Albumen levels dropping

Evening all - first post so be gentle with me - I am a full time carer for my wife (AKA the Boss) - Been on the CAPD trail for 22 months now and have had some fun times - currently we are on 4 x 1500ml turnarounds per day - a recent visit to clinic had us stumped and I wondered if anyone can shed light on something we were told and secondly, is there anything we can do about it…

The boss was told that all her bloods were good, but her Albumen levels have dropped from 27 to 20 - told there was nothing we could do about it and we have more tests in 6 weeks…

Is the prognosis good, bad or indifferent??

thanks in anticipation


Hi and welcome, Howard! Which country are you in? In the U.S., we use a different measure for albumin–it’s supposed to be higher than 4.0 g/dL. If I knew what the unit of measurement was, it would be easier to compare apples to apples (or maybe steaks to steaks, since we’re talking about protein). I’m not sure that there’s “nothing you can do about it.” Protein losses ARE higher in PD, because PD is the only type of dialysis that removes protein-bound wastes–and therefore some protein, too. But eating high protein meals and snacks and reducing whole-body inflammation by eating a lower inflammatory diet (i.e., avoiding deep fried foods and junk foods) could help. We have an expert dietitian and an expert PD nurse in our Expert boards, and you might pose this question to both of them, too.

Morning - I hail from Sunny Hampshire in the UK - I will ask the experts!

As Dori said, the target for albumin in the U.S. is 4.0 grams/deciliter which would translate to 40 grams/liter. Below this target, the health risk and risk of infection increases. Besides the amount of high biologic value protein (the dietitian can suggest foods) someone eats, low albumin can indicate there there is inflammation or infection. One recent study I found said that researchers found that patients had declining albumin levels the month before and the month after an episode of peritonitis. They also found that if cholesterol level didn’t decline at the same time albumin declined, this ruled out malnutrition and low dietary intake.

Here’s a fact sheet on albumin from Canada that may be helpful.

Another resources is Kidney School. Module 9 addresses nutrition and has a track for people on peritoneal dialysis with or without diabetes.