Information About Unconjugated Bilirubinemia

Submitted by Nic on October 17, 2012

Bilirubin is a substance that is produced when red blood cells break down. The process of red blood cells breaking down is normal. All red blood cells are produced and broken down within a matter of a couple of weeks. Bilirubin is produced in this process. Some of the bilirubin will be passed out of the body through the bile fluid. Bile is used to help with the digestion of complicated fats in the small intestine.

Conjugated bilirubin is bilirubin that has been through the liver and has been processed by the liver. Unconjugated bilirubin is bilirubin that has not yet been processed by the liver. Bilirubinemia is a condition where the quantity of bilirubin in the blood is higher than it should normally be. This condition is known as hyper bilirubinemia. Those with the knowledge of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia definition are better off in understanding the condition and its symptoms as compared to others. Naturally, unconjugated bilirubinemia occurs when there is too much unprocessed bilirubin in the blood. This happens when the rate of red blood cell breakdown is too fast for the liver to handle.

Unconjugated bilirubinemia also occurs when the liver has some problem related to its processing power. If the liver is processing blood slowly, it will result in the condition that is known as unconjugated bilirubinemia. Unconjugated bilirubinemia will present in the form of jaundice which can be noted by the yellowish appearance of the skin. Jaundice is a symptom of excess bilirubin in the body. It is not a condition in itself. The underlying cause of the jaundice needs to be understood first before one can diagnose the condition.

Unconjugated bilirubinemia is diagnosed when the patient's blood is analyzed. This analysis of blood may be done as part of a routine health checkup. It is more likely that this blood test will be performed after the patient has presented with symptoms of jaundice. Bilirubin is usually excreted through bile fluid. If there is too much bilirubin in the body, it could indicate the presence of some sort of obstruction or damage in the liver. With this being the case, the patient should be suffering from digestive problems and a host of other problems.

There are some conditions that may lead to an abnormally high rate of red blood cell death. Sickle cell disease is one such condition. When these conditions affect the patient, he or she will be anemic because of a lack of oxygen carrying capacity in the blood. This lack of oxygen is associated with the deficiency of red blood cells and not with the inability of the cells to hold oxygen.

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