Albumin is a family of proteins produced by the liver. Albumin comprises about 60% of the protein in the blood. Albumin is highly water-soluble and its task is to transport various hormones, vitamins and medicines, keep liquid in the blood vessels using osmotic pressure and to nourish tissue. A small amount of protein in the blood is released into urine in the kidneys. This protein is almost exclusively comprised of albumin.
The word ‘albumin’ is derived from the Latin word albumen, meaning egg white.
When should albumin be measured?
Albumin is often measured when examining the body’s liquid and protein balance, the liver’s capacity for producing protein, the functions of the kidneys and the state of nourishment.
Albumin is often measured in connection with these symptoms:
- Yellowness of the eyes or skin
- Weakness, fatigue
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bloating and/or stomach pain
- Dark, foamy or bloody urine
- Decreased urine
- Pale stool
- Back pain (near the kidneys)
- Swelling (eyes, face, wrists, ankles, stomach, thighs)
What does an albumin test measure?
The test measures the amount of albumin in the blood. Albumin levels can also be measured from urine.
How to interpret the albumin test result?
Normally, the result is:
- Girls aged 14–17: 35–46 g/l
- Boys aged 14–17: 36–48 g/l
- Adults aged 18–39: 36–48 g/l
- Adults aged 40–69: 36–45 g/l
- Adults aged ≥ 70 34–45 g/l
Please contact your physician or other healthcare professional if you suspect an illness or need help interpreting the results.
The reference values of this examination have changed 11.10.2021. You will find your own result's reference values from My LOUNA in touch with the graph. Read more about defining reference values.
What can cause elevated levels in the albumin?
High albumin levels can occur if the person is dehydrated. Elevated albumin values do not pose a health hazard.
What can cause decreased levels in the albumin?
Decreased albumin levels may be a sign of a temporary condition. Another option is a an acute or chronic illness that requires treatment. Low albumin levels may indicate a liver disease, such as cirrhosis, or a kidney disease where excessive amounts of albumin are released from the blood to urine. Decreased values are also found in connection with the following conditions:
- Coeliac disease
- Chronic illness
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
Sources (S -Alb):
SYNLAB test list: Albumin (1028 S -Alb, 4586 P-Alb) https://www.yml.fi/tuotekuvaus_show.php?tuotenro=9
Lab Tests Online: Albumin https://labtestsonline.org/tests/albumin
Fasting is not required
This examination does not require fasting