What Does Bilirubin Mean?

Bilirubin is a yellow pigment found in small amounts in bile and blood. A build-up of bilirubin in the body causes jaundice. High bilirubin can be a sign of hepatitis. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that comes from the breakdown of hemoglobin. It is mainly found in bile. Bilirubin is produced by cells in the spleen and bone marrow. It is transported through the blood to the liver where it is converted into bile pigments and reabsorbed or eliminated in the stool.

Indirect free bilirubin is insoluble in water and therefore toxic to the brain. It can accumulate in a newborn when the liver is not yet fully mature. It is not found in urine as it is not filtered by the kidneys.

What does high and low bilirubin mean?

Bilirubin dosage is prescribed in case of yellowing of the skin or when a dysfunction of the liver or gallbladder is suspected. Changes in the level of bilirubin in the blood depend on how well the liver is functioning. Therefore it is important to take care of it.

Bilirubin dosage is done by a blood test. This is prescribed when there is yellowing of the skin or conjunctiva, or when hepatic or vesicular dysfunction is suspected. Values ​​are higher in males.

Gilbert syndrome causes an increase in bilirubin, a benign genetic disease. A very high or sudden increase in bilirubin in the blood may indicate abnormal destruction of red blood cells, hepatitis, or liver cirrhosis. Jaundice is usually caused by an increase in the level of free bilirubin in the blood, but some rare genetic jaundice is associated with conjugated bilirubin.

Conjugated bilirubin sees its level rise in cholestasis as bile stagnates in the bile ducts. An increase in direct bilirubin can also be seen in the case of liver abnormality, biliary obstruction, viral hepatitis, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, or Rotor syndrome. Increased bilirubin may be seen in newborns due to the immaturity of the liver. Next, we’ll talk about newborn jaundice. This disappears in about 5 days.

What to Do If Bilirubin Is Out of Normal Level?

The bilirubin level may drop without pathology in some exceptional cases, such as during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Bilirubin is rarely measured at routine controls. If a yellowish skin appears
or if the conjunctiva turns yellow, it is important to consult. If liver or vesicular dysfunction is suspected, a dose of bilirubin will be prescribed.

The treatment of hyperbilirubinemia is above all the treatment of its cause. Gilbert’s disease does not require treatment, always benign and progressively, self-limiting. If jaundice does not disappear in the newborn, it should be treated with phototherapy. Management of liver and vesicular diseases is specific.

To maintain a healthy liver and prevent bilirubin levels from spiking, experts recommend a balanced diet (low in fat and high in vegetables), adequate hydration, and avoiding alcohol consumption.

How is the Bilirubin Test Done?

For the bilirubin test, a blood test consisting of a venous blood test should be done. It is recommended that you do not eat or drink at least 4 hours before the blood test. The doctor may also ask the patient to stop taking certain medications that could affect the results of the bilirubin test.

The total amount of bilirubin in the blood is normally between 0.3 and 1.9 mg / dl (milligrams per deciliter). The amount of conjugated bilirubin (also directly called bilirubin) is normally between 0 and 0.3 mg / dl. Note that the so-called normal bilirubin values ​​in the blood can vary depending on the laboratory performing the analysis. Only a doctor can interpret the results and give you a diagnosis. If the bilirubin level is high, this is called hyperbilirubinemia.

It is a waste of hemoglobin that must be disposed of by the body. When red blood cells die, the liver processes them, hemoglobin is broken down and bilirubin is formed. It is then stored as bile in the gallbladder and excreted through feces.

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