What is bilirubin in urine?

July 12, 2011

Bilirubin in urine is not considered normal. A urine test that shows bilirubin in urine is indicative of a medical problem. Bilirubin in urine usually occurs when there are liver problems. Bilirubin is the byproduct of red blood cells breaking down. When the red blood cells die a yellow pigment is left behind. This is waste and is known as bilirubin. Bilirubin is processed into bile in the liver and is passed down to the intestine and distributed to various parts of the body through the bloodstream. It is important to maintain normal levels of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin can appear in urine and cause the urine to turn yellow. A person may have excess bilirubin and tested positive if bilirubun in urine is noticed.

Treatment for bilirubin in urine depends on the cause and therefore it is necessary to ascertain what the reasons for increased bilirubin in urine are. There are several causes of bilirubin in urine and these are given below:-

  • Certain medications can cause bilirubin in urine. These medications include but are not limited to some antibiotics, water pills, steroid drugs, Phenazopyridine, Chlorpromazine, Allopurinol and some Barbituate types of drugs.
  • Gallstones: The presence of gallstones in the biliary tract could also be responsible for a small amount of bilirubin in urine. This condition can also be determined if you have other symptoms such as nausea with vomiting, pain in the right side of your abdomen, clay colored stools, jaundice and so on. Removal of the gall bladder is often considered in several cases.
  • Cancers and tumors in the liver can also lead to an increased bilirubin in urine. Treatment in this case could be either chemotherapy or surgery, depending on the severity of the disease.
  • Injury from surgery that affects the biliary tract could also lead to the presence of bilirubin in urine.
  • Biliary strictures are also responsible for this occurrence. This means that there is an abnormality and the bile duct is narrowed. Such a condition can be treated by surgery.
  • Certain disease such as cirrhosis and hepatitis also cause bilirubin in urine. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious problem which causes the leakage of bilirubin in urine. This disorder which is generally brought about by excessive alcohol intake among other reasons.

Medical intervention is necessary to bring down bilirubin levels and thus restore one's health. One way of finding out what is wrong is by doing a urinalysis. This is a test in which a 24 hour urine sample is taken and tested. Bilirubin in urine during pregnancy is also indicative that the liver or red blood cells are not functioning properly.

Submitted by N on July 12, 2011 at 12:02

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