The quantity of urobilinogen in urine can determine the optimum function of the liver. Urobilinogen is a product of bilirubin that is produced on the intestinal walls and excreted through the kidney. If there is an infection in the intestinal walls, it can result in excess amounts of bilirubin being produced. This can cause a rise in the amount of urobilinogen in the urine as well in the liver.
The normal range of urobilinogen in urine is less than 17umol/l. Higher amounts warrant a consultation from the doctor. There are chances of liver related diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis and hemolytic anemia, which if not given proper and urgent medical attention, can also lead to death.
Causes of low levels of urobilinogen
If the quantity of urobilinogen in urine is lower than the standard value, it could most likely be due to strong antibacterial medicines that could bring down the normal flora in the intestinal lining Most of the drugs that fall in this line are the antibacterial medications for the treatment of jaundice, ascorbic acid and high dose of ammonium chloride.
Causes of high levels of Urobilinogen
If the amount of urobilinogen in urine is higher than what is considered normal, it could mean that the person be suffering from a serious liver disease. Some of the diseases that are caused due to high incidence of urobilinogen in urine are liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Symptoms of urobilinogen in urine
The symptoms of urobilinogen in urine are liver cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. Dark colored urine and light colored stools are the common symptoms. Jaundice characterized by yellowish pigment on the skin is also an indication.
Urobilinogen test and diagnosis
The most widely used test to measure the amount of urobilinogen in urine is with the use of urine test sticks containing P-dimenthylaminobenzaldehyde. This is a known acid medium that interacts with urobilinogen and give the urine test stick a pinkish color, which is known as the Ehrlich Aldehyde Reaction. A pink color of the dipstick would confirm the presence of urobilinogen in urine.
The presence of urobilinogen in the urine will then be further determined using the Watson-Schwartz qualitative test. After these tests, the doctor would also assess how mild or severe the condition is. Other diagnostic tests used are complete blood count and complete liver function tests which would help find out the disease and also work on the treatment methodology. .
Treatment of Levels of Urobilinogen in urine
After confirming abnormal levels of urobilinogen in urine, the doctor may work on the best treatment option based on the cause. For instance, if the reason is hemolytic anemia, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements to replace the lost blood cells. These iron supplements may be taken orally or intravenously. If certain medications or drugs are the cause of low levels of urobilinogen in urine, the doctor may prescribe alternate prescription or stop the medication altogether to bring the level to normal.
If liver disease is the main cause of the problem, the patient will be monitored closely. The patient has to be in hospital so that the condition can be closely monitored because it is after all, one of the most important organs of the body. Antiviral drugs like Interferon and Ribavirin are mostly administered in these cases. If the liver is severely damaged, liver transplantation may be the only alternative.
One of the best ways in which you can keep urobilinogen in urine to normal is by drinking 8 glasses of water a day, doing regular exercises and staying away from too much alcohol.