manifest elevated blood protein levels before showing other symptoms, notes Mayo Clinic. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that occurs in plasma cells, which are white blood cells that create antibodies to attack germs and fight infections. It causes cancer cells to outnumber healthy blood cells and produce abnormal proteins instead of creating antibodies.

Individuals with amyloidosis have an abnormal protein known as amyloid, which accumulates in the body’s organs and tissues, states WebMD. Amyloid deposits affect the shape and function of organs.

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