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Author Topic: What is a Blood Complement Level?  (Read 1268 times)

Offline thedoc

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What is a Blood Complement Level?
« on: 25/06/2015 17:50:01 »
Irene asked the Naked Scientists:
I recently had a blood test and I have low complement levels. Can you please explain what a blood complement level is and, if it's low, what are the implications and how does one treat/correct this in order to normalize it. Thanks

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 25/06/2015 17:50:01 by _system »


Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: What is a Blood Complement Level?
« Reply #1 on: 25/06/2015 20:55:36 »
If your doctor didn't explain this to you, then he is what we RN's call a four plus stinkeroo.

He may or may not be a competent clinician, but the cold-blooded brute ought to be ashamed of himself.

Here is what the National Library of Medicine web page says about low complement levels...

Decreased complement activity may be seen in:

Bacterial infections (especially Neisseria)
Hereditary angioedema
Kidney transplant rejection
Lupus nephritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus (1.)

So if your doctor isn't being candid and straightforward with you, then shame, shame on him/her. Because all of those conditions need to have you on board and taking active measures to keep you from ending up a certain creek.

(1.) Medline Plus "Complement component 3 (C3)"

NB: Complement acts as a cascade of 9 components, 9 triggers 8 and so on down the line. C3 is just the one they measure.

Offline evan_au

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Re: What is a Blood Complement Level?
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2015 10:13:29 »
Translating a bit....

The C3 Complement protein is part of the immune system, a general mechanism protecting us against a broad range of bacteria and other microorganisms. When it is working properly, the Complement system will help the immune system detect, attack and destroy invading pathogens.

Some infections (like Neisseria mentioned above) have ways of evading the immune system, and this could cause the Complement levels to be low.

Some auto-immune diseases also show symptoms of low complement levels.

If the levels are a bit low, your doctor may have made a judgement call not to bother you at this stage, and test again in a few months.

However, severe or sustained low levels should be investigated. From the list above, there is a wide range of possible causes, which potentially require quite a range of diagnostic tests.

Ask about it next time you see your doctor.

Offline Pecos_Bill

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Re: What is a Blood Complement Level?
« Reply #3 on: 26/06/2015 20:36:49 »
Unless the doctor is concerned that you are screaming great jessie, he is not treating you like an actual grown up by refusing to be candid and straight forward with you. Perhaps he is just rushed and knows he won't be paid for the time of educating you. Either way he is blowing you off and you are being gypped.

Doctors wonder why patients don't comply with the program  when they leave themselves open to such shenanigans. It amazes me.

There are two arms to the immune system - humoral and cellular. It is sort of like light and heavy cavalry. Complement is an adjunct to the antibodies of the rapidly responsive humoral arm. When you immediately start sneezing after petting a cat, it was done by the humoral arm of your immune system. It works that fast.

Some of your Complement 3 is off to the wars and causing inflammatory response to something in your system. If that something happens to, perhaps,  be your kidney's plumbing that's a bad thing. Time may be of the essence and you need a doctor who is candid with you -- because HIS/HER health is <<not>> on the line.

You can bet your doctor wouldn't adopt a "wait and watch" policy if his/her complement 3 tanked.
« Last Edit: 26/06/2015 20:39:35 by Pecos_Bill »

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Re: What is a Blood Complement Level?
« Reply #3 on: 26/06/2015 20:36:49 »


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