Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment that originates in the liver. 75% of this pigment is produced by destroying damaged or old red blood cells, while the remainder is obtained by the breakdown of defective red blood cell precursor cells. Although bilirubin is generally considered a waste product, it has been observed that under normal conditions, it can function as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; it is even possible that it is more efficient than specific vitamins in preventing the oxidation of lipids and other substances, as well It is considered as an optimal defense mechanism against oxidative stress and as a substance that favors cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatobiliary, brain and immune function.
In the adult body and children older than one month, the average values of total bilirubin vary between 0.1 and 1.3 mg / dL; in the case of newborns, the matter can be up to 5 mg / dL. Therefore, for a bilirubin level to be considered low, it should be almost 0 mg / dL. Although it is more common for bilirubin to rise and has serious consequences, it is also essential to know what happens when there are low levels, so in this FastlyHealarticle, we will tell you everything about low bilirubin: causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Causes of low bilirubin
When a person is found to have low bilirubin in some analysis, it is often taken as something normal or that there was an error; However, it can be due to several reasons, mainly as a sign of a more severe condition, some possible causes of low bilirubin are:
- Use of certain drugs: especially those that increase the metabolic rate of the liver, such as phenobarbital and other painkillers. Also, stimulants of the nervous system, for example, theophylline and caffeine. In other cases, vitamin C, penicillin, and high doses of salicylates have been shown to reduce the amount of bilirubin.
- Seasonal affective disorder: if a person has bilirubin values below the average level in the blood, it may be a symptom of suffering from this disorder.
- Cardiovascular diseases: the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease increase if the value of bilirubin is below the normal level, mainly those related to oxidative stress, as in the case of peripheral arterial disease. Low bilirubin levels are usually one of the first symptoms that indicate the presence of coronary artery disease, affecting coronary flow and coronary microvascular functions. Atherosclerosis will also observe a low bilirubin value; there may be a relationship between this deficiency and the increase in the thickness of an area of the carotid and the deterioration of the carotid flow. Likewise, bilirubin may appear in smaller amounts as a symptom of hypertensive episodes. At normal levels, bilirubin helps to neutralize and reduce some of the elements involved in this condition and reduces damage to the kidneys, so low quantity reduces this protective function.
Symptoms of low bilirubin
Low bilirubin, as such, has no symptoms of its own. Since this condition is usually an indication of another pathology, some signs of the primary diseases that can accompany bilirubin deficiency are:
- Angina pectoris.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Heart attack.
- Sudden, severe headache.
- Sudden weakness
- Loss of balance .
- Numbness of some parts of the body.
- Lack of energy and difficulty concentrating.
Treatment to improve low bilirubin
Bilirubin often returns to normal naturally and generally does not represent a system complication. On the other hand, it is essential that you go to your doctor to evaluate the condition and rule out that it is a symptom of significant pathology; if applicable, the specialist will indicate the best treatment to combat both situations.
If the bilirubin level does not normalize and the doctor considers it prudent to prescribe a drug, such as atazanavir, it is necessary to follow the recommendations indicated since high levels of this pigment can cause serious consequences.
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.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.