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Old 11-10-2008, 07:41 AM   #1
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what could cause your bilirubin to be high 25

what could cause your bilirubin to be high 25

 
Old 11-10-2008, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: what could cause your bilirubin to be high 25

One thing that all patients presenting to a physician need to know is that doctors don't diagnose people based on the symptoms alone. This often frustrates patients because they will ask, "Well, my stomach is hurting, why can't you tell me what's wrong?" The reason is because many symptoms and signs people experience are NOT specific, meaning that for any given symptom you can have SCORES of different possibilities. So for example fevers/chills/sweats in one patient might end up being pneumonia while the exact same symptoms in another patient might be lymphoma.

Keeping that in mind, you can imagine that a bilirubin of 25 can have a LOT of different explanations. First of all, 25 isn't all that high, but it is something that needs to be investigated. Because there are so many different possibilities, the doctor's first step will be to focus on the most common and most important ones first and do tests to try to rule these in or out. Once the first line of testing is done, there is not a satisfactory explanation, then more testing will be done. This leads to the second thing that frustrates patients. After even two or three rounds of testing, a cause isn't found. This is when the doctor says I'm not sure what's causing the problem, but I know from my previous testing it is NOT something that is life-threatening or serious at this point in time, and we will watch you clinically. This often prompts patients to go and see three or four different doctors who often tell you the same thing.

Whether a bilirubin of 25 is significant requires a full history and physical to be done including your age, past/present/treated/untreated medical problems, risk factors for liver disease (e.g. alcohol intake), medications, allergies, etc. etc. Once that is done, one has to testing. The best first step is to do a FRACTIONATED bilirubin which takes the total bilirubin and divides it in to indirect and direct bilirubin. In general, a predominantly high DIRECT bilirubin tends to suggest the liver's FUNCTION is fine, but there is a blockage somewhere (e.g. a stone) which is not allowing the bilirubin to get in to the system properly or there is no blockage but the bile is STAYING in the liver and not getting out. INDIRECT bilirubin which is high is a more complicated matter and it either means the liver is having trouble doing its job, or else there is a secondary process unrelated to the liver causing the bili to be high.

The most common cause of high DIRECT bilirubin is a gallstone. It's hard to say what the most common reason for high INDIRECT bilirubin is, but it's probably a harmless condition known as Gilbert's disease.

In your case, the doctor will do a number of blood tests including fractionated bilirubin, an abdominal ultrasound and some other blood tests to look for common causes of liver disease such as Hepatitis B/C, Hemochromatosis and also take a history of your alcohol use and medications.

 
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:10 AM   #3
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Wink Re: what could cause your bilirubin to be high 25

Thanks for the reply.
I had every test possible done at the hospital and they could not find anything,CT scan,x-rays, altrasounds and everything came back clear, it was my family doc that wanted to retest the first time it was 17 and just 2 days later it was 25.
He is thinking it might be IBS and that would explain the pain in my lower stomach but would this have an effect on my bilirubin?

Thanks again
Ang

 
Old 11-11-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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Re: what could cause your bilirubin to be high 25

Quote:
Originally Posted by angie2000 View Post
Thanks for the reply.
I had every test possible done at the hospital and they could not find anything,CT scan,x-rays, altrasounds and everything came back clear, it was my family doc that wanted to retest the first time it was 17 and just 2 days later it was 25.
He is thinking it might be IBS and that would explain the pain in my lower stomach but would this have an effect on my bilirubin?

Thanks again
Ang
No...the two aren't related.

You likely just have Gilbert's disease. This is not even really a disease. Your liver normally takes bilirubin in the body and adds a molecule to it--this is known as conjugation. In Gilbert's "disease", this conjugation process is slightly inhibited and the fraction of UNconjugated (or indirect) bilirubin is disproportionately raised. In times of bodily stress like a viral illness, sometimes the fraction of indirect bilirubin will go up enough to make the person look slightly jaundiced, but again, this is a totally benign condition as long as all the other stuff has been ruled out, and in your case it looks like it has.

Though your doctor is the only person who can properly diagnose you. He has all the information and knows you much better.

Last edited by harka; 11-11-2008 at 09:16 PM.

 
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