What you need to know about Albumin Test

What you need to know about Albumin Test


Albumin is a protein formed in the liver. It enters the bloodstream and helps keep fluid from leaking out of blood vessels into other tissues. Albumin also carries hormones, vitamins, and enzymes to every body part. If its levels fall, fluid can leak out of the blood and build up in other parts of your body.

As the name indicates, an albumin blood test is used to evaluate the amount of albumin in the blood. In adults, normal blood albumin levels range from 3.5 to 5.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL). Low albumin levels can signify liver or kidney disease or another medical condition. In contrast, high levels may be a sign of dehydration.

Need for an Albumin blood test-

Albumin test is often part of a group of blood tests that measure various enzymes, proteins, and other substances made in the liver. These tests are known as liver function tests or liver panels. An albumin test may also be part of a comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP), a group of routine blood tests assessing several substances.

An albumin test is an indispensable tool for healthcare providers to diagnose and monitor various clinical conditions. It can be conducted to check general health or examine the effective working and functioning of vital organs. An albumin test can also help indicate a variety of different health conditions, including cirrhosis, kidney disease, and malnutrition. It can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions. An albumin blood test can also be performed on an individual exhibiting the symptoms of liver or kidney diseases. In liver dysfunction, the albumin is not produced in adequate amounts, whereas in kidney disorders, excessive albumin is secreted in urine.

Symptoms of liver disease like:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Jaundice, a condition that turns skin and eyes yellow
  • Swelling or pain in the belly
  • Swelling in ankles and legs
  • Dark-colored urine (pee) or light-colored stool
  • Persistent itching

Symptoms of kidney disease like:

  • Swelling in the hands, feet, or puffy eyelids
  • Dry skin, itching, or numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • bloody or foamy urine
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep problems
  • Trouble thinking clearly


About the test procedure-

This test needs no special preparations. If in case, you are getting other blood tests, too, you may need to be empty stomach for several hours before the test. 

However, keep the following points in mind before you go for the test-

  • Ask your healthcare provider if there are any special instructions to follow. 
  • Certain medicines may affect the test results, so let your doctor know about your medication. 
  • Don't discontinue any medicines without talking to your healthcare provider.

For the albumin blood test, the healthcare professional will draw a blood sample from an arm vein using a small needle. After inserting the needle, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. This usually takes less than five minutes. There is very little or no risk of having a blood test. Slight pain or bruising may be felt at the needle insertion spot. However, most symptoms go away quickly.

In addition, self-monitoring devices are also available. Some at-home tests check albumin levels in urine, while other test kits check it in blood using a finger prick. However, Home albumin tests are rare, and it is always advisable to consult the healthcare provider before trying an at-home albumin test.

The results-

An albumin blood test independently cannot diagnose a condition. Physicians usually take albumin test results with other test results to make a diagnosis.

Lower than normal albumin levels may indicate:

  • Liver diseases like severe cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Infection
  • Digestive concerns such as Crohn's disease and malabsorption disorders
  • Burns involving a large area of the body
  • Thyroid disease

Higher than normal albumin levels may indicate dehydration, which may occur due to severe diarrhea or other conditions.

It must be remembered that even if the albumin levels are not in the normal range, it doesn't always indicate a medical condition that requires treatment. Certain medicines can increase albumin levels, including steroids, insulin, and hormones. Even fasting may decline albumin after 24 to 48 hours. Other medicines, including birth control pills, can also lower albumin levels. Pregnancy, too, reduces Albumin levels.

The bottom line-

An albumin blood test is performed to check the albumin levels in your blood. Low albumin levels might indicate a problem with your liver, kidneys, or other health conditions, while high albumin levels are typically due to dehydration or severe dehydration. The albumin test is rapid and doesn't carry any serious risks. Always consult your physician to interpret the results.

Mrs. Mayuri Mathur

Mrs. Mayuri Mathur is a Senior Medical Writer (Patient education and digital) and seasoned content creator with a rich tapestry of expertise spanning over ten years. With a diverse background in content creation, she brings a wealth of experience to the table, from crafting insightful medical articles to developing comprehensive patient education materials, dynamic press releases, and captivating brochures and website content. Throughout her illustrious career, she has demonstrated an exceptional knack for distilling complex medical concepts into easily understandable content, making her a trusted resource for both professionals and lay audiences alike. Her meticulous attention to detail and innate creativity have enabled her to deliver content that not only informs but also engages and inspires. Whether elucidating intricate medical procedures or crafting compelling marketing materials, her versatility and dedication shine through in every project she undertakes. Her passion for writing, coupled with her profound understanding, makes her an invaluable asset to any team or project. In a constantly evolving digital landscape, where effective communication is paramount, Mrs. Mayuri Mathur stands out as a beacon of excellence, consistently delivering top-notch content that resonates with audiences across diverse platforms.

 More FAQs by Mrs. Mayuri Mathur


Medtalks is India's fastest growing Healthcare Learning and Patient Education Platform designed and developed to help doctors and other medical professionals to cater educational and training needs and to discover, discuss and learn the latest and best practices across 100+ medical specialties. Also find India Healthcare Latest Health News & Updates on the India Healthcare at Medtalks