If your doctor told you that your urine contains too much bilirubin, it may seem like an exotic diagnosis. But in fact, this condition is fairly common. Bilirubin is a pigment produced by the liver that is then excreted into bile and removed from the body in stool. The amount of bilirubin released into urine depends on how much bilirubin is being produced by your liver cells and how well it's being cleared out of your bloodstream.
If you have 1+ bilirubin in your urine, it means that you have too much bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is a chemical that's made when red blood cells break down and is carried in the blood to the liver, where it's processed and removed from the body. If the liver doesn't work properly, bilirubin builds up in the body instead of being removed by it or broken down (processed).
Bilirubins are usually only high when there's something wrong with how well your body processes them--and this can happen for many reasons!
If you have jaundice, it can make your urine appear dark brown or even black.
Jaundice is a sign of liver disease that occurs when the liver cannot break down bilirubin. This condition can be caused by hepatitis (an inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver and other conditions that damage its function.
A high level may be associated with severe liver disease, hepatitis or a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
High levels of bilirubin in the blood may indicate that your liver is not functioning properly. You can have high levels without having any symptoms or signs of liver disease, but if you do have symptoms, they can include:
There are several things that can cause higher than normal levels of bilirubin in urine. If you have one or more of these conditions and your doctor suspects that they may be contributing to the problem, he or she will likely order additional tests.
Bilirubin is a waste product of red blood cells. It's produced by the liver, then transported in bile from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine. The amount of bilirubin in your urine depends on how much you're producing, how well your body is processing it and whether you have any issues with your kidneys or liver function.
If you have jaundice, your skin and whites of your eyes will be yellow. Jaundice is caused by excess bilirubin in your body. Bilirubin is a waste product made by the liver during its normal processing of red blood cells. Normally, bilirubin passes from the liver into bile acids that are stored in the gallbladder until they're needed for digestion (a process called expelling). If something goes wrong with this process--for example, if you've had surgery on or near your gallbladder--your liver will produce too much bilirubin and it can't all be expelled safely through bile acids anymore; some of it builds up in other parts of your body instead.
Bilirubin is a byproduct of red blood cell breakdown. It's usually removed from the body through the liver and gallbladder, but if there are problems with bilirubin removal, it can build up in the body. This can cause jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), which is why doctors check for high bilirubin levels when they're trying to diagnose someone with hepatitis or cirrhosis--two diseases that affect liver function.
In some cases, urine tests will find low levels of urobilinogen instead of bilirubin itself; this indicates that your kidneys are having trouble breaking down waste products like urea into ammonia and uric acid so that they can be excreted through your urine.* If you're experiencing nausea or vomiting after eating meals containing protein foods such as meat or fish then it may be due to lactose intolerance rather than an indication something serious is wrong with your health!
If your urine is dark brown or black, you may have a high level of bilirubin in your blood. This can be due to a number of different causes, including liver disease and other conditions. The best way to find out what's going on with your body is by getting tested at the doctor's office or hospital.