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Showing posts from October 29, 2019

Bilirubin, Blood Surface Tension and Ibn Sina.

It is said that nothing in this world was created without a purpose. Everything we see around us is in one way or another useful. What have we, as medical students and professionals, always been told about bilirubin? That is a byproduct in the degradation of heme and helps in iron cycle in the body. That if its serum level is more than 1.0 to 1.2 mg/dL, it is called jaundice. Then we talk about Kernicterus, Dubin Johnson's, Rotor's, Crigler najjar Syndromes etc etc, disorders of bilirubin. On the whole, bilirubin is considered as a marker of hepatic disease. But what we are not taught is the purpose of bilirubin. In our medical curriculum, we immerse ourselves in blood levels of substances, lab tests, drug treatment and we tend to overlook simple basics of Medicine. In spring 2016, I had got my hands on a commentary of Ibn Sina's (Avicenna) 'Canon of Medicine' (Al Qanun Fil Tibb). Considered as one of the most authentic and all time greats in the history of Med