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What is the reason for having high bilirubin levels?

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Posted on Tue, 10 Jul 2012
Question: Good morning - I received the following results yesterday from a work physical and was told not to worry
Total Bilirubin - 3.7
Direct Bilirubin - .73
Alkaline Phosphatase - 47
AST - 14
ALT - 22
GGT - 26
Protein Total - 8.2
Albumin - 4.8
Golbulin - 3.4

What could be causing the high Bilirubin?
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Answered by Dr. Yogesh D (1 hour later)
Hi Mr. Mc XXXXXXX

Thank you for posting your query.

As per your lab reports, both the conjugated(indirect) and unconjugated(direct) bilirubin are elevated. But they are not too high to cause a worry at this time.

The most probable reasons for such mild elevation of bilirubin levels are,

1. Hemolysis (increased breakdown of red blood cells),
2. Gilbert's syndrome - a genetic disorder of bilirubin metabolism that can result in mild jaundice, found in about 5% of the population,
3. Some medicines like sulpha drugs might cause a rise in the bilirubin levels.
4. Rotor syndrome: non-itching jaundice, with rise of bilirubin in the patient's serum, mainly of the direct type.

Rest of your liver enzymes are within normal limits, that rules out a possible hepatitis.

You need not worry about these levels at this time. You might want to consider getting an ultrasound scan of the abdomen done sometime in the future.

Hope this answers your query completely.

Please do write back if you have any more questions or doubts.

Wishing you good health.

Regards.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Yogesh D

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 1046 Questions

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What is the reason for having high bilirubin levels?

Hi Mr. Mc XXXXXXX

Thank you for posting your query.

As per your lab reports, both the conjugated(indirect) and unconjugated(direct) bilirubin are elevated. But they are not too high to cause a worry at this time.

The most probable reasons for such mild elevation of bilirubin levels are,

1. Hemolysis (increased breakdown of red blood cells),
2. Gilbert's syndrome - a genetic disorder of bilirubin metabolism that can result in mild jaundice, found in about 5% of the population,
3. Some medicines like sulpha drugs might cause a rise in the bilirubin levels.
4. Rotor syndrome: non-itching jaundice, with rise of bilirubin in the patient's serum, mainly of the direct type.

Rest of your liver enzymes are within normal limits, that rules out a possible hepatitis.

You need not worry about these levels at this time. You might want to consider getting an ultrasound scan of the abdomen done sometime in the future.

Hope this answers your query completely.

Please do write back if you have any more questions or doubts.

Wishing you good health.

Regards.