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Bilirubin Testing

Private Testing Online: Tests & Biomarkers Available

How to check your Bilirubin levels with a home finger-prick blood test kit

Bilirubin Testing UK Statistics 2021

Icon For Bilirubin

3.9% of people tested have Bilirubin levels which are too high.

The average Bilirubin result is 8.9 umol/L
Note what is normal for you may differ for your age and gender.

Human male body

Men tend to report higher Bilirubin in their blood than women.

As many as one in nineteen men tested have high levels of Bilirubin

Normal range test results


of people have Bilirubin blood levels in the normal range. Do you?

Are you in the 96.1% with normal results?

What If Bilirubin Test Levels Are High?

What If Bilirubin Test Levels Are High?

Typically high levels of bilirubin relate to an underlying problem issue with liver, gallbladder or the red blood cells. Several inherited (genetic) conditions can also raise bilirubin levels, the majority of which are usually mild, long-term conditions. The most common - Gilbert's syndrome - affects as many as 1 in 20 people to some degree.

This indicates a likely medical condition that must be investigated and treated. Please review with a medical professional.

What If Bilirubin Test Levels Are Low?

What If Bilirubin Test Levels Are Low?

Lower than normal bilirubin levels are usually not a concern.

Low bilirubin levels although not directly symptomatic are associated with coronary artery disease, inflammation and arteriosclerosis. If you have other symptoms or abnormal test results we recommend further investigation.

How To Test Bilirubin?

Health testing for Bilirubin levels in your blood

The Bilirubin Test allows you to accurately check your levels of Bilirubin in a fingerprick blood sample.

You can check your Bilirubin levels by buying a home finger-prick blood test kit below. Your sample is then professionally analysed in an accredited laboratory for total reassurance. The Vitall Liver Function Home Test Kit includes a Bilirubin test and is available for just £49.

Please see the following test kits:

Other Biomarkers Often Tested With Bilirubin

Why Take The Bilirubin Test?

Our Liver Function home blood test kit checks multiple markers to measure normal liver function and to detect the presence of liver disease and other liver disorders. 

The liver plays a complex role in the body including the metabolism of drugs and toxic substances, management of blood sugar levels, vitamin storage and maintaining hormonal balance.

Fortunately, the liver has an incredible capacity to regenerate, and can respond well to healthy lifestyle changes.

Take control of your health without any of the inconvenience of going to the doctors with one of Vitall’s at-home blood tests.

Who Should Take The Bilirubin Blood Test?

Assess liver damage and your risk from liver disease using a home finger-prick blood test kit.

You get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly & securely online.

This Liver Function Test is advised if you:

  • are anorexic or bulimic or suffer from another eating disorder;
  • are taking medications that cause toxic liver disease, which includes too much paracetamol, ibuprofen & aspirin;
  • drink alcohol regularly or are a binge drinker;
  • have family history of liver disease;
  • have had gallstones;
  • have had gastrointestinal disease (e.g. IBS);
  • take performance enhancing drugs, including steroids and creatine;
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment;
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory.

Take a complete health check-up with Vitall.

How Much Do Liver Function Tests Cost?

The Vitall liver function test is available online for just £49. Your home test kit will be dispatched by free first class post for delivery to your door.

For the best value testing you can also upgrade this liver function home test to tests which also measure other biomarkers, including:

When you checkout to buy your liver function test online we also offer additional options, including:

  • Upgrade to next day delivery of your home test kit for an additional £7.99.
  • Visit the Patient Reception in central London for just £25. Your liver function test sample can be collected by a qualified nurse for immediate analysis.
  • Have a nurse visit you to collect the sample for your liver function test, this is available within the M25 area for just £149.

Whichever option you choose at checkout, buying the best liver function test online in the UK with Vitall ensures high quality results from an accredited laboratory.

Take control of your health today with one of Vitall’s home blood tests.

What Is A Bilirubin Blood Test?

A bilirubin blood test, as included in the Vitall liver function home test, measures the total amount of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is a substance that is found in the bile in your liver, a fluid produced by the liver that helps your body digest fats.

Bilirubin is made when haemoglobin in your older red blood cells break down. Then bilirubin circulates in your bloodstream and reaches your liver, where it is mixed with the bile and is excreted into your bile duct.

Bilirubin comes in two different forms depending on where in the body it is found. Unconjugated bilirubin is the bilirubin that is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells and that is found in the bloodstream before reaching the liver. Once the bilirubin reaches the liver, it is processed and is known as conjugated bilirubin before moving into the intestines.

In a healthy liver, bilirubin travels from the liver into the intestine where it is broken down by bacteria. When the liver is damaged, passage of bilirubin into the intestine is reduced, making bilirubin leak out of your liver and go straight into your bloodstream without being broken down.

This can occur because of an obstruction of the liver blocking the passage of bilirubin into the intestines via the bile duct, an inflammation of the liver, or because of an excess of bilirubin to start with. (1-3)

When Should I Take A Bilirubin Blood Test?

