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Frequently Asked Questions

What does a high level of bilirubin in your blood mean?

A small amount of bilirubin in your blood is normal, but a high level may be a sign of liver disease. The liver makes bile to help you digest food, and bile contains bilirubin. Most bilirubin comes from the body's normal process of breaking down old red blood cells.

What is the normal range for bilirubin in your blood?

Bilirubin results depend on your age, gender, and health. Normal bilirubin levels are generally less than 1 milligram per deciliter (mg/dL). Adults with jaundice generally have bilirubin levels greater than 2.5mg/dL. In an otherwise healthy newborn, bilirubin levels greater than 15 mg/dL may cause problems.

What is a total bilirubin blood test?

Total bilirubin is a combination of direct and indirect bilirubin. Typically, you'll get results for direct and total bilirubin. Typical results for a total bilirubin test are 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) for adults and usually 1 mg/dL for those under 18. Typical results for direct bilirubin are generally 0.3 mg/dL.

What is the difference between direct and indirect bilirubin?

Indirect bilirubin is the unconjugated form, which does not dissolve in water. It travels through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is converted into soluble bilirubin. Direct bilirubin is the conjugated form that is soluble in water.

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