Blood test

High proteins level in the blood

Blood test
High proteins level in the blood

What are high protein levels in the blood called?

  • Hyperproteinemia

What are the normal protein levels in the blood?

If you need to know which are the proteins reference range or you require more information about the role of proteins in the blood you can visit: Normal protein levels in the blood

What do high protein levels in the blood mean?

A high level of total proteins in the blood may be due to:

  • A decrease in the plasma volume: it increases the total plasma protein concentration. It may be a consequence of dehydration, a deficit of fluid intake, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Excessive protein production: it may be seen in inflammatory diseases or in some types of cancer (multiple myeloma or Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia).

In any case, it is interesting to know which of protein is above the normal range (the albumin or the globulins) for a better diagnosis.

Protein values are usually given in g/dl but sometimes you can see these values in g/L following the International System of Units (SI). In case your values are in g/L you can convert them using this tool:

  • Mild hyperproteinemia (8.3 g/dl – 10g/dl in adults):

    Protein values are a bit high. It can be due to a temporal issue such as a dehydration.

    It is advisable to study the albumin and the globulin levels to know if a specific type of proteins are above the normal range and it can give a clue.

    If nothing rare appears, you can take a new blood test in a few months and it is probable that your protein levels return to normal range.

  • Moderate hyperproteinemia (10 g/dl – 12g/dl in adults):

    The elevation may be due to the increase of a specific type of proteins. Albumin and globulin levels should be studied to know the possible cause.

    The main reasons for a moderate hyperproteinemia are infectious or inflammatory diseases.

  • Marked hyperproteinemia (> 12g/dl in adults):

    Protein values are very high.

    There are two types of cancer that should be considered because they can be a possibility:

    • Multiple myeloma: In this case the total protein increase is a consequence of the elevation of M type proteins.
    • Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia: In this case the total protein increase is a consequence of the elevation of IgM proteins (immunoglobulin M)

Which factors can raise the protein levels in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your protein levels in the blood:

  • Dehydration (due to excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Drugs
    • Androgen
    • Corticosteroids
    • Anabolic steroids
    • Growth hormone
    • Insulins
    • Progesterone

Which diseases can raise your protein levels in the blood?

There are many diseases why the protein levels in the blood can be higher than normal:

  • Multiple myeloma
  • Waldenström's macroglobulinemia
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • HIV Human immunodeficiency virus

What can I do to lower the protein levels in the blood?

One of the most probable causes for a protein level above the normal range is dehydration. For that reason it is advisable that you increase your daily water and fluid intake.

Where can I find more information about protein levels in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered high protein levels in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in g/dl. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with a balanced diet, no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Mild hyperproteinemia
8.4 g/dl8.5 g/dl8.6 g/dl8.7 g/dl8.8 g/dl8.9 g/dl9 g/dl9.1 g/dl
9.2 g/dl9.3 g/dl9.4 g/dl9.5 g/dl9.6 g/dl9.7 g/dl9.8 g/dl9.9 g/dl
10 g/dl       
Moderate hyperproteinemia
10.1 g/dl10.2 g/dl10.3 g/dl10.4 g/dl10.5 g/dl10.6 g/dl10.7 g/dl10.8 g/dl
10.9 g/dl11 g/dl11.1 g/dl11.2 g/dl11.3 g/dl11.4 g/dl11.5 g/dl11.6 g/dl
11.7 g/dl11.8 g/dl11.9 g/dl12 g/dl    
Marked hyperproteinemia
12.1 g/dl12.2 g/dl12.3 g/dl12.4 g/dl12.5 g/dl12.6 g/dl12.7 g/dl12.8 g/dl
12.9 g/dl13 g/dl13.1 g/dl13.2 g/dl13.3 g/dl13.4 g/dl13.5 g/dl13.6 g/dl
13.7 g/dl13.8 g/dl13.9 g/dl14 g/dl14.1 g/dl14.2 g/dl14.3 g/dl14.4 g/dl
14.5 g/dl14.6 g/dl14.7 g/dl14.8 g/dl14.9 g/dl15 g/dl15.1 g/dl15.2 g/dl
15.3 g/dl15.4 g/dl15.5 g/dl15.6 g/dl15.7 g/dl15.8 g/dl15.9 g/dl16 g/dl
16.1 g/dl16.2 g/dl16.3 g/dl16.4 g/dl16.5 g/dl16.6 g/dl16.7 g/dl16.8 g/dl
16.9 g/dl17 g/dl17.1 g/dl17.2 g/dl17.3 g/dl17.4 g/dl17.5 g/dl17.6 g/dl
17.7 g/dl17.8 g/dl17.9 g/dl18 g/dl18.1 g/dl18.2 g/dl18.3 g/dl18.4 g/dl
18.5 g/dl18.6 g/dl18.7 g/dl18.8 g/dl18.9 g/dl19 g/dl19.1 g/dl19.2 g/dl
19.3 g/dl19.4 g/dl19.5 g/dl19.6 g/dl19.7 g/dl19.8 g/dl19.9 g/dl20 g/dl
20.1 g/dl20.2 g/dl20.3 g/dl20.4 g/dl20.5 g/dl20.6 g/dl20.7 g/dl20.8 g/dl
20.9 g/dl21 g/dl21.1 g/dl21.2 g/dl21.3 g/dl21.4 g/dl21.5 g/dl21.6 g/dl
21.7 g/dl21.8 g/dl21.9 g/dl22 g/dl22.1 g/dl22.2 g/dl22.3 g/dl22.4 g/dl
22.5 g/dl22.6 g/dl22.7 g/dl22.8 g/dl22.9 g/dl23 g/dl23.1 g/dl23.2 g/dl
23.3 g/dl23.4 g/dl23.5 g/dl23.6 g/dl23.7 g/dl23.8 g/dl23.9 g/dl24 g/dl
24.1 g/dl24.2 g/dl24.3 g/dl24.4 g/dl24.5 g/dl24.6 g/dl24.7 g/dl24.8 g/dl
24.9 g/dl25 g/dl25.1 g/dl25.2 g/dl25.3 g/dl25.4 g/dl25.5 g/dl25.6 g/dl
25.7 g/dl25.8 g/dl25.9 g/dl26 g/dl26.1 g/dl26.2 g/dl26.3 g/dl26.4 g/dl
26.5 g/dl26.6 g/dl26.7 g/dl26.8 g/dl26.9 g/dl27 g/dl27.1 g/dl27.2 g/dl
27.3 g/dl27.4 g/dl27.5 g/dl27.6 g/dl27.7 g/dl27.8 g/dl27.9 g/dl28 g/dl
28.1 g/dl28.2 g/dl28.3 g/dl28.4 g/dl28.5 g/dl28.6 g/dl28.7 g/dl28.8 g/dl
28.9 g/dl29 g/dl29.1 g/dl29.2 g/dl29.3 g/dl29.4 g/dl29.5 g/dl29.6 g/dl
29.7 g/dl29.8 g/dl29.9 g/dl30 g/dl    
Last update: 19/10/2020


  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 478.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 294. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 228.

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