Bilirubin
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  Bilirubin



Bilirubin

    The orange-yellow pigment of bile, the green fluid that aids in digestion and that is secreted by the liver. Bilirubin is formed mainly by hemoglobin breakdown at the end of red cell life and eventually most of it leaves the body in the feces. Two types are in the blood. Water insoluble or unconjugated bilirubin refers to the pigment before it reaches the liver. In the liver it is converted to the water-soluble or conjugated bilirubin which is excreted into the bile.

RELATED TERMS
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Bile
Fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps break down fats and gets rid of wastes in the body.

Aids
A medical condition where the immune system cannot function properly and protect the body from disease. As a result, the body cannot defend itself against infections (like pneumonia). Aids is caused by the Human Immunodifiency Virus (HIV). This virus is spread through direct contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected individual. High-risk activities include unprotected sexual intercourse and intravenous drug use (sharing needles). There is no cure for AIDS; however, research efforts are on going to develop a vaccine.

Digestion
The process the body uses to break down food into simple substances for energy, growth, and cell repair.

Liver
The largest organ in the body. The liver carries out many important functions, such as making bile, changing food into energy, and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood.

Bilirubin
The orange-yellow pigment of bile, the green fluid that aids in digestion and that is secreted by the liver. Bilirubin is formed mainly by hemoglobin breakdown at the end of red cell life and eventually most of it leaves the body in the feces. Two types are in the blood. Water insoluble or unconjugated bilirubin refers to the pigment before it reaches the liver. In the liver it is converted to the water-soluble or conjugated bilirubin which is excreted into the bile.

Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is a substance contained within the red blood cells and is responsible for their color. It has the unique property of combining reversibly with oxygen and is the medium by which oxygen is transported within the body. It takes up oxygen as blood passes through the lungs and releases it as blood passes through the tissues.

Cell
Fundamental structural unit of all life. The cell consists primarily of an outer plasma membrane, which separates it from the environment; the genetic material (DNA), which encodes heritable information for the maintainance of life; and the cytoplasm, a heterogeneous assemblage of ions, molecules, and fluid.

Feces
Stool.

Blood
The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Biliary
Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile. The biliary system itself consists of the gallbladder and bile ducts and, of course, the bile.

Biliary atresia
A condition present from birth in which the bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings. Bile becomes trapped in the liver, causing jaundice and cirrhosis. Without surgery the condition may cause death.

Biliary compression
Abnormal pressure on the biliary tree compromising the normal drainage of bile.

Biliary decompression
A procedure done to remove pressure on the biliary tree and permit the normal drainage of bile.

Biliary sand
Biliary sand is a term mostly used by surgeons when they remove the gallbladder to describe uncountable, small particles in bile that are visible to the naked eye. Biliary sand may be looked upon as a stage in the growth of the particles that comprise sludge (which are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye) and gallstones, which are large enough to be counted easily. The composition of biliary sand varies but is similar to the composition of gallstones. The most common components of biliary sand are cholesterol crystals and calcium salts.

Biliary sludge
A mixture of microscopic particulate matter in bile that occurs when particles of material precipitate from bile. (Bile is the fluid that is made by the liver. It is stored in the gallbladder until after a meal when it passes out of the gallbladder and through the common bile duct into the intestine to help digest fat in the meal.)

Biliary stricture
A narrowing of the biliary tract from scar tissue. The scar tissue may result from injury, disease, pancreatitis, infection, or gallstones. See also stricture.

Biliary system
The gallbladder and the bile ducts. Also called biliary system or biliary tree.

Biliary tract
The gallbladder and the bile ducts. Also called biliary system or biliary tree.

Bilious
The adjective for bile, bilious has three meanings. It means of or relating to bile. By extension, bilious means suffering from liver dysfunction (and especially excessive secretion of bile). And, further by extension, it is indicative of a peevish ill-natured disposition.

Biliousness
"A term used in the 18th and 19th centuries pertaining to bad digestion, stomach pains, constipation, and excessive flatulence (passing gas). The quantity or quality of the bile was thought to be at fault for the condition. Hence, the name ""biliousness."" (""Bilious"" derives from the French ""bilieux,"" which in turn came from ""bilis,"" the Latin term for ""bile."") Biliousness was generally laid to high living. The ""cure"" was moderation and frequent visits to the doctor."

Bilivist
Bilivist is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) legal in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): ipodate sodium.



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Breast cancer
A malignant disease of breast tissue. Incidence increases with age and risk factors include a family history of breast cancer, late menopause, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Initial symptoms may include a small painless lump, thick or dimpled skin, or nipple retraction.

Bronchi
The two respiratory tubes branching into the two lungs at the lower end of the trachea. They branch into progressively smaller passageways, the bronchioles, and finally reach the alveoli, the location where gas exchange occurs.

Bladder
A muscular triangular-shaped, hollow organ located in the pelvic cavity and supported by the pelvic floor muscles. The bladder stretches to store urine and contracts to release urine.

Bipolar disorder
Also known as manic-depressive illness, a mental illness involving episodes of serious mania and depression. The person's mood usually swings from overly "high" and irritable to sad and hopeless and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. Periods of abnormal mood and associated physiologic changes last for at least 2 weeks.

Behcet's Disease


Bilirubin

Bone
Bone refers either to a hardened connective tissue or to one of the individual structures, or organs, into which it is formed, found in many animals. Bones support body structures, protect internal organs, and (in conjunction with muscles) facilitate movement; are also involved with cell formation, calcium metabolism, and mineral storage. The bones of an animal are, collectively, known as the skeleton.

Blastocyst
The developmental stage of the fertilized ovum by the time it is ready to implant; formed from the morula and consists of an inner cell mass, an internal cavity, and an outer layer of cells (the trophoblast).

Bacteriostatic
Able to inhibit the growth and reproduction of at least some types of bacteria.

Birth control pill
Oral contraceptives are contraceptives which are taken orally and inhibit the body's fertility by chemical means. Female oral contraceptives have been on the market since the early 1960s. Male oral contraceptives remain a subject of research and development, and are not available widely (if at all) to the public. Studies continue of various alternatives, such as gossypol.

Breast enlargement pill
Breast enlargement pills have recently appeared in the market. Their purpose is to help women develop larger breasts.

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