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Total bilirubin

Unconjugated or indirect bilirubin is produced from the metabolism of haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Your liver covers the bilirubin into direct bilirubin, and the gallbladder releases it into the intestine for excretion.

Total bilirubin levels can check for proper liver, bile ducts and gallbladder functioning and destruction of red blood cells.

A high total bilirubin level (hyperbilirubinemia) usually results from increased indirect bilirubin. This indicates a problem in the breakdown (haemolysis) of red blood cells, liver cirrhosis or post-blood transfusion reaction.

Slightly elevated levels of bilirubin, less than 80 micromoles per litre, is common in Gilbert’s syndrome. This fairly common and harmless genetic condition causes low levels of liver enzymes that help convert indirect bilirubin to a direct portion of total bilirubin.

High bilirubin levels resulting from more direct bilirubin occurs due to different types of viral hepatitis, alcohol-induced liver disease, several medications and secondary body reactions. Other causes include obstruction of the bile ducts by a tumour, gallstone or liver stone.  

If you want to check your bilirubin level, call to book your test date. You can also visit our clinic at Suite E, 117a Harley St, Marylebone, London, W1G 6AT, to consult our healthcare professional for your test.