Bilirubin (Indirect)

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    1 test included



blood sample




Age group

7 years & above

The liver performs more than 500 vital functions in the human body. It regulates blood levels of amino acids, processes haemoglobin, and helps produce certain proteins for blood plasma, among others.

Among all the functions the liver performs, excreting bile is the most crucial function of the liver.

Bile is a digestive fluid that aids in the removal of waste and the breakdown of lipids in the small intestine during digestion. The sticky fluid contains bile salts, electrolytes, bile pigments, cholesterol, and other fats. Besides digestion, bile acid helps in the management of cholesterol levels. Bile also removes toxins from the body, aiding liver detoxification.

Bilirubin is the primary pigment in bile. This pigment plays a significant role in maintaining bile and liver function. If the bilirubin levels in the body fluctuate, it can pose serious problems.

High bilirubin levels may indicate jaundice, abnormal functioning of red blood cells, or cirrhosis. Bilirubin tests are performed to diagnose and monitor liver health and bile duct diseases. You should get a bilirubin test done if you are showing the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal discomfort or swelling
  • Swelling of your legs or ankles
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Getting bruised easily
  • Dark urine
  • Pale, bloody, or dark stools
  • Itchy skin

Bilirubin goes through two stages for proper functioning. In the primary stage, bilirubin is transported from the blood into the liver by binding to albumin. In this stage, bilirubin is referred to as indirect or unconjugated bilirubin.

In the second phase, sugar molecules are attached to the unconjugated bilirubin to release it into bile upon entering the liver. This is called conjugated or direct bilirubin. While high direct bilirubin can indicate hepatitis, gallstone, appendix, or jaundice, high indirect bilirubin indicates liver issues.

Indirect bilirubin levels can rise due to regular strenuous workouts, abnormal red blood cell destruction, liver condition like cirrhosis and fatty liver, gilbert’s syndrome, or some rare genetic disorders. If your doctor suspects any of these conditions, he will advise you to get the Indirect Bilirubin Test.

A tiny sample of blood is required for the test. The blood will be collected through the venipuncture method, where a needle is inserted into the skin to collect blood. The process is not painful at all and will be over quickly. Also, you will require to fast before the test.

You should get the test done from a reputed clinic for the most accurate results. Apollo 24|7 offers Bilirubin (Indirect) Test across most of their clinics. You can expect the report within thirty-six hours and consult with your doctor soon.

Once the diagnosis begins, you will be advised to get plenty of rest and follow a strict healthy diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Abnormal bilirubin is usually a sign of a liver problem or damage. High indirect bilirubin levels are commonly caused by certain blood diseases such as hemolytic or pernicious anaemia. In these conditions, red blood cells are destroyed rapidly, or vitamin B12, essential for developing red blood cells, is not utilised.
Indirect and direct bilirubin makes up your body’s total bilirubin. The liver attaches direct or conjugated bilirubin to glucuronic acid, an acid derived from glucose. Whereas the indirect bilirubin or unconjugated bilirubin is not connected to the acid.
You might need to fast for four to seven hours before the Indirect Bilirubin Test. Find out from your doctor how to prepare for the test. The details can vary.
Our blood bilirubin level may alter due to several medications. Ensure all medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take are disclosed to your healthcare professional. This includes any over-the-counter drugs and any illegal substances you might use. Also, HIV medications raise bilirubin levels.
The normal range for bilirubin in the blood is somewhere between 0.1 to 1.2 mg/dL. Bilirubin levels higher than this are considered abnormal and indicate something is wrong with your liver.
There are no risks  associated with the indirect bilirubin blood test. You may feel a slight tingling when the blood is drawn out with the needle. But it will only last for a few seconds.The nurse will cover the area with a bandage to prevent bleeding. You should avoid using that arm for any heavy work for the rest of the day.

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results