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What is elevated total bilirubin?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WebMD, bilirubin is a yellow-brown substance found in bile. Its levels are measured in blood, and elevated levels may be a sign of jaundice, a disorder causing the skin and white of the eyes to appear yellow. Liver disease, blood disorders or bile duct blockage may cause jaundice.

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Full Answer

WebMD further states that high levels of bilirubin in newborn babies can cause severe health effects such as brain damage. Such infants will require medical treatment in order to lower the bilirubin levels. Children do not need to prepare before taking a bilirubin test; however, adults need to abstain from eating and drinking for four hours prior to a bilirubin test.

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