Is it normal for albumin levels to fluctuate?

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Posted on Mon, 8 Jun 2015 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Question: Is it normal for albumin levels to fluctuate. Over 6 years mine have fluctuated between 4.4 and most recently 3.9 which I was on a low calorie diet and cycling 15km a day, could this be the reason for depleted albumin stores, as I was using any protein I was consuming for energy.
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
need more protein or kidney issue

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for your query,
It is quite normal for protein levels to fluctuate based on what you are eating and how your kidneys are working. The main reasons that people would be low on protein (albumen) would be not getting enough in their diet or losing protein through the kidneys. Especially if you are on a very low calorie diet and also exercising it is possible that you are breaking down muscle and using protein for energy. This is not a good thing and could damage your kidneys. Please do not restrict calories below 1200 per day and make sure that you eat enough protein. At least 30% of your daily calories should come from protein. Another 40-60 % from carbohydrates and the rest from fats. Carbohydrates are especially important if you are doing vigorous exercise. It is also important to make sure that you are drinking at least 2 liters of water daily. I would not worry too much about the fluctuations but you do want to get albumen into the normal range and make sure that your kidney function is normal.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 7 minutes later
I presumed my albumin levels were in the normal range lab ref 3.4 - 5.0. I have had my annual bloods done and all are normal including a recent upper abdo ultrasound in which all was well. I presumed that maybe I had not been consuming enough carbs and protein and overdoing the exercise slightly in comparison to what I was eating.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 3 minutes later
Brief Answer:
lab values vary

Detailed Answer:
Normal values vary from lab to lab so it is good that yours are in the normal range for your lab. If you have variability within the normal range then that is not a concern. Yes it is possible that you just needed to eat more protein and carbs for the amount of exercise that you were doing. Thanks and let me know if you have further questions.
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Kathy Robinson 8 minutes later
Thankyou, my concern was the fluctuation. But like you said variability within the normal ref range for my lab is not a concern. Ive heard that albumin levels can fluctuate throughout the day, and levels drop if youre dehydrated, and as I had taken a fasting test also I hadnt eaten or drunk anything for 12 hours prior.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
yes, it depends on eating and water intake

Detailed Answer:
Yes, all parts of the blood can look more concentrated when you are somewhat dehydrated. Albumen also changes based on what you are eating. I would not worry about the fluctuations as long as you are in the normal range.
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3478 Questions

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