When your old blood cells are replaced with new blood cells, a byproduct, known as bilirubin, is produced. The organ which is in charge of breaking bilirubin down is your liver. Therefore, if the level of bilirubin in your blood is too high, it may indicate liver problems.
High bilirubin levels are a normal state among babies as they often suffer from jaundice in the first days of life, however, in case of adults it requires a different treatment. Read the article and find out what causes high bilirubin level among adults and how you can decrease it on your own.
The Causes of High Bilirubin Levels in Adults
A healthy bilirubin level among adults ranges between 0.3 and 1.9 mg so any reading which is higher than 1.9 mg is treated as high. Have a look at the most common conditions which may increase the bilirubin level in your blood.
1. Liver Disease
If your liver works properly, it should be able to convert bilirubin into bile. However, if you have some liver disease, the organ stops functioning properly and it is not able to process the bilirubin, which then accumulates and its level is too high. Some common liver diseases are Gilbert syndrome, cirrhosis, or viral hepatitis.
2. Hemolytic Anemia
There are different types of anemia and in case of hemolytic anemia red blood cells die too quickly. As a result, there is a larger amount of damaged red blood cells, which produce bilirubin. Hemolytic anemia does not happen frequently and it is usually the consequence of leukemia, lymphoma, or lupus.
3. Bile Duct or Gallbladder Disease
In a normal process bilirubin is processed into bile in your liver and then it is sent from the liver to your gallbladder. If there is some problem with your gallbladder or your bile duct is blocked, the levels of bilirubin may be abnormally high. The tumors which developed in your bile duct, gallbladder, or pancreas may also lead to the elevated level of bilirubin in your blood.
4. Blood Transfusion
If you have undergone blood transfusion, you may have developed an allergic reaction. It may make your immune system destroy your red blood cells. When there are a lot of red blood cells destroyed, the bilirubin level can be high.
It sometimes happens that a high level of bilirubin is just a side effect of medicines which you have been taking. There are drugs which may rise the bilirubin level while others lower it. There are also medicines which have impact on the bile secretion, which also contributes to a high level of bilirubin.
How Is the Level of Bilirubin Tested
The level of bilirubin can be quickly tested by taking a blood sample from you. The tests results will provide your doctor with the information about indirect, direct, and total bilirubin. Indirect bilirubin travels to your liver without dissolving in the liver. Direct bilirubin, on the other hand, dissolves in water and it is produced by your liver from the indirect bilirubin.
Remember that various factors may have influence on the tests results, these include your diet, gender, medicines you take, and exercising. Therefore, before you do the blood tests, inform your doctor about the food you consume, the medicines you have been taking, and your exercising routine so that the blood test results could be interpreted in a correct way.
How to Lower Bilirubin Level Naturally – Best Dietary Tips
High levels of bilirubin should be consulted with a doctor as this state is just a syndrome of some underlying health problem and your doctor needs to rule out any serious disorders. However, there are some dietary changes which you should introduce into your everyday life as a proper diet can effectively and naturally lower your bilirubin level.
Fiber is essential if you want your digestive system to work properly. What’s more, fiber helps regenerate your liver and that is why it might be useful when it comes to lowering your bilirubin levels. Remember, though, that fiber should be introduced into your diet gradually as when the intake is too radical, it can cause some stomach-related problems, such as diarrhea or bloating.
Also, make sure that you drink a lot of mineral water along with fiber as only then it does its work properly and guarantees you proper functioning of your digestive system. At every pharmacy you can get a lot of products with fiber, but it is highly recommended to get fiber from the natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains.
Various studies have shown that barley can promote the removal of toxins from your organism and this way it can support the functioning of the liver. Therefore, if you deal with a high level of bilirubin, you should introduce barley into your everyday diet.