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What is the reason for low serum albumin level?

Q: My father, 62 years old, is suffering from diabetes for the past 15 years. Now he is having a serum albumin level of is 1.8. Will this adversely affect his kidneys? How can I reduce the albumin ratio?

A:Due to the limited information provided, it is not possible to comment on the cause of low serum albumin in your father's case. However, chronic kidney disease can account for low serum albumin by increased leakage of protein in the urine, which is a common finding in a diabetic kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy). Hence, for someone who has been a diabetic for over 15 years, it is important to have a complete urinalysis (to quantify the amount of protein in the urine if present) and a series of blood tests including serum creatinine to assess the underlying kidney function.

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