High Bilirubin Levels in Adults

Save

High bilirubin levels in adults cause a condition called jaundice. Jaundice is characterized by yellow eyes and yellow skin. Hundreds of medical conditions can cause high bilirubin levels in adults. However, some of these medical conditions are fairly common and most can be treated or at least managed. Bilirubin is a yellow compound that forms when the hemoglobin from red blood cells breaks down.

Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis occurs when the liver becomes inflamed and it can cause high bilirubin levels in adults. There are five types of hepatitis: hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Viruses, contaminated water and food, trauma and alcohol abuse are the most common causes of all forms of hepatitis. However, not all of these causes will lead to all forms of hepatitis. All forms of hepatitis can be managed and the prognosis is often good--although infection can be serious--if it is caught in time and properly managed. Hepatitis A is curable and often resolves itself without medical intervention.

Hematoma

  • A hematoma occurs when blood collects in a specific area and it can cause elevated bilirubin levels in adults. The most commonly experienced hematoma is a bruise. As the bruise begins to heal, bilirubin will multiply at the site of the bruise and as the purple or black color of the bruise begins to fade the bruise will take on a yellow color until it fully heals. Hematomas are most often caused by trauma. They can be quite serious, especially if they affect the brain, and may need to be treated by a doctor.

Mononucleosis

  • Mononucleosis, also referred to as glandular fever, is an infectious viral disease that can cause high bilirubin levels in adults. This disease is quite common and is passed from one person to another through infected saliva. This disease has no specific treatment regimen and most patients recover by consuming plenty of fluids and getting adequate rest. However, if a patient experiences severely swollen tonsils or a severely swollen throat, a type of medication called corticosteroids may be necessary to ease the swelling. Most patients make a full recovery from mononucleosis.

Sepsis

  • Sepsis is a blood infection and it occurs when infected micro-organisms make their way into the blood stream. Since sepsis affects the blood it can lead to high bilirubin levels in adults. Sepsis can be fatal if not treated properly and timely with antibiotics. In more severe cases, the patient may need to have any pus drained surgically. If sepsis is caught and treated in time most patients will make a full recovery.

Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder. Patients with sickle cell anemia will have red blood cells that are shaped like sickles instead of in the shape of a doughnut. Since sickle cell anemia affects the blood, patients can experience high bilirubin levels. This condition tends to shorten most patients' lifespans, however, treatments such as bone marrow transplants may help to improve the length and quality of life for some patients.

References

  • Photo Credit blood draw image by Jaimie Duplass from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Resources

You May Also Like

  • What Is Jaundice in Adults?

    Most people associate jaundice with newborn babies, but adults can have the condition as well. Jaundice is when the skin and membranes...

  • Causes of Jaundice in Adults

    Jaundice is a medical condition that usually affects newborns, but can occur in adults as well. Jaundice isn't actually a disease, but...

  • Normal Levels of Bilirubin in Dogs Urine

    Bilirubin is made up of the residue that is left behind as red blood cells die off at the end of their...

  • The Significance of Elevated Bilirubin

    Elevated bilirubin levels, also called "hyperbilirubinemia," can be a sign of a serious health problem that requires medical attention. In healthy people,...

  • Dangerous Jaundice Levels

    Jaundice is when your skin, the whites of the eyes and mucous membranes become tinted yellow, due to excessive bilirubin, a byproduct...

  • How to Lower Bilirubin

    Bilirubin is the yellow brownish substance that is produced when the liver breaks down or takes apart old red blood cells. Bilirubin...

  • What Are the Treatments for Elevated Liver Enzymes?

    Elevated liver enzymes can point to many different conditions. Sometimes it does not indicate any abnormality. In other instances, it can be...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!