Overview of an albumin blood test
An albumin blood test events the amount of albumin in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by your liver. Albumin helps keep fluid in the bloodstream so it doesn’t leak into other tissues. It also carries various materials throughout the body, including hormones, vitamins, and enzymes. Low albumin levels can indicate a problem with the liver or kidneys.
What is an albumin blood test used for?
An albumin blood test is a kind of liver function test. Liver function tests are blood tests that amount different enzymes and proteins in the liver, including albumin. An albumin test can also be part of a complete metabolic panel, a test that measures various substances in your blood. These substances include electrolytes, glucose, and proteins like albumin.
Why do I need an albumin blood test?
Your healthcare supplier may have ordered liver function tests or a complete metabolic panel, including albumin tests, as part of your steady checkup. You may also essential this test if you have symptoms of liver or kidney disease.
Symptoms of liver disease include:
- Jaundice, a condition that causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow
- Loss of appetite
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale colored stool
Symptoms of kidney disease include:
- Swelling around the abdomen, thighs, or face
- More frequent urination, especially at night
- Foamy, bloody, or brown urine
- Skin itch
Procedure for an albumin blood test
Your healthcare provider draws a small sample of blood from your arm to use in the serum albumin test.
First, they use an alcohol swab or antiseptic cloth to clean your skin. They then tie a band around your upper arm so that your veins fill with blood. This helps them find a vein more easily.
Once they find a vein, the doctor inserts a needle that is attached to a vial and draws blood. They can fill one or more vials. They will send your blood sample to a lab for testing.
Certain medications such as insulin, anabolic steroids, and growth hormones can affect the test results. Tell your doctor if you are taking medication. Your doctor may instruct you to change the dose of your medicine or to stop taking it before the test.
Do not make any changes to your medication or dosage unless your doctor tells you to.
Other than that, there is no need for you to take any additional steps before the serum albumin test.
How is this test done?
The test needs a blood sample, which is drawn finished a needle from a vein in your arm.
What could affect my test results?
Being dehydrated can cause higher levels of albumin. Certain medications can raise your albumin levels. These include insulin, steroids, and hormones.
If you are pregnant, your albumin heights may be lower. Medications, such as birth control pills, can also lower your albumin levels.
Albumin blood test risks
Captivating a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling faint. When the needle sticks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
There is little risk associated with having blood drawn. Veins and arteries differ in size from one person to add and from one side of the body to the other. Drawing blood from some people can be more difficult than from others.
Other risks related to having blood haggard are slight, but can include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling dizzy
- Multiple punctures to locate veins.
- Hematoma (collection of blood under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk every time the skin is broken)
Considerations for an albumin blood test
If you are receiving large amounts of fluids through an IV, the results of this test may be inaccurate.
Albumin will decrease during pregnancy.
What do the results mean?
Since the serum albumin test is often one of several tests given at the same time, a doctor will interpret all the results together to determine if there are any underlying conditions.
Generally, the range of albumin in the blood is between 3.4 and 5.4 grams per deciliter.
When a person’s levels are found to be lower than the average range, it could indicate conditions, such as:
- Crohn’s disease
- liver disease
- Celiac Disease
- Poor nutrition
- Nephritic or nephrotic syndrome
A doctor may order additional tests if he suspects liver disease to determine what type of disease is present.
Some possible types include:
- Hepatocellular necrosis
- If albumin levels are found to be too high, it may indicate that a person is eating a high protein diet or is dehydrated.
When the results are obtained, a doctor will review them with the person and explain the results. Normal levels can vary from laboratory to laboratory. A doctor will be talented to interpret the results to determine if the consequences are within a normal range.