Have you ever experienced that your urine having a different color than normal? If, yes, then there might be a foreign body in your urine. This article discusses the presence of Bilirubin in your urine. If you happen to have Bilirubin in your urine, the color of your urine would be a little brownish.
What Is ‘Bilirubin’?
Bilirubin happens to be a yellowish pigment found in bile juice, produced by the liver. It is made as a by-product of the breakdown of RBCs or red blood cells and has multiple biological functions. The most important one being an active cellular antioxidant
How Does Bilirubin Get In Urine?
Bilirubin that is dissolvable or conjugated passes through the urine. If not, Bilirubin flows in your body via the RBCs or red blood cells. Bilirubin excretes as a part of bile, also it imparts color to urine and feces.
It is done through further breaking down in your small intestine, and it turns into a component called Urobilinogen, it is then sent back to the liver and made to circulate in your blood stream.
It is then finally excreted out in the urine. The remains of Urobilinogen that circulate in your blood before the final excretion impart color to bruises. During jaundice, it is responsible for the yellowing of your eyes and skin.
The medical term for high levels of Bilirubin in your urine is Bilirubinuria. Bilirubin in urine points out problems in your liver or the gallbladder. In some cases, higher levels of Bilirubin in urine is an inherited condition.
How To Know That Bilirubin Is In Urine
1. Potential Symptoms Associated With Bilirubin In Urine
When there is a great amount of Bilirubin in your urine, it is an indication that something else is going wrong in your body. The symptoms that accompany high levels of Bilirubin in your urine include:
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue or general weakness
- Itchy Skin
- Abdominal pain
- Light or clay colored feces
- High Fever
- Abdominal swelling
2. Additional Tests To Diagnose Bilirubin In Urine
Much like the symptoms, there are additional tests that help the diagnosis. Some of the examinations may include:
- Additional blood tests including liver function tests, and hepatitis viral cultures.
- Abdominal ultrasound.
- Surgical biopsy of the liver or fluid analysis of the abdominal cavity.
- Abdominal CAT scan.
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography. A small camera is introduced orally under sedation to visualize the pancreas and gallbladder using specialized x-ray techniques.
3. Tests To Detect Bilirubin In Urine
Bilirubin levels condition by age and your overall health. For infants, a Bilirubin measure more than 20-25 milligrams per decilitre is bound to lead to severe neurological damage.
This is the reason why it is important to check Bilirubin levels of infants. A urine test is the easiest way to measure the amount of Bilirubin you have in your body.
Some drugs that are prescribed to you can lead to a false positive or a high reading of Bilirubin in your body.
False positives are an indication that high Bilirubin levels are not essentially associated with any liver disease. You must discuss your medication with your doctor before taking the urine test for Bilirubin.
If you take the following drugs on a daily basis, you should stop taking them a few days prior to your Bilirubin testing:
- Birth control pills
Testing your body’s Bilirubin level through urinalysis is painless. It just requires a little time and commitment. An accurate and thorough test would need you to collect your urine sample over the period of 24 hours.
On the first day of the Bilirubin urine test, you mustn’t collect the first urine. This is because of the fact that your first sample urine would be more concentrated.
After skipping the first time, you can start collecting your urine. Every time you pass urine, you must collect it in the air tight container and not flush it off.
Use a small, clean cup for the collection procedure. Make sure you cover the container very tightly after using it. Store the collected sample in your refrigerator during the 24-hour period.
Remember to collect your urine once again in the morning of Day two. This would be your last collection. This time, you have to collect the first urine of the morning. Label the containers with your name and date. Submit to the lab facility.
4. Bilirubin Testing In Infants
Newborn babies often afflict with jaundice. It is because the infants’ liver is not efficient enough to remove Bilirubin from their body. Increased levels of Bilirubin and the resultant jaundice is extremely dangerous for infants if not treated immediately. In some cases, it might also turn fatal.
Testing the Bilirubin level through urine is very challenging for parents. The lab facility will provide you with collection bags to collect the urine. They fit easily into the infant’s diaper. You need to place the collection bag over your child’s labia or penis and set the diaper as usual.
