What is Albumin?
Albumin is a protein made by the liver that keeps fluid from leaking out of blood vessels, nourishes tissues, and transports hormones, vitamins, drugs, and substances like calcium throughout the body.
What is the meaning of the Albumin blood test?
An albumin test may be ordered as part of a liver panel to evaluate liver function. A serum albumin test measures the amount of albumin in the blood. Abnormal serum albumin levels may indicate that your kidneys or liver isn’t working correctly. Your doctor can determine your albumin levels with a simple blood test and interpret what they mean for your health.
What are normal and optimal Albumin Level?
The normal range is 3.4 to 5.4 g/dL.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What do low Albumin Levels mean?
A low albumin can suggest liver disease. Liver enzyme tests or a liver panel may be ordered to determine exactly which type of liver disease may be present. A person may, however, have normal or near normal albumin levels with liver disease until the condition has reached an advanced stage. For example, in people with cirrhosis, albumin is typically (but not always) low whereas in most chronic liver diseases that have not progressed to cirrhosis, albumin is usually normal.
Low albumin levels can reflect diseases in which the kidneys cannot prevent albumin from leaking from the blood into the urine and being lost. In this case, the amount of albumin or protein in the urine also may be measured or tests for creatinine and BUN or a renal panel may be ordered.
Low albumin levels can also be seen in inflammation, shock, and malnutrition. They may be seen with conditions in which the body does not properly absorb and digest protein, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, or in which large volumes of protein are lost from the intestines.
What do high Albumin Levels mean?
Dehydration can lead to high serum albumin levels. However, a serum albumin test usually isn’t necessary to diagnose dehydration.
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