What is it?

Bilirubin is an orange substance formed in the process of red blood cell breakdown in your body. Normally your red blood cells live for 120 days, then it is destroyed in the spleen and bilirubin is formed. It then travels through your blood, into your liver, gallbladder and out of your body through feces and urine.
When your body breaks down too many red blood cells, or the excretion of bilirubin get stuck in one “station”, your bilirubin levels rise, and you might experience symptoms.
The excretion disorder can be genetic, or as a result of gallbladder, liver or even pancreatic disease.
Common genetic diseases are Gilbert syndrome, which frequently appears without any symptoms, Dubin-Johnson, Crigler-Najjar and Rotor syndromes.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Hyperbilirubinemia Syndromes

Signs & symptoms

The symptoms can change according to the level of bilirubin in your blood and the cause of the disorder.
Some cases, especially with relatively low levels of bilirubin, will not cause any symptoms.
Higher level may cause jaundice, which is a yellow discoloring of you skin and the white part of your eyes.
An extremely high levels can have more serious symptoms including fever and chills, tiredness, dark urine and vomiting.


Physical exam- to check for skin color changes and to detect a possible cause for the high bilirubin levels.
Blood test- to check your bilirubin levels, liver function and blood count
You doctor may order additional tests, like an abdominal Ultrasound, in order to make the diagnosis.


In some mild cases, no treatment is needed. In others, treatment will be necessary, according to the exact bilirubin excretion disorder.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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