What does it mean if your beta-2 microglobulin is high? Beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) is a protein produced by the immune system, and a high level of B2M may indicate an infection, inflammation, or cancer. Knowing what the potential causes of a high B2M are, and properly managing it, are important for overall health.
What is Beta-2 Microglobulin?
Beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) is a small protein found in the blood and other bodily fluids. It is produced by the immune system and is mainly associated with the function of white blood cells. B2M plays an important role in the body’s response to infections and other foreign substances, and is also associated with various types of cancer.
What Does a High Beta-2 Microglobulin Level Mean?
A high level of B2M can indicate an infection; inflammation, or cancer. For example, a high B2M level may be seen in people with HIV, hepatitis C, or tuberculosis. It can also be seen in people with autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, a high B2M level may be a sign of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.
What Causes a High Beta-2 Microglobulin Level?
A high level of B2M can be caused by a variety of factors, including infections, inflammation, and cancer. Sometimes, the cause may be unknown. In some cases, a high B2M level may be due to certain medications, such as those used to treat HIV/AIDS or cancer.
How is a High Beta-2 Microglobulin Level Treated?
Treatment for a high B2M level depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is an infection or inflammation, then the appropriate antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed. If the cause is cancer; then the treatment may involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.
What Can You Do to Lower Beta-2 Microglobulin Levels?
If the underlying cause of high B2M is an infection; inflammation, or cancer, then treating the underlying condition is the most important step in lowering B2M levels. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for overall health, and may help to reduce B2M levels. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and alcohol.
Knowing what the potential causes of a high B2M are, and properly managing it, are important for overall health. By understanding the causes and symptoms of a high B2M level, and taking steps to reduce it, you can help to keep your body healthy and functioning properly.