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by Gastroenterologists


Hyperbilirubinemia: Everything to be known about it


Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition in which there is a high level of bilirubin in the blood.

Hyperbilirubinemia is a common condition that affects approximately 60% of term newborn and 80% pre-term (premature) babies in the first week of birth. [1]

- Common in newborn babies
- Can happen at all ages but infants are at a higher risk
- More likely in babies of diabetic mothers
- Cannot be prevented totally
- A sign of jaundice

Jaundice in newborn babies generally lasts for 2-3 weeks and disappears without treatment after baby is fed by mother and development of the baby liver. Deafness, brain damage or cerebral palsy in babies can occur due to High levels of bilirubin in blood.


The most common symptom of hyperbilirubinemia in both infants and adults is a change in skin and eye color.

Other common symptoms include

In newborns:
Yellowing of skin and eyes that begins on the face and moves down to the feet
Poor feeding

In adults:
Abdominal pain
Dark urine
Lack of energy
Fever and chills


Infants should be fed by mother eight to twelve times a day to help them get hydrated and make bilirubin pass through urination. However If the mother is not able to do nursing, milk formula can be given as per doctor’s prescription. Adults need to maintain a healthy weight and the right level of cholesterol and cut down red meat, alcohol and processed food.

For newborns, based on overall health, causes and the severity of the condition doctor may recommend phototherapy, fiberoptic blanket, exchange transfusion and advise stopping of breastfeeding for 1 or 2 days. For adults, medical diagnosis like blood test, urine test and appropriate medication by a doctor are needed.

Specialists: Contact a general physician or a specialist as soon as you notice the symptoms mentioned. You can get online consultation at mfine for all types of diseases and medical conditions. Download mfine now and avail the best consultation service online.

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