Is calledhypoalbuminemiaand it is a condition linked to severalcauses. It is detected with theblood analysisand highlights values low albumin. To understand thecausesoflow albumin in the bloodand what this condition means, I'll first explain what albumin is.
To detect theblood albumin valueswe proceed with theelectropheresis of proteins. In the laboratory, protein tests are conducted with electrophoresis or chromatography.
Note: low albumin, by itself, cannot tell you much. Electrophoresis is a test that is used to detect the amount of proteins in a given solution. If the test detects low concentrations of albumin, the causes can be very numerous and doubts cannot be dispelled with a simple reading. In case of low albumin it is important to consult your doctor.
Albumin: what it is
L'albuminit's aproteinsproduced byliver. It is among the most proteinsexpressedin our body and is found in the plasma fraction of the blood. Plays severalfunctions Which:
- It carriesthyroid hormones
- It is the vector offree fatty acids
- It carries unconjugated bilirubin
- Maintains the oncotic pressure within its physiological threshold of 20 mmHg
- Helps maintain a physiological pH
- It carries fat-soluble hormones
- Competitive bond with calcium ions
- It circulates the active ingredients of many drugs
Normal values: what are they?
The concentration of albumin in the blood (albuminemia) varies between 3.5 and 5.0 g / dl. If you have theblood analysisthey detected ahypoalbuminemia(low blood albumin) there are several hypotheses:
1) Albumin is, among other things, the main transporter of other proteins and could be excreted in the urine. In this case, your liver regularly produces albumin but this is lost in urine. If you have low albumin in the blood is high albumin in the urine, a kidney problem may be present.
2) If in the urinalysis albumin is absent, there may be a hypo-production of this protein in the liver.
3) There may be distribution problems between the intravascular and extravascular compartments. That is, there is albumin, it is produced but does not perform its functions regularly because it is deficient in the blood.
Low blood albumin: causes
There are several causeswhich induce a variation in the production ofalbuminin the liver.
Typically a lowering of plasma albumin values occur for:
- intestinal absorption disorders,
- in case of abnormalities in hepatic synthesis,
- chronic systemic inflammation,
- stress related pathologies.
Trauma, physiological alterations of various kinds and diseases can influence the synthesis and degradation of albumin and, in addition, alter its distribution between the intravascular and extravascular compartments.
The levels of albumin in the blood drop, often significantly, already from the first hours of the course of a disease and do not increase until the recovery phase (recovery).
What are theillnessesthat cause an alteration of albumin production?
1) Liver disease
Any problems with the liver or hepatocytes (the cells of the liver) can trigger little or no production of albumin. Cirrhosis of the liver is the most common cause.
In tumors, the high content of TNF-alpha proinflammatory cytokines induces low levels of albumin in the blood. The small amount of albumin produced is used bygrowing neoplasm (for the development of cancer cells). Thus increases the catabolism of the protein that comes immediatelyused.
3) Sepsis and surgical interventions
Sepsis and major surgical stresses lead to an altered distribution of albumin due to an increase in capillary permeability. In this case it is a dysfunction of the endothelial barrier, resulting in capillary loss of proteins, inflammatory cells and large volumes of fluid in the interstitial space.
In this case, the low albumin in the blood is related to a 'high albumin in the urine. Diabetic patients have an increase in the concentration of glycated proteins. L'glycated albumin it has a less negative charge than native albumin so it is eliminated much more easily in renal filtration and ends up in the urine.
4) Power supply
The production of albumin depends on nutritional intake, more than on liver proteins. L'low albuminit can be caused not onlyfrom fastingbut also from onelow protein diet. The exclusion of proteins from the diet reduces the production of albumin.What to eat?White meat, red meat and protein foods.
5) Hormonal causes
Insulin is necessary for an adequate synthesis of albumin. Problems with the insulin hormone can cause a lowering of levels ofalbumin in the blood.
- Malabsorption syndromes. Conditions such as Crohn's disease or inflammation of the intestinal tract that prevent protein absorption.
- Chronic inflammatory diseases that negatively affect liver function.
- Genetic anomalies (synthesis of defective albumins, very rare).
- Extensive burns cause albumin loss in the urine.
- Protein-dispersing enteropathy, this condition also induces a loss of albumins in the urine.
Low albumin and high gamma globulins
Gammaglobulins are one of the defense tools of the human body. These globulins are released by the immune system in the event of an inflammation. They can be related to a large number of inflammations (systemic diseases, infectious diseases…). From cirrhosis of the liver to a banal cystitis. This is why also in this case it is important to consult your doctor in order to have a clearer vision of your clinical picture.
It can be useful: high ammonium