Bile Salts

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Overview Brief

One of the primary components of bile in the gallbladder, bile salts help in absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins.

What are Bile Salts?

Bile Salts compose the bile, a greenish-yellow fluid stored in the gallbladder consisting of cholesterol, water, bile acids, and bilirubin.

The Bile Salts help in breaking down the fats during the digestion process, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and eliminate the waste products in one’s body. They also remove the toxins from one’s body. [1]

A Bile Salts test checks their level in one’s gallbladder to diagnose a disease like icterus, to check progress on issues like hepatitis C, and more.

Why is Bile Salts Test suggested?

A Bile Salts Test is suggested for the following reasons:

  • To evaluate changes in liver function.
  • To see improvement in Hepatitis C patients.
  • To check for issues like Gilbert disease, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, and Dubin-Johnson syndrome. [2]

How is Bile Salts Test performed?

The Bile Salts Test is performed in the following way:

  • About 5 ml of blood is collected for the test.
  • The urine sample is collected in a vessel.
  • Sulphur powder is sprinkled over the urine sample.

The powder sinks if the Bile Salts are present, and floats otherwise. [3]

What are the parameters measured in Bile Salts?

The level of Bile Salts is checked in the test, which ideally should be < 10 micromols/L for all age groups.

Preparation for Bile Salts

One can prepare for the Bile Salts Test in the following way:

  • Wear comfortable clothes before Bile Salts test.
  • In some cases, it is advised to fast before the test.

Post-care after Bile Salts Test

There is no special instructions post Bile Salts Test, one can resume their daily activities.

Sample types in Bile Salts Test

The sample types collected in Bile Salts Test are as follows:

  • Blood
  • Urine

Side effects/risks of Bile Salts

The Bile Salts Test may interfere with the functioning of the digestive system as the patient is asked to before the test.

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