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Is a medication causing low protein levels?


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I received CMP results recently, and it said my Protein levels were low. I donate plasma on a regular basis and once in a while am deferred for a day because of having too low protein. To keep this from happening, I'll drink a 12g whey protein shake the day before and morning of donating, and then usually my protein will be "just" in the acceptable range to donate. 

It said that possible causes might include things like kidney disease, liver disease, etc... stuff like that, but no other tests would indicate a problem like that, so the last one was medication. I am on 250mg lamictal x1 daily, 2mg clonazepam x2 daily PRN, 5mg Abilify x1 daily, bupropion 300mg x1 daily, gabapanetin 300 - 900 mg daily (as eeded, more or less, depends on the day), and lisinopril 10mg x1 daily. I also take Qvar and Albulterol inhalers for asthma. 

 

Anyone know if any of these medications might lower my protein levels in my blood? My level FYI was 5.8 and to donate plasma it needs to be at a 6 or higher, and the low end of the reference range on my lab results say 6.4.

 

Thanks for help!

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I would wonder if the problem is a) one of your meds causing problems with protein absorption, or b) donating so much plasma that you aren't keeping up with your protein intake needs. Did you have a urine specimen done as well? Did you have protein in your urine? That would be generally not a normal finding since protein molecules are too big to fit through the normal openings in the kidney filtration system.

I'm not sure how likely either of those scenarios is, compared to other kinds of liver/kidney/pancreatic problems.

What did your doc say about the low result? Do they know you're donating plasma?

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The doc never communicated with me after coming in to do the tests. I just looked on the patient portal to get the results. Should I call to see him again about it? I can ask for a urine protein test perhaps.

I donate plasma twice a week usually, but I haven't in 3 weeks because of a "fever" (um, it is in the 100's here, of course I am hotter than normal) so I am curious to see if I go in for my next donation tomorrow. I go Mondays and Thursdays, so that it isn't excessive - mostly because I can only donate with my right arm and I want to give the vein time to heal a little before poking it again (yay scar tissue). 

 

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One thing I was wondering was whether it's consistently low or if it was out of the normal range this time.  Your comments about the impact on plasma makes me think that it's probably more often.  But in case it was the only time it's been actually outside of the range, I've had fairly every thing that can come back for bloodwork come back weird once I think.  Not literally, but close to it.  I've hit the point where so long as it's not life-threatening to know one way or the other (which it hasn't been so far), my doctor just says to give it a month and retest.  Every time so far, it's been fine on the second try.  A few were most likely off because of a residual infection that was tiring my body more than normal, one was likely off because of dehydration, and one or two we have no clue and either my body was in a weird mood or the lab goofed. 

That's not an approach I'd say to do on your own--it's definitely something to get a doctor's approval on.  But realistically speaking, you'll need your doctor's approval on anything, so I figured it was worth throwing out there. 

The other thing--do you know how concrete the acceptable range is?  I'm asking because with my thyroid stuff, the acceptable range is much broader than what my doctor likes to actually aim for.  But I could also see a situation where the reverse was true and the range was a cautious approach because of the possible implications or something like that.  I think I've heard of it actually, but I can't come up with the specific example, so not very helpful. 

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