Serum Bilirubin Test
Note: Read test details, FAQs and test conditions before proceeding to book
Bilirubin test is an ideal way to ensure that there are no abnormalities, and the liver works correctly. It is advisable to make this test a part of routine health checks to prevent life-threatening diseases in the future.
Total Bilirubin Test
A bilirubin test is carried out to measure the amount of bilirubin present in your body. Sometimes when there is higher than normal levels of bilirubin in the body, it could show liver problems.
Also, high bilirubin causes red blood cells to break down faster than normal in the body. To make a conclusive diagnosis, the doctors and medical practitioners order for the test.
What is the bilirubin test?
Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. It is excreted as a component of bile, a fluid produced by the liver, which is essential for the metabolism of fat. Bilirubin is produced in the body when red blood cells become old and damaged and are destroyed in the spleen. Bilirubin goes in the blood from the spleen to the liver and then in bile into the small intestine.
The liver converts it to a water-soluble form that can be passed out in the urine. This pigment circulates in the blood indirect as well as indirect form. Indirect bilirubin is the unconjugated form, which does not dissolve in water. It travels through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is converted into soluble bilirubin.
Direct bilirubin is the conjugated form that is soluble in water. Total bilirubin (TBIL) measures both BU (unconjugated or indirect bilirubin) and BC (Conjugated or direct bilirubin) Total and direct bilirubin levels can be measured from the blood, but indirect bilirubin is calculated from the total and direct bilirubin. Only a small amount of bilirubin is present in the blood.
Some of the bilirubin symptoms clear in patients include::
- The evidence of jaundice (skin and white of the eyes appear yellow)
- Abdominal pain and/or swelling
- Dark, amber-colored urine
- Fatigue and general malaise that often accompanies a chronic liver disease
Why the doctor advise the total bilirubin test?
It is primarily carried out to check for any kind of liver abnormalities. If there are visible symptoms like the yellowing of skin and eyes or the patient suffers from acute abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, the test is prescribed. These are the primary symptoms of jaundice caused by an increase in the bilirubin level.
The bilirubin treatment is also carried out to check for the progression of other liver diseases like hepatitis, gallstones, liver toxicity, or as a followup for prior treatment.
Bilirubin test conditions;
- Overnight fasting is not required
- Doctor’s prescription may be needed
- The normal reference range may vary depending on gender, age, health history, etc.
- If you are on any kind of medication, it is very important to inform the doctor. For example, certain antibiotics like penicillin, diuretics like furosemide, or sedatives like phenobarbital can interfere with the bilirubin levels.
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