Bilirubin blood test all you need to know

blood Bilirubin

Bilirubin is a yellow chemical created during the regular breakdown of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying compound in red blood cells. The iron-containing portion of haemoglobin (heme) is transformed to bilirubin as red blood cells are broken down.

Importance of a bilirubin blood test

The amount of bilirubin in your blood is measured by a bilirubin blood test. Bilirubin is a yellowish chemical produced by the body during the natural breakdown of red blood cells.

Bilirubin is a bile pigment. Bile is a fluid produced by the liver that helps in digestion. The liver will remove the majority of bilirubin from your body if it is healthy. If your liver is injured, bilirubin can seep out of your liver and into your blood.

When too much bilirubin is absorbed into the bloodstream, it can induce Jaundice, yellowing the skin and eyes. Jaundice symptoms, as well as a bilirubin blood test, can assist your doctor in determining if you have liver disease.

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The bilirubin blood test is alternatively known as Total Serum Bilirubin (TSB), which measures optimal liver function. It is also used to diagnose infant Jaundice.

 Jaundice in infants is normally harmless and goes away in a few weeks. Newborns produce more bilirubin than adults due to the increased formation and faster breakdown of red blood cells in the initial days.

The liver segregates bilirubin from the bloodstream and releases it into the gut. A baby’s young liver cannot remove bilirubin quickly enough, resulting in an overabundance of the substance. Jaundice that appears on the second or third day of life is known as physiologic Jaundice.

What is a bilirubin test and how is it performed?

For most blood tests, a tiny amount of blood is drawn from a vein. A health practitioner will perform the following to do this:

  • Skin-cleansing in the area where the blood is drawn.
  • To cause the veins to expand with blood, place an elastic band (tourniquet) over the area.
  • Pierce a vein with a needle (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand)
  • Fill a syringe with the blood sample
  • Remove the elastic band from the vein and the needle

The health expert will remove the elastic band and needle to stop the bleeding and cover the area with cotton or a bandage. There may be some moderate bruising thereafter, but this should go away in a few days.

What is the time frame for a bilirubin test?

The majority of blood tests are only a few minutes long. The health professional may have to try more than once to identify a vein.

What do the findings of my tests imply?

Test results may differ depending on age, gender, medical history, test method and other factors. It is possible that your test results do not indicate an issue. Inquire with your doctor about the implications of your test results.

The amount of bilirubin in your blood depends on your age, gender and overall health. Bilirubin levels in the blood should be less than 1 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL). Bilirubin levels in adults with Jaundice are usually higher than 2.5 mg/dL. Bilirubin levels greater than 15 mg/dL might create complications in otherwise healthy newborns.

Do Bilirubin Tests Carry Any Risks?

A bilirubin test is a relatively risk-free technique. The test may cause some children to feel dizzy or faint. A few children and teenagers have a great aversion to needles. If your child is nervous, talk to the doctor ahead of time about methods to make the surgery go more smoothly.

It is usual to get a minor bruise or moderate stiffness around the blood test site, which can persist for a few days. If your child’s discomfort worsens or lasts longer, get medical attention.

If you have any questions concerning the bilirubin test, talk to your doctor or the person who is drawing your blood.

Summing up

This blood test evaluates the quantity of bilirubin in the body. This test determines how well your liver is functioning. It is frequently included in a panel of tests that assess liver function. Although a modest quantity of bilirubin in the blood is acceptable, a high level could indicate liver illness.

The liver produces bile for digestion, and bile contains bilirubin. The body’s natural process of breaking down red blood cells makes the majority of bilirubin. A healthy liver routinely excretes bilirubin. When you have liver disorders, bilirubin levels in your body can rise to dangerous levels.

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