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What are the underlying causes for high bilirubin count?

Apr 2013
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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9332 Questions
Healthy male with high bilirubin count, what could it be???? Alcohol / drug related?
Posted Thu, 30 Jan 2014 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 27 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome ot XXXXXXX Detailed Answer: First,I would like to know how high it is? and is there any abnormality with other liver specific tests( AST.ALT. GGT,ALP)? Bilirubin is elevated in various conditions. Most commonly liver and gallbladder issue and sometimes hemolytic anaemia. If there is just slight elevation then this can be seen in gallbladder stone, fatty liver or just temporary hyperbilirubinemia. These conditions are not related to alcohol and drugs. Other causes are alcohol,drugs,viral hepatitis,cirrhosis, autoimmune diseases,and these are more serious and should be treated. TO evaluate all this he should do at least liver ultrasound and viral markers. This would reveal is there something to be concerned about or not. Wish you good health. Feel free to ask. Regards
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for high bilirubin count? 24 minutes later
Hi. I will find out tomorrow how high it was. The other liver tests were fine... only other issues were elevated iron and cholesterol. The past two months I have been abusing alcohol and have also been on anabolic steroids ( stopped the steroids approx 8 weeks before this recent blood test) medication im currently on is SOMAC and LEXAPRO. My doctor told me to wait 4 weeks and have another blood test and see if its cleared but im really worried and need answers now.. what do you suggest? Really appreciate your replies
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 7 hours later
Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: Well,high cholesterol is one of the factors which cause fatty liver. But I think it is obvious that your bilirubin elevation is caused by alcohol and steroids. This is the first thing to think of. So I am sure it will be better at next blood check. High bilirubin wont cause bad effects,unless there is serious liver damage, but you would have jaundice and abdominal pain in this case. So just avoid alcohol, and hepatotoxic drugs and everything will be fine. Regards
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Follow-up: What are the underlying causes for high bilirubin count? 5 hours later
Thanks for reply . My bilirubin level is 32. What are your thoughts? I just had a blood test for hepatitis to rule that out
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 11 hours later
Brief Answer: hi Detailed Answer: Ok.This is just slight elevation of bilirubin and there is no need to be concerned at all and no treatment is necessary. You should just check bilirubin in month or 2 and I expect it will be normal. Just reduce your alcohol intake a bit.
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