What is albumin?
Albumin is a protein found in the blood and formed in the liver. Albumin keeps the fluid in place in the bloodstream. In certain forms of kidney disease, albumin leaks into the urine, and then the amount of albumin in the blood drops. With a low albumin value in the blood, you can become swollen (e.g. on the feet, ankles, lower legs, fingers, face) because the water does not stay in the bloodstream but leaks out into various tissues. The albumin value can also be a measure of how good the nutritional status is.
Why is albumin analyzed?
Albumin content can be analyzed to find out if you have impaired kidney function or kidney disease, and also if damage or disease in the liver is suspected.
What can a low value of albumin mean?
A low level of albumin in the blood may mean you are at increased risk of inflammation or an underlying health problem, such as kidney or liver disease, malabsorption and abnormal losses (urine, bowel, skin), or a diet that lacks enough proteins.
What can an increased value of albumin mean?
An increased albumin concentration is seen in dehydration, which is a condition where the body lacks enough fluid, which can cause health problems. It can occur when you don't drink enough fluids, when you lose too much fluid through sweating, urination or even breathing, or when you combine both loss and lack of fluid. Symptoms include thirst, headache, fatigue, dry mouth and skin. Dehydration can be treated by drinking enough water and other fluids.
Symptoms of reduced kidney function
The symptoms of chronic kidney failure, or chronic kidney failure, develop slowly. They can only appear when kidney function becomes so impaired that waste products begin to accumulate in the blood, then they can express themselves like this:
- loss of appetite
- impaired muscle power.