Try using a fresh bag every time you change a diaper, also after collecting the urine, transfer it into an airtight container with the child’s name and date.
The results of the Bilirubin test is usually available in a few days after you complete the test. Your doctor will notify you of your results.
Bilirubin is absent in urine if you are healthy. But, if your test shows a positive result, you need to undergo other blood tests in order to measure the Bilirubin levels and liver function.
What Does It Mean When You Have Bilirubin In Your Urine?
1. Inherited Cause
2. Dubin-Johnson Syndrome
This is a very rare inherited condition. Here the liver is prevented from conjugating Bilirubin. This results in high levels of Bilirubin in your urine as one of its symptoms. This disease is generally diagnosed when you are an infant and its main symptoms are like jaundice.
3. Rotor’s Syndrome
This medical condition is similar to Dubin-Johnson Syndrome. It is rarer than the former one. Sometimes it is also called Florentin and Manahan Syndrome. This is also marked by high levels of Bilirubin in urine. The only difference is in the pigmentation of your liver cells and the chemical components of Bilirubin.
Hepatitis or the inflammation of your liver can produce a detectable level of Bilirubin in your urine. It leads to cirrhosis of the liver and it might have several origins like:
- Inflammation of your liver as a result of an autoimmune disorder starting off outside the liver or the bile duct including Type 1 diabetes.
- Graves’s disease, which is the main cause of an overactive thyroid gland.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder affecting the joints and heart.
- Sjogren’s syndrome which is the cause of a particular type of Anaemia.
- Ulcerative colitis which causes inflammation and ulcers in your large colon and rectum.
- Alcohol, drugs, or medically induced toxic hepatitis.
5. Gallbladder Conditions Resulting In Bilirubin In Urine
Your gallbladder receives the bile produced by your liver and pours it to your intestinal tract through the bile duct. In some cases the bile poured in, is not utilized by the intestinal tract. It is then transported back to the liver. As a result, this raises the level of Bilirubin in your urine and is detectable.
If there are problems associated with your gallbladder or your common bile duct, this kind of a urine is expected. It can be due to the development of stones, or bile salts getting solidified. This blocks the passage of bile from your liver to the intestinal tract. Sometimes the bile duct can also narrow down resulting in the same problem.
6. Bile Duct Cancer
Cancer in Bile duct usually does not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. But sometimes, a symptom can appear in the early stages and leads to an early diagnosis of cancer. The treatment is more effective if you can detect cancer in its early stage.
When the Bilirubin level in your blood get high, it comes out in your urine and turns it dark. Cancer obstructs the release of bile juice into the intestine, and you might not be able to digest fatty foods. It is strongly recommended that you go see your doctor if you suspect cancer.
Certain medications might cause Bilirubin to flow in your urine. These medications include antibiotics, steroid drugs, water pills, Phenazopyridine, Allopurinol, Chlorpromazine and some Barbiturate drugs.
8. Bilirubin In Urine During Pregnancy
Bilirubin happens to be a familiar word to all new mothers. If Bilirubin is not eliminated by your livers cells, the eyes and skin take on a yellow color of the pigment in Bilirubin. This medical condition is called jaundice.
Jaundice has a high occurrence rate in newborns, as your body is used to working outside your womb. Bilirubin in urine during pregnancy also signifies that the RBCs are not working properly. Below are the rates:
- Negative Pregnancy Adult: 0.1 to 0.4 mg/dL or 1.7 to 6.8 µmol/L
- Pregnancy Trimester One: 0 to 0.1 mg/dL or 0 to 1.7 µmol/L
- Trimester Two: 0 to 0.1 mg/dL or 0 to 1.7 µmol/L
- Trimester Three: 0 to 1.7 mg/dL or 0 to 1.7 µmol/L
How To Treat Bilirubin In Urine
Depending on the type of condition associated with an increase of Bilirubin in urine, treatment varies.
1. Antibiotics And Antivirals
They are recommended initial treatments for hepatitis. Although, there are some cases where such treatments do not succeed. In such cases, a liver transplant may be considered.
If the cause of increased Bilirubin in urine is because of gallstones, medication may be given in an effort to dissolve the stones and pass them naturally. You must consult a doctor before you take any step. If you neglect the gallbladder stones it might turn fatal.
