The human body is really marvelous; it is of a very complex structure, comprised of many complex body systems. Each body system is made of many organs and every part of the body has its function and is well coordinated with other parts.
The human body has its own defense mechanism and also secretes many substances that are necessary for a proper functioning of the whole body. Various glands and organs in the body produce hormones, enzymes, proteins and other substances without which we cannot live. Furthermore, by measuring the levels of these substances in the body, we can detect if any disease is present. Albumin is a protein present in the blood plasma. The liver is the gland that produces it. The main function of this protein is to maintain the growth of tissues in the body, as well as to help in repairing the body’s tissues.
When doctors order albumin test, they do that in order to check the functioning of the liver, as well as the nutritional status of the patient. Albumin test is usually performed when a person shows certain signs of liver disorder, such as jaundice, swollen eyes, swollen abdomen, or swollen legs, as well as weight loss and fatigue. When the test shows that the level of this protein is decreased, it indicates that there is albumin deficiency, probably due to malnutrition. However, when the level of albumin is considerably low, it means that liver disease is present.
When albumin appears in urine, it indicates that the kidneys are unable to stop the leakage of albumin from the blood into theurine. The main causes of low albumin levels are certain medical conditions, such as lupus, arthritis, shock, celiac disease and malnutrition. Furthermore, the level of albumin may be low due to dehydration and acute diarrhea. It is also considered that certain drugs, such as androgens, anabolic steroids, insulin and growth hormone, may lead to the occurrence of low albumin levels.
The prealbumin test is used to measure the level of this protein and to assess the nutritional status of the patient. On the other side, microalbumin test, which is also known as urine albumin test, is used to measure very small changes in the albumin levels in the urine.
Normal levels of albumin
It is considered that the normal levels of this protein are between 3.6 and 5.0 grams per deciliter. Since the liver functioning is slower in elderly people, the normal level of albumin is consequently a bit lesser than in healthy adults.