Bilirubin and Jaundice

· 2 min read
Bilirubin and Jaundice

Bilirubin is a byproduct of red blood cells. This yellow compound is transported through the body by organic anion-transporting polypeptides. When it builds up in the blood, it causes jaundice. It is produced naturally in the body but can lead to health issues if it's too high.

bilirubin is a byproduct of red blood cells

Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. It normally passes through the liver and is excreted, but it can accumulate in the blood. When this happens, it can lead to yellow skin. It may also be a sign of a problem with the liver or gallbladder.

It is a yellow compound

Bilirubin is a class of organic compounds that contain a yellow dye. Its chemical structure is highly compacted, based on hydrogen bonding. It is carried in the bloodstream bound to albumin, a reversible, covalent bond.

It is transported by organic anion transporting polypeptides

Organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) are involved in drug metabolism and interactions. They transport several different ions, including bilirubin, and are found in the liver, kidney, and brain. OATP1A2 is a putative transmembrane protein that plays an important role in protein trafficking.

It causes jaundice

Bilirubin is a chemical that is present in the blood of jaundiced children. High levels of bilirubin can damage the central nervous system of newborns. This condition is known as kernicterus and can lead to brain damage in severely affected children. Fortunately, this condition is rare and most babies will respond well to treatment. However, newborns born to diabetic mothers, premature babies, and Asian and Native American babies are particularly susceptible to jaundice.

It can be measured with a blood test

There are several ways to test the level of bilirubin in your blood. Your healthcare provider will be able to perform this test. It will take about five minutes to complete. However, you should avoid drinking anything except water for four hours before the test. You may also have to stop taking certain medications before the test. Some of these medications can affect the amount of bilirubin in your blood. For example, certain antibiotics, sedatives, diuretics, and asthma medications can influence the results.

It is affected by foods

Bilirubin is a compound found in foods. It is made during lipolysis. It passes into the bloodstream by binding to albumin. It is then taken up by hepatocytes and stored in the bile ducts. The liver helps to break down bilirubin. The breakdown process also involves the intestinal micro-flora.