Abnormal levels of bilirubin are usually a result of poor liver function, which is why the moment you start to experience symptoms of liver damage, you should take a bilirubin blood test and consult with your GP.

If you start to notice that your skin is turning yellow in colour as well as the whites of your eyes, you should take a bilirubin blood test and seek medical from your general practitioner as this could be a sign of liver disease.

A bilirubin blood test is also used to understand the cause of anaemia (as bilirubin is a product of the breakdown of red blood cells) and liver and bile duct conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and gallstones.

Furthermore, newborns are likely to have high bilirubin levels, and a bilirubin blood test will be necessary to determine whether treatment would be necessary depending on the amount of bilirubin present and the age of the newborn, as well as the type of bilirubin. (4-6)

What Is Considered High Bilirubin?

High bilirubin is known as hyperbilirubinemia. Normal total bilirubin levels lie between 0.3-1.2mg/dL while levels greater than 1.2mg/dL are typically considered high.

For newborns however, it is common to have high levels of bilirubin because the liver is not able to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream as quickly, meaning the bilirubin cannot be processed in the liver as efficiently to be broken down in the intestines, causing the bilirubin to leak back into the bloodstream.

In addition, newborn babies have large quantities of red blood cells which are broken down and replaced very quickly, leading to more production of bilirubin due to the breakdown of these red blood cells. This condition is known as newborn jaundice, and when babies reach about 2 weeks of age, this form of jaundice tends to correct itself without the need for treatment as the liver is normally able to process the bilirubin coming from the bloodstream more efficiently. (7,8)

What Does A High Bilirubin Level Mean?

A high bilirubin could be the sign of a liver disease, bile duct disease, anaemia, or in other cases another medical condition. Your bilirubin levels could be high even before reaching the liver, and in this case, it is probably not your liver which is causing high bilirubin levels.

Haemolytic anaemia is one of the causes for high bilirubin, where your red blood cells are broken down faster than usual, leading to a build up of bilirubin before reaching the liver. High bilirubin could be related to a liver dysfunction, such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver due to chronic liver damage), hepatitis (liver inflammation), bile duct inflammation, or gallstones (when cholesterol or bilirubin block your gallbladder and harden, not allowing bilirubin to drain correctly.

Having high bilirubin levels for a long period of time can lead to the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice), and in more serious cases it can lead to brain damage. (9,10)

Given the potentially serious consequences it is important to discuss with your GP and take a liver function test to assess your bilirubin levels.

Should I Be Worried If My Bilirubin Is High?

High bilirubin levels (hyperbilirubinemia) are not always something to be worried about. Certain types of food can cause high levels of bilirubin, as well as the medication you take, strenuous exercise (as this has an effect on your red blood cells), or if you have Gilbert’s syndrome (a condition where your liver does not process bilirubin properly). This can lead to slightly high levels of bilirubin.

If a liver function test shows bilirubin levels are higher than the normal range (>1.2 mg/dL), your doctor may proceed to take further tests to see if you have an underlying condition that is causing elevated bilirubin levels. For a newborn, higher levels of bilirubin are considered normal for a few days after birth, and bilirubin values can rise above 5 mg/dL in newborn jaundice. (11,12)

What Causes A High Bilirubin?

As mentioned previously, hyperbilirubinemia can be caused by a liver condition, anaemia, or other conditions that affect bilirubin drainage or production. If you have high levels of cholesterol, you might be at a higher risk of having hyperbilirubinemia, as you can have an increased risk of developing gallstones, which can prevent bilirubin from draining efficiently.

Liver dysfunction or inflammation can also raise bilirubin levels. Such liver conditions can develop due to autoimmune diseases, liver cancer, hepatitis, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Excessive intake of paracetamol can also be toxic to the liver and can lead to increased bilirubin.

Haemolytic anaemia can also cause high bilirubin, and this can be either due to genetics (such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia), an enlarged spleen, certain autoimmune diseases, typhoid fever, infectious hepatitis, or other infections.

Symptoms of hyperbilirubinemia are broad and may depend on the underlying cause behind these elevated levels. The most common symptom of hyperbilirubinemia is when your skin and the whites of your eyes start to turn yellow, which is known as jaundice. Other general symptoms include abdominal pain, chest pain, fever and body aches, chills, dark urine, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and drowsiness.

Symptoms depending on why your bilirubin levels were high in the first place can vary. For example, if you have gallstones, you might experience abdominal pain or chest pain, as well as a sharp pain towards your right shoulder, as well as nausea and vomiting. If you have liver dysfunction or hepatitis, you might experience other than jaundice, itchy skin, dark urine, oedemas around your ankles, as well as unusual colour of stool (usually black), nausea and vomiting. Bile duct inflammation usually shares similar symptoms, but you might also experience weight loss. Symptoms of haemolytic anaemia include fatigue, weakness, headaches, dizziness, as well as difficulties breathing.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, even without having jaundice, it is recommended to take a bilirubin test and seek medical advice from your doctor.

