Bilirubin is a yellowish substance that arises as a result of the degradation process of hemoglobin, present in red blood cells. That is, a natural component generated by the body itself and that does not carry any risk, that is, as long as it is maintained at adequate levels. Because what does it mean to have high bilirubin? It means that there is a disease related to the liver or gallbladder, that is, it is a symptom that should serve as a warning. Its manifestation is known as jaundice.
That is the name given to the process of skin coloring when it acquires a yellowish tone, including the mucous membranes. As a result of a high concentration of bilirubin in the blood. The clearest and most effective way to identify it is to look at the eyes: if the conjunctiva area has taken on a yellow color, it is jaundice.
High bilirubin, and its subsequent manifestation through jaundice, can occur as a result of liver disease or due to a possible obstruction in the bile duct, due to the presence of stones or tumors. Although other things are also worth considering, such as Gilbert's illness.
As for those who have a certain probability of it happening to them, it is worth keeping in mind that jaundice is usually common in many newborns, despite being healthy. In a couple of weeks after delivery it should disappear and without posing a risk. However, in adults it is a warning sign.
Jaundice, which reveals high levels of bilirubin, is characterized by the yellowish discoloration that occurs on both the skin and the mucous membranes of the body, something especially noticeable in the eye area. However, other symptoms are also the manifestation of coluria, when the urine acquires a darker color than normal due to the presence of bilirubin; and acholia, which would be the opposite, stools of a light color because they lack the color of this substance.
If you suspect that you have jaundice, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to undergo a physical examination and blood test. In the event that the diagnosis of high bilirubin is confirmed by specialized personnel, it will be time to establish treatment.
In adults, what needs to be treated is the disease itself that is causing the high bilirubin. While in the case of babies, if necessary and in very specific cases, medical personnel could consider measures such as blood exchange.