Albumin

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Proteins circulate throughout your blood to help your body maintain fluid balance. Albumin is a type of protein the liver makes. It’s one of the most abundant proteins in your blood. You need a proper balance of albumin to keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. Albumins gives your body the proteins it needs to keep growing and repairing tissue. It also carries vital nutrients and hormones. A serum albumins test is a simple blood test that measures the amount of albumins in your blood. Having surgery, getting burned, or having an open wound raises your chances of having a low albumins level. If none of those apply to you and you have an abnormal serum albumins level, it may be a sign that your liver or kidneys aren’t working correctly. It could also mean that you have a nutritional deficiency. Your doctor will interpret what your albumins levels mean for your health.

Why is a serum albumin test done?

Your liver takes proteins from the foods you eat and turns them into new proteins that circulate to various organs and tissues in your body. A serum albumin test can tell your doctor how well your liver is working. It’s often one of the tests in a liver panel. In addition to albumin, a liver panel tests your blood for creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and prealbumin. If your doctor suspects that you have a condition that affects your liver function, such as liver disease, you’ll likely need to give a small blood sample for an albumin test. Symptoms associated with liver disease include:

  • jaundice, which is yellow skin and eyes
  • fatigue
  • unexpected weight loss
  • swelling around your eyes, stomach, or legs

Your doctor can also use a serum albumin test to check up on certain medical conditions you have, including chronic pancreatitis or kidney disease. The results of the test can indicate whether such conditions are improving or getting worse.

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