Topic: high bilirubin

Can anyone PLEASE tell me what happens or is happening to the body when the bilirubin is high? 

My mom had a metal stent put in just 7 days ago..... after the plastic stents continued to fail.  Today she had blood work and her bilirubin is a 22.3.  The dr wanted to see her today, but my mom didn't want to have to come back into town.  ERRR!!!  She is still vomiting and in a horrible amount of pain.  However, on a good note they said that her liver function was "not horrible."  So we are hanging on to that!  They said it was high/elevated, but no worse than it has been.  So that's GOOD news.  Right?   

So, I guess that we will see the dr. on Thursday.... but in the mean time, what is happening to her body?  Should she really be waiting until Thursday?  Our fears is that this is/will cause liver damage.  And we keep hearing "6 months"..... my mom was diagnosed April 15th..... UGH. 

Sometimes staying positive is sooo hard.... especially when everything you read is not positive.  We fight with wanting to know the truth, the WHOLE truth, and not wanting to know anything. 

So, if anyone can direct me towards a website, or give us some direction as to what's going on PLEASE do!

Jacque- God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but HE did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears & light for the way.

Re: high bilirubin

Hi Elmoks,

I can totally empathise with your desire to be kept in the picture regarding your Mum's health but then part of you also not wanting to know the answers...

All I can say is when you are informed and aware then there is a certain amount of control which may give you some comfort at this difficult time.

We lost my Dad after a very quick progression 12 weeks ago, he had surgery but that didn't go as expected. My Mum and I were shocked and distressed and consequently when the doctors rounded to see my Dad we would literally 'run away' becasue we didn't want to hear the painful realisation that he wasn't going to make it.

I am also a nurse but at the time I didn't have my 'professional head' on, I was just a worried, anxious daughter.

3months down the road I am struggling because I don't feel we were fully informed and I have such a lot of questions I need answers to. I know it is my own fault, the doctors offered to answer any questions we had at the time but we couldn't think straight. I am now left unable to move on with my grief because I still haven't fully come to terms with what happened to my Dad...

My advise to you is ask all the questions you need answers to, call  the doctors, maybe see if you could see the doctor tomorrow or Wed?

As regards the websites I think there are links to useful websites, research etc at the top of the page.

Good Luck, thinking of you and your MUm


Re: high bilirubin


Here is a very simplistic explanation of what is happening  - others may be able to give you a more detailed description or point you at a website with greater detail.

We all produce bilirubin (sometimes even new born babies have high bilirubin levels causing them to develop jaunidice). Bilirubin is a by-product of our livers efforts to break down red blood cells. In someone with a healthy liver and bile duct system, the bilirubin breaks down and exits the body through the intestional tracts as part of our waste. For someone suffering from a liver disorder or disease and/or a blockage in the bile ducts the bilirubin is not able to leave the body efficiently resulting in a build up that causes jaundice and other symptoms like itching.

When Dr's place a stent they are hoping to open a blockage and allow the bilirubin to drain normally. If the stent is not performing as the Dr's hoped then the bilirubin does not flow will begin to build in the system.

Again, not a very sophisticated explanation but hopefully it helps.


Re: high bilirubin

Jacque....I would discuss with the physicians: the bilirubin is elevated meaning that the liver is producing bile but, is not able to excrete it, what does that mean?
My bigger concern regarding your Mom is her consistent vomiting and the pain she is experiencing.  Has she been given anything to help her with this? Dear Jaques, pain, vomiting, and elevated bilirubin present a fairly clear picture of your Mom's deteriation of her health.  I don't think that Thursday is too far off for her to be visiting with her physicians I do believe however, that her pain needs to be addressed immediately.  How is your Mom responding to the information she is given by the physicians?   
All my love,