So you've got a yellowish tint to your urine, and you're wondering if it's normal and okay. Well, don't worry! In this article, we'll cover what bilirubin is and how it affects the body. We'll also talk about whether or not having a small amount of bilirubin in your urine is normal, what causes higher levels of bilirubin in the blood or urine, and how you can treat them if needed.
Bilirubin is a waste product of red blood cells. It's a yellowish pigment that's made when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Bilirubin can be excreted in urine or feces, depending on how much is produced and how quickly the body gets rid of it.
Bilirubin levels can be measured with a test called a complete blood count (CBC), which also checks for other substances like white blood cells and platelets. A CBC may be done as part of an annual physical exam or if you have symptoms that suggest your liver isn't working properly, such as fatigue or jaundice (yellowing of eyes).
Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. When your body breaks down old and damaged red blood cells, it produces bilirubin. This compound passes into your liver and is converted into stercobilinogen (a brown pigment) and urobilinogen (a yellow pigment).
The liver then secretes these two chemicals into bile, which is stored in your gallbladder until you need it to help digest food in your small intestine.
There are a number of causes for excess bilirubin in your blood and urine. In general, the most common cause of excess bilirubin in your blood is liver disease. Other possible causes include infection, inflammation and genetic conditions. The most common cause of excess bilirubin in urine is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
If you have any of these symptoms or signs that worry you:
As you know, the color of your urine can be an indication of how much bilirubin is in your body. If you have high levels of bilirubin, it's possible that your urine will appear darker than usual (though this isn't always the case).
If you're wondering whether or not it's normal for someone with kidney disease to have a small amount of yellowish tinted liquid in their toilet bowl each morning, here are some things to keep in mind:
If your bilirubin levels are high, you may experience symptoms such as jaundice (a yellowing of the skin), fatigue, nausea and vomiting. You may also have diarrhea or depression.
If you have any of these symptoms it's important to see your doctor right away so they can determine the cause of your high bilirubin levels and treat it appropriately.
If you have a high level of bilirubin in your blood or urine, treatment will depend on what's causing it. Treatment options include:
It's usually no problem for some small amounts of bilirubin to be present in your urine. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells, and the liver breaks down bilirubin into urobilinogen, which is then excreted through the kidneys. A small amount of bilirubin in urine is normal; it just means that you have some old red blood cells being broken down by the liver and processed by your kidneys as they do their job filtering waste from your blood stream and helping maintain healthy levels of electrolytes (sodium, potassium).
The bottom line is that it's usually no problem for some small amounts of bilirubin to be present in your urine. If you have yellow-colored urine and are concerned about its cause, talk with your doctor. He or she can perform tests on your blood and urine to determine if there are any problems with the amount of bilirubin they contain.