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How do you lower bilirubin?

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Quick Answer

Lower bilirubin levels with caffeine, aspirin, and prescribed medications such as penicillin and barbiturates, according to the UCSF Medical Center. Children's Health Network adds that frequent feedings of either breast milk or formula decreases bilirubin levels in infants.

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Full Answer

Bilirubin is a yellow-colored pigment that is produced by the liver during the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundice, which is a yellowing of the eye whites or skin, is caused when there is a build-up of bilirubin in a malfunctioning liver, says the UCSF Medical Center. The build-up prevents the liver from sending bilirubin to the intestines.

Detect bilirubin levels by taking a blood test. This test aids the doctor in determining whether or not a person has a blocked bile duct in the liver or liver disease. Normal levels of total bilirubin in the body are 0.3 to 1.9 milligrams per deciliter. When the bilirubin level in the blood rises above 2.5 milligrams per deciliter, jaundice occurs.

Children's Health Network explains that more than 50 percent of children develop jaundice when they are newborn because bilirubin processes much more slowly in babies than it does in adults. Jaundice typically occurs when a baby is a few days old and then disappears within two weeks.

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