If you are experiencing blood in your stool or black stool, you are vomiting blood, or have a fever above 38°C, or you are experiencing severe abdominal pain or you develop a purple to red skin rash, you should immediately seek medical advice. (13,14)

How Can I Decrease My Bilirubin Levels?

Depending on the cause of your hyperbilirubinemia, your bilirubin levels can be decreased in numerous ways. First of all, you must avoid alcohol by all means and drink a lot of water.

Herbal teas are rich in antioxidants and have shown to be effective at preventing liver inflammation and maintaining the health of the liver. You should eat foods rich in fiber such as oatmeal, almonds, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale), and eat vegetables and fruits rich in digestive enzymes such as mango, pineapples, and papaya.

Avoid eating foods rich in saturated fats, such as meat, as it is difficult to process in the liver, and can lead to gallstones or bile duct inflammation. You should not eat processed foods as they are rich in salt and opt for natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar as this can also increase the build-up of fat in your liver. (15)

How Long Does It Take For Bilirubin Levels To Return To Normal?

It takes approximately 6 months for your liver to recover fully from hyperbilirubinemia in adults. It depends on the cause of your hyperbilirubinemia in the first place, and if the underlying condition can be addressed as quickly as possible. It can also depend on your overall health and if you have other medical problems such as a heart condition, it can take longer for your bilirubin levels to go back to normal.  (16)

Monitoring your bilirubin levels by taking a frequent liver function test with Vitall is the best way to see if lifestyle changes and/or medical treatment is working. Your bilirubin blood levels will be displayed in a chart in your secure account dashboard, so you can easily track your progress.

What Is The Process For A Bilirubin Blood Test?

In order to take a bilirubin blood test, you can simply order a liver function test kit from Vitall and carry it out straight from your home. All you need to do is prick your finger with the lancet in order to draw some blood and collect some in a collection tube. You then have to send your sample to an accredited laboratory in the envelope that was provided for you in the kit, and you will receive your results usually within 24 hours. 

Further Reading On Bilirubin Tests At Home

  1. Baranano, D., Rao, M., Ferris, C. and Snyder, S., 2002. Biliverdin reductase: A major physiologic cytoprotectant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(25), pp.16093-16098.
  2. Corless, J., 1983. Normal liver function. A basis for understanding hepatic disease. Archives of Internal Medicine, 143(12), pp.2291-2294.
  3. Creeden, J., Gordon, D., Stec, D. and Hinds, T., 2021. Bilirubin as a metabolic hormone: the physiological relevance of low levels. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 320(2), pp.E191-E207.
  4. Domenica, M., cappellini, Martinez, F., di Montemuros, Sampietro, M., Tavazzi, D. and Fiorelli, G., 1999. The interaction between Gilbert's syndrome and G6PD deficiency influences bilirubin levels. British Journal of Haematology, 104(4), pp.928-929.
  5. Fretzayas, A., Moustaki, M., Liapi, O. and Karpathios, T., 2011. Eponym. European Journal of Pediatrics, 171(1), pp.11-15.
  6. Maruhashi, T., Kihara, Y. and Higashi, Y., 2019. Bilirubin and Endothelial Function. Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis, 26(8), pp.688-696.
  7. 2021. Bilirubin blood test: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2021].
  8. MSD Manual Professional Edition. 2021. Overview of Hemolytic Anemia - Hematology and Oncology - MSD Manual Professional Edition. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2021].
  9. Sedlak, T., Saleh, M., Higginson, D., Paul, B., Juluri, K. and Snyder, S., 2009. Bilirubin and glutathione have complementary antioxidant and cytoprotective roles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(13), pp.5171-5176.
  10. Tietze, K., 2012. Review of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. Clinical Skills for Pharmacists, pp.86-122.
  11. Wang, J., Guo, P., Gao, Z., Zhou, B., Ren, L., Chen, Y. and Zhou, Q., 2017. Elevated bilirubin levels and risk of developing chronic kidney disease: a dose–response meta-analysis and systematic review of cohort studies. International Urology and Nephrology, 50(2), pp.275-287.
  12. Aronsohn, A. and Gondal, B., 2016. A Systematic Approach to Patients with Jaundice. Seminars in Interventional Radiology, 33(04), pp.253-258.
  13. Iolascon, A., Faienza, M., Schettini, F., Perrotta, S., Ruggiu, G., Meloni, G. and Miraglia del Giudice, E., 1999. Bilirubin Levels in The Acute Hemolytic Crisis of G6PD Deficiency are Related to Gilberts Syndrome. Pediatric Research, 45, pp.759-759.
  14. Mitra, S. and Rennie, J., 2017. Neonatal jaundice: aetiology, diagnosis and treatment. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 78(12), pp.699-704.
  15. NHS, 2015. Bristol Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service. NHS.
  16. Sullivan, J. and Rockey, D., 2017. Diagnosis and evaluation of hyperbilirubinemia. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 33(3), pp.164-170.
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