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What is bilirubin? How can it affect a person?

What are billirubin levels? How do they effect you/
Asked On : Fri, 15 Mar 2013
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Radiologist 's  Response
Hi, welcome to HCM.
Bilirubin is normal secretion of liver. It is necessary of proper digestion of foods. It is harmful in elevated levels only. There are two types direct and indirect. Normal values are 0.25 and 0.75.
If it is elevated then known as jaundice. At very high level it can cause damage to brain known as hepatic encephalopathy.

Hope I have answered your query.

Answered: Sat, 23 Mar 2013
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Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Maruti Karale's  Response
Thank you for this question.

Bilirubin is produced by the liver and other cells in the body as they break down the red blood cells, in particular the haemoglobin component.

Bilirubin then drains from the liver in the bile through the common bile duct into the upper part of the intestine.

Higher than normal levels of bilirubin in the blood suggest that either larger amounts than usual are being produced through unusually high levels of blood breakdown called haemolysis, or that the normal drainage of bile containing bilirubin is being prevented.

Bilirubin is split into two unconjugated versus conjugated bilirubin.There are differences between unconjugated versus conjugated bilirubin where unconjugated bilirubin is not soluble with water and conjugated bilirubin is soluble with water.The Unconjugated bilirubin combines with albumin and is carried to the liver.

It is normal to have some bilirubin in your blood. Normal levels are:

Direct (also called conjugated) bilirubin: 0 to 0.2 mg/dL
Indirect (unconjugated):0.3-0.8
Total bilirubin: 0.2 to 1.2 mg/dL

Large amounts of bilirubin in the blood can lead to jaundice. Jaundice is a yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes.Jaundice is the most common reason to check bilirubin levels.

Hope you could understand the things better.

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Answered: Wed, 27 Mar 2013
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