Also Known As: Albumin serum/ plasma
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Albumin is a protein that is produced by the liver and is the most abundant protein in the blood. It helps to maintain the proper balance of fluid in the body and plays a role in transporting nutrients and hormones throughout the body.
Albumin levels in the blood can be measured through a blood test called a serum albumin test. This test is often ordered as part of a comprehensive metabolic panel or as part of a liver function test.
Albumin levels in the blood can be an important indicator of a person's overall health. Low levels of albumin can be a sign of underlying health problems, such as liver disease, malnutrition, or chronic inflammation. In these cases, treatment of the underlying condition may be necessary to restore normal albumin levels.
On the other hand, high levels of albumin may not be harmful, but may indicate that a person is dehydrated or is consuming an excess of protein. In these cases, it may be necessary to adjust fluid or protein intake to maintain normal levels of albumin.
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Normal levels of albumin in the blood range from 3.5 to 5.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL). Low levels of albumin, also known as hypoalbuminemia, can be caused by a variety of factors, including liver disease, malnutrition, and chronic inflammation. High levels of albumin, or hyperalbuminemia, are generally not harmful and may be caused by dehydration or excess protein intake.
Serum albumin test: This is the most common type of test used to measure albumin levels. It involves taking a sample of blood from a vein, usually in the arm, and sending it to a laboratory for analysis.
Urinary albumin test: This test measures the levels of albumin in urine. It may be used to detect early stages of kidney damage or to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for kidney disease.
Capillary albumin test: This test involves taking a small drop of blood from a finger or heel prick and analyzing it to determine albumin levels. It is generally used in newborns or infants who cannot provide a larger blood sample.
It's important to note that a single test result for albumin levels may not provide enough information to diagnose a medical condition. It's important to consider other factors such as a person's medical history and any other symptoms they may be experiencing. If you have concerns about your albumin levels or are experiencing any unusual symptoms, it's important to discuss them with your healthcare provider.