I am a healthy, active, 50 year old female who has a routine blood test every year by our community health fair. This year's results came back with a higher than normal reading for my Albumin Serum (5.0), Bilirubin Total (2.2) and Cholesterol Serum (274). I am 20 pounds overweight, do not smoke, have never done drugs and only drink alcohol maybe 3 or 4 times a year. What do these readings tell me and do I need to be concerned? Thank-you.
Typically a low albumin is more concerning than one that is slightly high. With an albumin of 5.0, I would repeat it to ensure it wasn't caused by lab error.
An elevated bilirubin has many causes - specifically liver or gallbladder disease. Assuming the rest of the liver function tests were normal (i.e. AST, ALT or GGT), you may want to consider obtaining an abdominal ultrasound for further evaluation. Elevated bilirubin can also occur in those with hemolysis (i.e. abnormal breakdown of red blood cells). There are also more benign, genetic causes of bilirubin overproduction (i.e. Gilberts Syndrome).
If the other lab tests remain normal (except for the bilirubin) for the next 12-18 months, then Gilberts Syndrome is the most likely possibility and requires no treatment.
For the elevated cholesterol, I would consider repeating a fasting level and fractionating it into triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). This would give you a better idea of what specficially is high and your physician can suggest an approach to treat this.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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