The liver synthesizes a type of protein known as albumin. This protein is also present in the blood stream. It does the job of binding the constituents of blood, thus ensuring that the fluids of the blood do not get separated and leak into the tissues. In other words, albumin acts like a binding agent, thereby ensuring that the constituents of blood remain together. Decrease in albumin levels causes fluids in the blood to disintegrate, which accumulate in different body parts, leading to edema. Maintaining albumin levels in the normal range ensures proper circulation of vitamin A throughout the body. This in turn will help to safeguard your health from dreaded diseases cancer and other infections.
Normal Albumin Levels...
As albumin circulates in the blood, a simple blood test will help to determine the blood albumin status. If albumin is present within the normal range, then it indicates that the liver is functioning properly. It is a sign of liver working in good shape and as such no issues are associated with this largest organ of the body.
As aforementioned, albumin is one of the many constituents that circulate in the blood stream. Its presence in normal amounts in the blood, is very important for a healthy living. Blood albumin levels will be considered normal when the laboratory tests show a reading that is more than 4.0 g/dl. In general, the normal values of albumin varies between 4.0 and 5.4 g/dl. Here dl means deciliter, which is a metric unit and is equivalent to one tenth of a liter. Some laboratories regard normal albumin levels to be 3.4-5.4 (g/dl). A blood sample test that shows albumin levels to be 4.0 g/dl indicates that 1 liter of blood will contain approximately 40 grams of albumin.
As we all know, kidneys filter the blood to remove impurities, which are then excreted in the form of urine. Honestly speaking, urine should not contain albumin, as protein molecules are large and so easily get trapped in the kidney's filters and finally they are reabsorbed in the blood stream. However, generally albumin is found in small amounts, even when the kidneys are working in a proper manner. This generally occurs when there is too much albumin in the blood. Many doctors regard the presence of albumin in urine as the onset of kidney dysfunction. On the whole, the normal range of urine albumin is around 0-8 mg/dl. So, if a urine sample test displays a reading of 2 mg/dl, it means 1 liter of urine contains 0.02 grams of albumin. When the amount of urine crosses this normal range, it is a symptom of kidney deterioration.
High Albumin Levels
Increased albumin levels for considerable period of time is also not something that can be taken lightly. It is observed that elevated albumin levels are seen in patients suffering from respiratory disorders like tuberculosis. A dehydrated body or too much alcohol consumption on a regular basis, are some of the other factors that can cause high albumin levels. Leukemia, better known as cancer of the blood can also bring disturbances in albumin levels. Diet lacking in vitamin A can also raise albumin to abnormally high levels.
Low Albumin Levels
Diagnosed with low albumin levels? Well, it is a matter for concern. This is because when albumin level is less than normal, usually there is something wrong with the liver. In other words, it is an indication of liver problems. When the liver is incapable of producing albumin in sufficient amounts, it can be a symptom of various liver diseases. Conditions that cause joint inflammation such as arthritis and even infections like decayed tooth and infection of the bladder and last for an extended duration of time, can lead to decreased albumin levels. Poor nutrition and malabsorption are the other factors responsible for lowering albumin levels For instance, intestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease interfere with normal absorption and digestion of protein. As a result, this inability to absorb protein correctly can lead to low albumin levels.
Albumin test may fail to give correct results if person has been put on certain drugs. To be precise, specific medications increase the amount of albumin circulating in the blood. For instance, anabolic steroids or insulin encourage synthesis of albumin. So, it won't be possible to detect correct albumin levels in people who are already taking these drugs.
Other causes of sharp drop in albumin levels are kidney diseases and following a diet low in proteins. Even if liver is producing it in sufficient amounts, however if the body loses its ability to absorb enough protein, then the amount of albumin in the blood is bound to be less than normal.