Albumin:

What Is Albumin?

Albumin is the protein of the highest concentration in plasma. Albumin transports many small molecules in the blood (for example, bilirubin, calcium, progesterone, and drugs). It is also of prime importance keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues. This is because, unlike small molecules such as sodium and chloride, the concentration of albumin in the blood is much greater than it is in the fluid outside of it.

Because albumin is made by the liver, decreased serum albumin may result from liver disease. It can also result from kidney disease, which allows albumin to escape into the urine. Decreased albumin may also be explained by malnutrition or a low protein diet.

The serum albumin test measures the amount of albumin in serum, the clear liquid portion of blood. Blood is drawn from a vein or capillary. The blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the cells from the serum.

Preparation And What The Test Measures

The health care provider will advise you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may affect the test. Drugs that can increase albumin measurements include anabolic steroids, androgens, growth hormone, and insulin. This test helps in determining if a patient has liver disease or kidney disease, or if not enough protein is being absorbed by the body.

Albumin is the protein of the highest concentration in plasma. Albumin transports many small molecules in the blood (for example, bilirubin, calcium, progesterone, and drugs). It is also of prime importance keeping the fluid from the blood from leaking out into the tissues. This is because, unlike small molecules such as sodium and chloride, the concentration of albumin in the blood is much greater than it is in the fluid outside of it.

Because albumin is made by the liver, decreased serum albumin may result from liver disease. It can also result from kidney disease, which allows albumin to escape into the urine. Decreased albumin may also be explained by malnutrition or a low protein diet.

Since albumin is low in many different diseases and disorders, albumin testing is used in a variety of settings to help diagnose disease, to monitor changes in health status with treatment or with disease progression, and as a screen that may serve as an indicator for other kinds of testing.

Doctors may also order blood albumin tests when they want to check a persons nutritional status, for example, when someone has lost a lot of weight.

Albumin Levels Can Suggest The Following:

Certain drugs increase albumin in your blood, including anabolic steroids, androgens, growth hormones, and insulin. Also, if you are receiving large amounts of intravenous fluids, the results of this test may be inaccurate.

Individuals who have chronic liver disease and kidney disorders are at highest risk for developing abnormal albumin levels. In addition, individuals whose GI tract does not absorb nutrients properly and individuals who have prolonged diarrhea can develop abnormal albumin levels.


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