High bilirubin is a symptom of liver, pancreas, or gallbladder disease. Find out why it goes up and how to lower it easily and simply.
The bilirubin is a yellow pigment found in bile, a liquid that is produced by the liver. In the laboratory analysis itself, a total of 3 parameters tend to be measured (direct, indirect and total bilirubin), although the main one (total bilirubin) is usually always indicated, which is the sum of the two. But, what to do when we find elevated bilirubin, what are its causes and how can we decrease it?
Normal values for direct bilirubin range from 0 to 0.3 mg / ld., while total bilirubin should be around 0.3 to 1.9 mg / ld., although this is a figure that may vary slightly from one laboratory to another.
In cases where bilirubin reaches a level greater than 2.5 mg / LD.., a symptom called jaundice may appear which consists of the yellowing of both the skin and the whites of the eye.
For all this, it can be extremely useful to know how we can lower high bilirubin, another analytical parameter that tends to rise when something is not quite right in our body.
What is high bilirubin?
The Bilirubin is a pigment yellowish color is the result of degeneration of hemoglobin in red blood cells different, which are in disrepair.
This process is generated in the spleen, an organ that, among other important functions, has the ability to destroy different old blood cells.
Then, the bilirubin tends to travel to the liver to be stored in the gallbladder, where it will eventually become part of the bile and end up being excreted through the stool (in fact, it is the pigment that gives the stool its color).
When there is elevated bilirubin it means that there is a problem in the liver, pancreas or gallbladder, and medically it is known as hyperbilirubinemia.
There are three types of bilirubin in the blood, so that before a blood test we can find the elevation of some of these parameters in particular, so that their causes could vary: indirect bilirubin, direct bilirubin and total bilirubin (which is the sum of the two previous values).
Causes of high bilirubin: why it increases
As we explained, there are three types of bilirubin in the blood, so that the causes that have caused its elevation will be different. For the most part, in all cases they are a warning sign that there is some problem in the liver, pancreas or gallbladder.
Causes of high direct bilirubin
It is above all a parameter that when it rises does tend to be an indication that there could be some type of liver disease. It is also known as conjugated bilirubin.
However, as we will see below, it can also alert you to the presence of some obstruction in the bile ducts. The main causes are the following:
- Acute hepatitis: it occurs when there is inflammation in the liver, especially due to the deficiency in the elimination of toxins, which accumulate in this organ.
- Liver cirrhosis: although it is directly related to the presence of cirrhosis in the liver, it is a symptom that in many cases appears late, indicating the existence of significant damage.
- DubbinJohnson syndrome: a genetic disorder in which the liver tends to change color as a result of the accumulation of pigments. It is usually diagnosed in childhood.
- Rotor syndrome: it is a rare disease of hereditary origin, usually benign that causes elevation of conjugated bilirubin in the blood, but below 10 mg / LD…
- Obstruction of the bile ducts: it is another cause, and not so related to the liver. It occurs as a result of gallstones, or by the presence of tumors in the pancreas.
Causes of high indirect bilirubin
In this case, we are faced with a parameter that can not only be raised in the presence of some liver disease. It is also known as unconjugated bilirubin, and its causes are the following:
- Hemolytic anemia: it occurs as a consequence of the red blood cells being destroyed before their time, not being able to perform their function.
- Gilbert’s syndrome: it is a genetic disease in which the liver is unable to process bilirubin as a result of a deficiency of enzymes.
- Other causes: indirect bilirubin can also increase as a result of fetal erythrobastosis, the resolution of a large hematoma and due to problems with blood transfusions.
How to lower high bilirubin?
There are some basic recommendations that can help lower high bilirubin in the blood:
- The liquid is essential to eliminate those toxins that your body does not need. To do this, drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and also opt for healthy infusions, herbal teas and teas.
- Liver tonics such as dandelion, artichoke, verbena or wild yam can help purify the liver. Don’t forget milk thistle either.
- Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits when the liver stops working, or does not work properly, even producing what is known as fatty liver. It should always be taken in moderation, and better opt for beer or wine. In any case, you should avoid drinking any form of alcohol.
- Diet also affects liver health. Eliminate those fatty foods that can harm you, and opt for a healthy diet. Basically you have to eliminate fat from your diet. Foods such as sausages, red and white meats, processed and fatty foods, fried foods, dairy products and derivatives, and eggs are prohibited.
- In case bilirubin is accompanied by inflammation precisely because of the appearance of fat in the liver, salmon oil and artichoke can help you positively.
In any case, remember that you should always know what high bilirubin is increased, in order to know its causes and seek the best treatment for it.