Hypoproteinemia is a condition wherein the blood has abnormally low concentration of protein. Proteins, as we all know are the building blocks of our body and are most consumed through proper protein enriched food. Protein is responsible for strong bones and muscles, for the red blood cells protein haemoglobin that carries blood in the body, proteins are the various enzymes responsible for various functions of the body. As the condition suggests, lack of protein can be fatal and can cause slowed growth, weakened muscles of heart and lungs, muscles loss and weakened immune system and symptoms like fatigue, edema, infections, dry, brittle hair, cracked nails etc. Treatment to cure hypoproteinemia include steroids and immune suppressors to lower intestine inflammation, antibiotics or antiparasitic drugs to counter infections, dialysis or kidney transplant for treatment of kidney disease, treatment of liver damage with medications or surgery. The disorder can lead to the disease called Kwashiorkor, especially in developing countries where people do not get much food to eat. The disorder can also occur because a person may have problem of protein absorption in the body known as malabsorption due to causes like Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, damaged pancreas, weight loss surgery that involve removal of parts of intestines and parasitic or other infections.
In case where there is severe loss of protein in the body bolus infusion of protein can be carried out. Bolus infusion is done to limit further loss of protein from the body. Patients are also advised to consume low-fat food rich in proteins to relieve the symptoms. In order to prevent deficiency diseases patients can also supplement their diet with medium chain triglycerides with other minerals and vitamins. For improving fluid balance, hemodynamics and oxygenation in patients with hypoproteinemia also suffering from acute lung disease can seek furosemide and albumin therapy. Some patients may find support stockings and diuretics helpful. In case of mild hypoproteinemia the physician may prescribe medications like tablets or capsules to enhance protein synthesis eg. Ketosteril. If pregnant women suffer from hypoproteinemia, extra 25 grams of protein must be taken in daily from the second trimester of the pregnancy.
Any person suffering from mild to severe hypoproteinemia symptoms like irritability and mood disorders, cravings for protein rich foods, brittle nails and dry skin, feeling weak and fatigue all the time, thinning, breaking or falling out of hair and having repeated bacterial and viral infections are eligible to get the treatment. But as these symptoms can also occur due to anaemia or weak immune system, proper diagnosis of hypoproteinemia must be done through medical tests to confirm the disease. Some pregnant women may also be eligible for the treatment of this disease because they tend to avoid normal diet due to the feeling of nausea and vomiting or the ones who are vegan or vegetarian or some pregnant women who simply cannot afford protein rich food intake.
If after diagnosing the symptoms of the disease turn out to be due to iron-deficiency anaemia or any other bacterial or viral infection.
There can be side effects due to hypoproteinemia medications like Albuminar-25 can cause anaphylactoid reactions, rashes, fever, nausea, chills, tachycardia, urticarial, erythema, edema, febrile reactions, hypotension, increased salivation, bronchospasm etc. the other drugs also for the hypoproteinemia treatment have the same side effects.
Even after receiving medications it is important that the patient intakes protein rich foods both plant and animal like lean meats, fish, poultry in moderate amounts and beans and legumes. To fight the disease consumption of lots of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants prove extremely helpful. Hence, to maintain the protein level in the body it is important to follow a balanced nutritive diet during and after your treatment.
To keep the protein levels balanced in the body it is not just the medication that will help but also a proper nutrient rich diet containing appropriate amount of protein in it will help keep the disease at bay.