How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Family Medicine Your Own Question
Family Medicine
Family Medicine, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 710
Experience:  Board certified Family Medicine
Type Your Health Question Here...
Family Medicine is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

what does it mean if your Bilirubin,Total 2.1 and your Bilirubin,Direct0.4

Customer Question

what does it mean if your Bilirubin,Total 2.1 and your Bilirubin,Direct0.4 and Iron,Serum 211 and % Saturation 62 are all High ?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.



Bilirubin is degradation product of hemoglobin that goes through break down in the blood.

It can be elevated because of increased destruction of red blood cells or because of liver function problem where it can not process the normal bilirubin formed in the blood and its level goes up.

Red cells after their life span of 120 days break down and gets converted to bilirubin called unconjugated or indirect bilirubin.Normally 250-350 mg of bilirubin is produced this way daily.


This unconjugated bilirubin is taken to the liver where it is process by the liver cells in the form of conjugated bilirubin(direct) which is dissolved and secreted in bile in to the intestine and this is what gives brown color to the stools.


If there is more than normal destruction of red cells or liver is not able to process it normally because of liver disease, it level goes up in blood and this is called jaundice in simple terms.


Normal total bilirubin values are 0.3-1.9 mg/dl

Normal Direct bilirubin values are 0.00-0.3 mg/dl.


Your values of 2.1 for total bilirubin is slightly elevated. Also direct bilirubin value of 0.4 is also elevated.

It could be because of increased destruction of red cells, or liver problem because of viral hepatitis or alcohol abuse etc. Dehydration can cause slight elevation in bilirubin as well .


As for as serum iron is concerned


Serum iron that is high 211 and transferrin saturation of 62 is can be sign of hemochromatosis or excessive iron and that could be the reason for liver producing more bilirubin.

Normal values of iron are 30-160 ug/dl. value of 211 is high and indicates iron overload.

Normal transferrin saturation is 40-50%. your value of 62 % is high and again indicates iron overload.

A condition called hemochromatosis should be ruled out as a cause behind all these abnormal high values.


Hope it is clear. Please feel free to ask more.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What are things that could cause Iron to be high Or overload?
Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.

There are tow main reasons for it.

One is external over intake.

Other is metabolic problem like it happens in hemochromatosis where body abnormally stores iron in more than normal limits.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Like what external?
Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.
external means excessive blood transfusions, iron oral intake in excessive amounts, or peripheral iron treatments other than oral route.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What is Hemochromatosis ?and how is it treated?
Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.

Hemochromatosis is a condition or disease in which iron is abnormally stored in higher amounts in areas of the body like liver etc. Once it is confirmed, it is treated with chelation therapy for iron.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Are those the only reasons that could cause the higher levels in the blood
Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.

Not necessarily. It depends on so many factors and repeat labortary values.

Your hepatologist(liver specialist) will address all possible concerns and causes regarding this.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you I think :) ?

But now I am a little frightened. I am short on money and have no insurance!

So not sure what to do about it?Got my blood draw at a health fair

Expert:  Family Medicine replied 7 years ago.

I feel sorry that you do not have health insurance coverage. But it is not something that should make you panick or needs overnight treatment. As I mentioned earlier, your physician who ordered these tests will be in better position to come to the conclusion that why you are having these abnormal labs.

Please follow up with your physician and discuss all lab tests with him.Diagnosis can not be confirmed over the internet but it is just a guess based on the information provided here. Only your local physician can authenticate your diagnosis.