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Hemochromatosis

Low gamma in hemoglobin and dropping?

02/08/2006

Question:

I sometimes donate at a plasma place. They won`t let me donate because after three tests, my protein levels remain low and getting lower, despite the fact that I eat, though not regular meals. This time I learned hemoglobin is divided into five catagories and the gamma catagory is lower this time than before. Before the test and for dinner the night before, I ate like a hog. What could this mean, this low protein/gamma thing? I don`t do drugs. I am a bit tired sometimes.

Answer:

I believe you are actually talking about gamma globulin, which  is a different set of proteins that float around in the blood stream.  Gamma globulin has nothing to do with hemoglobin, which is the red cell mass that determines whether or not you are anemic. 

The fact that your gamma globulin levels are remaining low is due either to the fact that you are donating too often and not recovering from it, or your body is not making these proteins, in which case you need to start looking for immune problems or something else.

You would be wise to contact your primary care physician and find out what's going on with your gamma globulin.  Whether or not your hemoglobin is low (and it might be) has nothing to do with your gamma globulin levels.

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Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University