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Bilirubin is produced by our livers and this substance can be found in our blood. While having bilirubin in your body is normal, excessive quantities can indicate a chemical imbalance or medical condition at some point in the body. What are the causes and symptoms for high Bilirubin in adults and children? How to deal with high Bilirubin?

Normal Bilirubin Level: It is normal for the results of a bilirubin test to be between 0.1 and 1 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) of total bilirubin (indirect and direct) and between 0 and 0.3 mg/dL for direct bilirubin. The results can vary between laboratories and those numbers are only normal for adult men. The normal results for women or children can be slightly different and in all cases they can be affected by strenuous exercise, medications or certain foods.


Because of this, you should tell your doctor any foods or medications you have recently consumed in addition to your activity levels. High Bilirubin in Adults

Any of the disorders that destroy a large quantity of liver cells or disrupts the liver cell function may cause an increase in bilirubin levels. Transient elevations can be caused by acute hepatitis, circulatory shock and reactions to toxins or medicines. Persistently elevated levels can be caused by chronic liver diseases including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hemochromatosis, autoimmune hepatitis, chronic hepatitis C and alcohol hepatitis. There are also several disorder related to bilirubin metabolism including Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor’s syndrome and Gilbert syndrome.

Diseases which affect your biliary tract system (this is responsible for transporting bile to your gallbladder) may cause an obstruction in the bile flow and in turn a buildup of bilirubin. This is called cholestasis and may be caused by pregnancy, Sjörgen’s syndrome, sarcoidosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. Bile flow outside of the liver may occur because of bile duct or gallbladder cancer, bile duct strictures, pancreatic tumors, pancreatitis, cholangitis or cysts.

This is several conditions that involve the premature degradation of red blood cells. While red blood cells in a healthy person survive for around 120 days before they are removed and broken down, their survival time is significantly shortened with this disease. With fewer red blood cells, the liver is not able to maintain the proper levels of circulating bilirubin.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry reports that females generally have lower levels of bilirubin then males. In addition, African Americans usually have lower levels as well. Risk factors include drug and alcohol abuse (including the abuse of prescription drugs). Remedies to Help

• Adjust your diet . The most important things to try to do include avoiding fried foods, cooking with less oil, having more fruits and vegetables, avoiding red meat (instead have lean meats and trim the fat), avoiding salt and spices, drinking carrot and orange juice and drinking hot water with a bit of lemon.

The number of infants with high bilirubin is so large because infants have an immature liver and additional red blood cells at birth and each of these reasons can cause extra bilirubin to collect within the blood. In most cases the levels will reach normal counts within several days after birth but in some cases the high levels may be a sign that the mom and baby have incompatible blood types. Remedies

• Consider medical treatments. One medical treatment is phototherapy which eliminates excess bilirubin using light. The skin and blood absorb light waves that turn the bilirubin molecules into isomers which are water-soluble and can therefore pass out of the body. A biliblanket is an advanced form of phototherapy using fiber-optics. These use light like that of sunlight but filter out infrared energy and UV radiation. In addition, they allow you to do normal activities with your child, such as nursing, changing and holding them, during the treatment.

• Feed the baby often. High bilirubin can be caused by insufficient consumption of milk which is possible when the mother’s milk isn’t in yet or the child has problems feeding. Therefore, it usually helps to supplement with formula and to increase the frequency you feed your baby, which will help to remove bilirubin with frequent bowel movements.