Does this test have other names?
Serum albumin test, ALB
What is the Albumin Test?
An albumin test measures the amount of albumin in your blood. Low albumin levels indicate a sign of kidney, liver, malnutrition, chronic, and other diseases. High levels of albumin lead to diarrhea and dehydration in the body.
Albumin is a protein developed by your liver. Albumin possesses vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and other nutrients throughout the body. It helps your body to keep all vital fluids in contact with the blood vessel.
What is the use of an albumin blood test?
Albumin is a source of necessary protein for the development of body tissues. An albumin test observes and checks your overall health conditions, specifically your liver and kidneys. If your body leakages protein into the urine, you have experienced kidney disease. The liver separates protein from the food and circulates it throughout the body. Your body will not make albumin if you have a problem in the liver. A low or high albumin level tells your healthcare provider what type of disease you have.
An albumin blood test is mostly a part of a group of blood tests (Liver function tests or liver panels) that identify different enzymes, proteins, and other elements. An albumin test is a part of a routine or comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) test to evaluate different substances.
When do I need an albumin blood test?
You may need to order an albumin test if you are experiencing liver or kidney disease. Your provider may order the test as part of liver function tests or a comprehensive metabolic panel.
Symptoms of liver disease:
- Weight loss
- Increased itching
- Swelling or/and pain in your abdomen (belly)
- Reduction in appetite
- Stress or Anxiety
- Swelling in your ankles and legs
- Urine color turns to dark
- Yellowish skin or eyes (Jaundice)
Symptoms of kidney disease:
- Muscles contraction or cramps
- Frequency or reduction in urine
- Difficulty in passing the urine
- Swelling in eyes or legs
- Bloody or foamy urine
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disorder
- Difficulty thinking properly
- Breath difficulty
- Accumulation of water in the body
What is the procedure for an albumin blood test?
You need to provide a blood sample to your provider for an albumin test. A small needle inserts in a vein in your arm to collect a blood sample in a test tube. A bandage applies to your vein. The test does not take time greater than 5 minutes.
How do I need to prepare for the test?
You may need to stop taking certain medicines that can affect your test results. Your provider will inform you about any specific instructions for the albumin test until you do not need to prepare for the test. If you may need to order additional blood tests, you have to keep fast for at least 7 to 8 hours before the test.
Is there any risk to the test?
An albumin test is a blood test that does not have a high risk. You may experience a little pain at the point in your vein from where the blood collects. A small chance of bleeding or bruising may also occur, but generally, these signs do not last long.
What is the recommended range for an albumin blood test?
The test results may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. Each lab may use different measurement methods. The ideal reference range for an albumin blood test is 3.5 to 5.5 g/dL. A higher or low albumin level than the recommended can indicate specific health problems.
What do the test results mean?
Your provider generally takes the albumin blood test results with the additional tests to identify your medical problems. Low albumin levels in your blood may occur due to
- Liver diseases, such as hepatitis, deposition of fats, and cirrhosis
- Not getting nutrition from the diet
- Kidney disease (excessive loss of albumin)
- Digestive diseases, including Crohn's and malabsorption disorders
- Thyroid problems
- Damaged body tissues over a large surface of the body
If you find higher levels of albumin in your blood, this can indicate dehydration in your body that may lead to diarrhea or a specific condition.
Albumin generally contains in the blood for several weeks, so the short-term liver disease cannot be traceable, which reduces albumin development in the blood. It is not always necessary that you may have health problems if your test results are not in the recommended range. The usage of specific medicines, such as steroids, insulin, and hormone, can also indicate high albumin levels in your blood. When you avoid eating, it can also reduce the levels of albumin for 24 to 48 hours. Pregnancy also reduces albumin levels in the blood.
If you experience symptoms of a liver or a kidney disease, you should take an albumin test. You can visit UmbrellaMD to place an online order for the lab test, which is a reliable healthcare system. Umbrella Health Care Systems brings an easy way to sort out all your problems. You can register yourself here to avail the online benefits and save precious time.