I am learning all the time about how my body reacts to my own autoimmune disorder – Celiac disease. I recently had my annual physical and, of course, had all the requisite blood work done. Because I have Celiac disease and hypothyroidism, there are particular values that my doctor and I pay close attention to. But I was surprised when I got my my test results, as my was doctor, to see such a low value for total protein. It was such a surprise, my doctor ordered a second round of blood tests. But the results were the same.
The Total Protein blood test has two main components – albumin and globulin. This food we eat contributes towards these values, so it didn’t make sense to me why my numbers were so low. I eat a pretty solid diet – three healthy meals with lots of veggies (for my carbohydrates and fiber), lean protein (mostly animal protein because of other food intolerances) and plenty of healthy fats. Where the reference range is 6.1-8.1, I’m at 5.8 – how did my numbers get so low? It’s my nature to seek out these answers, so I went on a quest to find out what was causing this issue. And yup, it is related to Celiac disease.
If I weren’t in otherwise good health, there could be other issues to consider when the total protein levels are low, such as a liver or kidney disorder. Because I don’t have any other symptoms, it is most likely related to my body’s decreased ability to digest and absorb nutrient from food (malabsorption). My body also rejects foods that are similar in molecular structure to gluten (molecular mimickry), so I avoiding eating all grains and legumes (allergies) and get my protein from animal products.
There is a three phase process how food is digested:
- Proteins, fats and complex sugars (carbohydrates) are broken down by stomach acids, enzymes produced by the pancreas, and bile from the liver. This process also releases micronutrients.
- Nutrients are absorbed primarily by cells in the small intestines.
- Nutrients are transported throughout the body and used or stored.
Any disruption or interference with this process can lead to malabsorption. 
In Celiac disease, the lining of the intestines is damaged and the probability of malabsorption is increased with the extent of damage. Since I had spent more years eating nutritionally poorer than I do today, it makes sense that this type of thing caught up with me. My goal now is to find a way to bring that value back into the normal range without overdoing the intake of proteins using animal products. This will mean that I add more plant protein smoothies to my daily diet, increase my intake of raw nuts and seeds and finding ways to add even more fiber. It’s not time yet for me use a supplement before I try the easiest solution – just eat more of what I actually need in real food.
 Lab Tests Online