Home Digestive system High Bilirubin: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

High Bilirubin: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Bilirubin is a pigment that is produced from the degeneration of hemoglobin in red blood cells that are in poor condition. This process is generated in the spleen , an organ whose function is to destroy old blood cells. In addition, bilirubin fulfills more functions, such as, for example, being part of the immune system or it is stored in the liver, from where it will be part of the bile when it is excreted.

Like all elements of the body, bilirubin makes sense within certain parameters and levels that are too low or too high are synonymous with some problem in the body and can have consequences on the health of the person. In the case of high bilirubin, it is a symptom that there is a problem in the liver, gallbladder or pancreas. That is why at FastlyHealwe explain the causes, symptoms and treatment of high bilirubin .

Causes of high bilirubin

High bilirubin, also known as hyperbilirubinemia , is related to the way this pigment travels through the bloodstream:

  • Indirect bilirubin : it does not dissolve in water and travels to the liver where it becomes soluble.
  • Direct bilirubin : it is manufactured in the liver from indirect bilirubin and it does dissolve in water.
  • Total bilirubin : is the sum of the values ​​of the previous ones.

The causes of high direct bilirubin related to liver diseases are:

  • Acute hepatitis : the liver becomes inflamed due to a deficiency in the elimination of toxins.
  • Bile duct obstruction : when there are gallstones or tumors in the pancreas.
  • Cirrhosis : although high bilirubin is usually a symptom that appears late in these cases and significant damage is reflected.
  • Dubin Johnson syndrome : It is an inherited disorder that is diagnosed in childhood where the liver changes heat due to the accumulation of pigments.

The causes of high indirect bilirubin are:

  • Hemolytic anemia : occurs when red blood cells are destroyed prematurely, so they cannot fulfill their function.
  • Gilbert syndrome : it is a disorder transmitted from parents to children, where there is a deficiency of enzymes that allow the liver to process bilirubin.

Symptoms of high bilirubin

The symptom of high bilirubin is jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, which usually indicates a problem with the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. To determine that there is a high level of bilirubin in the body, it is necessary to perform a fasting blood test. Newborns usually have high bilirubin, especially if it has been a premature delivery. Other symptoms that may occur are:

  • Dark urine
  • Pale stools
  • Depending on the cause that is causing the bilirubin to rise, other symptoms will appear.

Normal bilirubin levels

It is normal to have bilirubin in the blood, however it needs to be at the proper levels. The normal levels of bilirubin are:

  • Direct bilirubin : 0 to 0.3 mg / dL
  • Indirect bilirubin : 0.2 to 1.2 mg / dL
  • Bilirrubina total: 0.3 a 1.9 mg/dL

High bilirubin: risks

As we have been explaining throughout the article, high bilirubin is not a disease in itself , but is the consequence of an underlying disease, be it cirrhosis, hepatitis, liver failure or biliary obstructions. Thus, bilirubin should be treated not as a disease but as a symptom, as a warning.

So the question we must ask ourselves is not how high bilirubin affects or when high bilirubin is worrisome , this symptom can be worrisome on its own since it is due to another underlying disease that can be dangerous.

Jaundice and high levels of this pigment should serve as an alarm to treat the disease that we may suffer and in that way, that the bilirubin values ​​are restored

Treatment for high bilirubin

The treatment for high bilirubin should focus on strengthening the liver, but everything will depend on what is causing this abnormality. If you have had jaundice, you will need to visit your doctor so that he can make an accurate diagnosis and apply the appropriate treatment.

However, there will be measures that you must take and change some habits that you will have to change to cleanse your liver and make it work the right way again. Here are some home remedies to lower bilirubin to cure high bilirubin in adults :

  • Stay hydrated, this will be key to removing toxins from the liver.
  • Prepare infusions, in addition to hydrating yourself, if you use herbs with cleansing properties you will be favoring this organ much more. Try plants like dandelion, verbena, artichoke, or milk thistle.
  • Increase the consumption of vegetables such as beets, carrots, artichokes, broccoli and spinach; and fruits like grapefruit, lemon, and apples.
  • Eliminate alcohol, this can lead your liver to serious conditions such as fatty liver .
  • Avoid foods high in saturated fat, sugars, and processed flours.
  • Consume juices to cleanse your liver to ensure its proper functioning.
  • Practice at least 20 minutes a day of exercise.

On the other hand, jaundice or high bilirubin in babies usually resolves spontaneously, since it is usually a normal fact as a consequence of the fact that the liver of newborns is not fully developed and does not process bilirubin well. . This condition is known as neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, and when doctors see fit, the way to lower high bilirubin in babies is through phototherapy.

If you want more information about how your diet should be to cleanse your liver, we recommend the articles:

How to prevent high bilirubin

As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure, so even if you do not suffer from high bilirubin or if your levels are slightly elevated, you can follow the advice that we will give you below so that you can prevent high bilirubin . These tips do not vary much from the ones we have given you in the treatment section either, anyway they are:

  • Maintain a balanced diet.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Do not self-medicate.
  • Avoid the consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Most of these actions what you will do is alleviate the workload that the liver must bear. The less contact you have with toxics, the better you will do at removing waste and preventing disease development.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to High Bilirubin: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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