Bile Acid Test

has anyone had their bile salts tested? With the itching I was having a problem with, my specialist tested my bile salts (I go monthly for all lab work)....this was my first for this test though. Just wondering what other peoples bile acid ranges are...

bile Acid

Bile Acid


17.5 (my result)

< 6.7 (normal range)


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13 Replies

  • Hello,

    No I've never had that done, that's interesting, had the usual ones like LFT's. Have had talk about bile salt malabsorption, I wonder if that would be a test that would help deduce that..?

    Hopefully they'll help give more answers for you.

  • ya she did it because of the itching I was telling her about. I have to get it done each month, so I'm interested to see how it changes over time

  • Hi. In just saw an holistic Dr Who has advised me to start on ox Bile salts. She wants me too take one 500mg with main meals for fat malabsorption. Have had a very nasty loose bowels since my gastric by pass 4+ years ago. Sorry for graphic details. Lol.

  • sorry what is it you're taking? OX Bile Salts?

  • Havent heard of that but it's interesting....testing is through regular bloodwork?

  • it's a special test ordered on regular lab work form (but it's added) and it was one I needed to pay for - not covered under OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) - it's very rare we have to pay for any tests. So this must be a special one

  • I had mine done in one of the university hospitals in Toronto. Mine was 13.7 (normal up to 6.6).

    I didn't have to pay for it. I'm going through testing for PBC

  • Bile Salt tests tell more about the way the liver is functioning than the main tests - those tell if there's something wrong (like red flags if there's something wrong by the result). The build up of Bile Acid/Bile Salts is what causes itchiness for us and if it's building up, that tells the dr that the liver isn't functioning properly. Which we know it isn't because we have PBC, but this way my dr. is able to track how quickly the bile salts are building up, etc.

  • I hadn't heard of a 'bile salt' blood test before either, so I looked it up - seems it is a blood test that is ordered for pregnant women who develop 'Obstetric cholestasis' during the last three months of their pregnancy. See:

  • well that's not why she ordered it for me :) it's a great way for her to track the amount of bile salts in my system (that will directly affect the itchiness as well).

    I'm looking forward to seeing my next blood test - that will show a baseline for me (from this past one) and then show me if it's increasing or stabilizing

    wish i'd seen the result of what it was before i started \URso

  • I'm a man. I had mine tested to go along with some positive AMA M2 tests. The doctor doesn't believe that I have PBC because I didn't have a high ALP. I have all of the symptoms unfortunately though.

  • Still going through testing.

  • I've been experiencing really bad itching too. Going for bloodwork Monday but my doc thinks it could be BRIC. He prescribed me cholestyramine. My background is a recent diagnosis with small duct PSC, and I started ursodiol about 2 months ago. I've had very elevated liver enzymes for about a year. I had cholestatis of pregnancy, prior to that I've never had any issue. But this itching feels exactly like the cholestasis when I was pregnant. I ended up having an emergency c section because my bile acids too high and became a danger to the baby.

    The last time this itching occured outside of pregnancy my bile acids were normal range so it didn't make sense. Also the ursodiol should be helping with the itch!?

    Has anyone taken this powder cholestramine?

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