It is a special type of ultrasound treatment used to eliminate the stones. This type of treatment may also be considered because it has the intention of passing the sediments through the body.
Surgery can be considered as a final option as it has a high rate of success in alleviating symptoms that are associated with gallstones thereby indirectly reducing the amount of Bilirubin present in urine.
Also, there are a couple of natural remedies which you can opt for. They are simple and are very healthy for your lifestyle. Let us have a look:
3. Reishi Mushroom
This has shown favorable results in treating hepatitis. If you try to prevent or eliminate hepatitis from your system, you are at a low risk of having Bilirubin in your urine. Moreover, this also saves you from severe liver impairments.
Reishi Mushroom stabilizes your immunity system and aids proper liver function and circulation. It is a wide-acting remedy and it can be consumed on a long-term basis.
Reishi has also been classified as one of the highest value healing herbs. Reishi is also a general tonic and an immune modulator that calms down the destructive aspects of your immunity system.
A good ingredient for keeping away gallstone attacks is lemon juice. It helps to stop your liver from producing cholesterol. Pectin in lemon juices helps you get rid of gallbladder pain because of the stones.
Additionally, the Vitamin C present in lemon juice makes cholesterol water soluble. This promotes the quick elimination of waste products from your body.
- The anti-inflammatory characteristic of lemon helps to treat jaundice as well. Lemon is also believed to unblock bile ducts, thus making it the most effective home remedy controlling bilirubin.
- You can drink freshly squeezed juice from four lemons every day on an empty stomach.
- You can drink a glass of lukewarm water right after this. For best results, you must continue this therapy until the gallstones are removed from the body
5. Tomato Juice
- Lycopene is found in tomatoes and it helps reduce liver injury. Add 4 to 5 red tomatoes in 500 ml of boiling water.
- Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Peel tomato skin and mash them. Extract the juice using a sieve.
- Drink this juice every morning on an empty stomach.
6. Gooseberry Juice
- Gooseberry juice has absolutely no side-effects and it is considered safe for the treatment of high Bilirubin in your body.
- To make a juice out of it, you can use a pressure cooker to boil them.
- Boil them until they are soft and mashable. Then, break the soft gooseberry into small pieces and remove their seeds.
- You can grind with some sugar and/or salt along with the pieces. Make it into a paste and add 2 teaspoons of the paste in a glass of water to drink it.
7. Bitter Luffa
- Take some bitter luffa and squeeze it to extract its juice.
- Place a little amount of the juice on your palm and inhale it through your nostrils.
- You will see that a yellowish liquid will soon run down, out of your nostrils.
- Dandelion is a very useful herb that contains a compound known as taraxacum.
- This compound helps in the excretion of bile from your liver, also it helps you detoxify and metabolise fat stored in your liver.
- You can soak the herb in a jar of warm water and let it steep for at least 20 minutes. Add honey to taste. You can also have this herb as a salad dressing!
How To Prevent Bilirubin In Urine
- Take fruit juices, to begin with. Drink fresh vegetable juices.
- The food you consume should be fat and oil free.
- Avoid pickles and non-vegetarian items.
- Drink plenty of fresh and boiled water.
- Things like tobacco and alcohol which are hard on the liver, therefore you should stop them completely.
- For early elimination of Bilirubin, one should expose oneself to ultraviolet light or morning sunlight.
- Other things to be taken are a diet rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin C and selenium.
It is not advisable to sit on this problem for long and hope it goes away. A doctor’s intervention is necessary if you want to reduce the Bilirubin level in your body. As discussed, eating and drinking healthy is a good away to avoid increased levels of Bilirubin in the first place.
You could also opt to work out and drink plenty of water after the activity. This would ensure that you sweat out the extra salts and when you pass your urine, it is clear and not loaded with Bilirubin.
During pregnancy, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of your doctor at each step. You might also see white globule-like things in your urine along with the presence of Bilirubin. The white pigment is usually dead leukocytes.
You can try out the various natural remedies to reduce and prevent high levels of Bilirubin in your system. Remember, self-medication is worse than no medication!