Albumin is the most abundant blood protein. It is produced in the liver and plays several roles. It is responsible for maintaining arterial pressure, by keeping water in the blood vessels. It transports several substances, from various hormones to several drugs. Changes in albumin level can be quantitative (decreased or increased level) or qualitative (alteration of the protein itself). Decreased blood albumin levels often result in oedema.
If the result is too high
Increased levels are seen when blood is too concentrated, as is the case with dehydration.
If the result is too low
Reduced liver production or increased albumin losses usually explain low albumin levels. Decreased levels are often associated with inflammatory processes or undernutrition. Liver or kidney problems can also explain abnormally low results.
Pregnancy and taking oral contraceptives ("the pill") as well as blood dilution can lower results. Poor diet can also explain lower results.
What you need to know before the test
Before going for blood tests, a procedure or other exam, it is best to always bring a list of all the drugs you take (prescription, OTC and natural health products). Unless told otherwise, you should take your medication as usual on the day of the test. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist for more information.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.