bilirubin-in-urine

Bilirubin in urine

What is bilirubin in urine test?

Bilirubin in urine is a test helps to measure the bilirubin levels in the urine. Presence of bilirubin in urine is not a normal sequence.

Bilirubin is a breakdown product of red blood cells. bilirubin is a yellowish substance that is majorly removed by the body through a chemical process in liver. When the liver is damaged due to any reason, bilirubin is leaked into the blood and in the urine.

The normal cycle of bilirubin is hampered and the excess bilirubin is found in the blood, urine, etc. Bilirubin in urine may be a sign of liver disease if secreted in the high amount.

Bilirubin in urine test purpose

Bilirubin in urine test can be a part of regular health checkup. This test is usually done when there is symptoms of liver disease. The symptoms of liver disease are the following

1. Jaundice, a condition where the eyes , skin, etc. becomes yellow.

2. Dark colored urine

3. Fatigue

4. Abdominal pain

5. nausea, vomiting

Bilirubin in urine test gives an clue about the liver damage. The person with liver disease may have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all in the early stages. So bilirubin in urine test helps to determine the liver damage much before the other liver disease symptoms appear.

There are certain conditions that increase the chances of liver disease. The following are the risk factors of liver disease such as

  1. Heavy alcohol drinking habits
  2. Family history of liver disease
  3. Previous history of liver disease
  4. Obesity
  5. Diabetes mellitus
  6. Sedentary lifestyle
  7. Exposure to hepatitis virus or other microorganisms
  8. History of medicine intake that can cause liver damage

Bilirubin in urine test importance

Bilirubin in urine test is a part of urinalysis. Urinalysis is the test that measures presence of different cells, chemicals or any other substances in urine. This test is a useful guide to check for various disorders present in the body.

Bilirubin in urine test procedure

Bilirubin in urine test procedure needs the urine to check for. Based on this sample of urine, the test result is prepared. The laboratory will provide you a container to collect the urine. Special instructions by the laboratory should be followed to make the urine sterile and to make sure that no contamination of the test sample occurs. The special instructions is also known as “clean catch method”. The clean catch method includes the following

1) Wash the hands

2) Clean your genital area with a cleansing pad. This cleansing pad is usually provided by the provider. Men should wipe the tip of their penis. Women should open their labia, next clean from front to back.

3) Start urinating into the toilet.

4) Next, take the collection container under the urine stream.

5) Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container with great care. The markings in the container gives you an idea about the amount of urine in ml that is collected.

6) Finish your urination into the toilet.

7) Now return the sample container to the provider.

8) Usually there are no other special instructions that one needs to follow. Just follow the instructions that your doctor is saying you to follow.

Bilirubin in urine test results

Bilirubin in urine test result helps us to know if there is any bilirubin in urine and if it is in high amount. When bilirubin is present in the urine it indicates the following

  • Liver disease such as hepatitis
  • Abnormality in liver function
  • Blockage in the structure that carry bile from the liver. So, blockage in the recycling of bilirubin pathway can also cause bilirubin in urine.

Here it is important to mention that bilirubin in urine test is a way to check liver function. There are other liver function tests that needs to be done to know details about liver function abnormality such as liver panel test. Liver panel test is a test where various enzymes, proteins, and substances are measured through blood tests. Other urine tests may also be needed to check for additional medical disorders.

The drugs that cause higher than normal bilirubin levels in the body are

  1. Steroids
  2. Barbiturates
  3. Diuretics
  4. Sulfonamides
  5. Birth control pills

Sources:

  1. Goldman-Cecil Medicine
  2. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine 20th edition
  3. Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine 23rd edition
  4. Burket’s Oral Medicine
  5. Peterson’s Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
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