Albumin is a protein produced in the liver. It has many functions, but the most important is to keep the level of fluid in the blood vessels constant. Albumin, measured in the blood, must represent 50 to 60% of plasma proteins – that is, values between 3.5 and 5g per 100 ml of blood.
The correlation between albumin X available plasma water is 1 X 18, that is, each gram of existing albumin corresponds to 18gr of water effectively available to the human body. And water, you know well, is fundamental to life.
Explaining better, albumin is an essential substance for the regulation of oncotic pressure in plasma, which means that, when there is excess albumin, the blood accumulates excess water, in that proportion of 1 X 18 commented above, which causes overload on the work of the cardiovascular system. When there is a lack of this protein, water from the plasma “runs” into a space between one cell and another, the interstitial space, and causes swelling and edema, which makes the work of the renal system of depuration very difficult.
With this information, you can understand the results of your blood test.
When does the balance of albumin in the blood change?
The main causes of changes in the values of this substance in the blood are:
- decreased production (reduced protein content, malnutrition, malabsorption)
- cirrhosis of the liver increased secretion by the kidneys (ascites, nephropathy, or enteropathy)
- prolonged diarrhea
- protein loss from burns
Low blood plasma albumin levels can be caused by:
- alcoholism hereditary deficiency
- acute or chronic hepatitis
- liver cirrhosis
- chronic kidney failure
For you to understand better, let’s talk about the egg. The egg white is albumin, the yolk, the nucleus of the cell. Yes, the egg is a cell.
In pregnancy, there may be a marked loss of albumin, in cases of preeclampsia, for example. That is why the albumin present in the urine of pregnant women is routinely measured (urine with albumin, visually, appears as if it had egg white).
In this case, albumin is already a warning from the body that foreshadows a serious problem that could compromise the life of the pregnant woman and the fetus.
Treatments for excess or lack of albumin in blood plasma depend on the causes that give rise to this pathology. Medical follow-up is essential. But, one way to recover plasma albumin levels is via blood transfusion.