Things you need to know
-Jaundice is a common condition found in newborn babies, treated with phototherapy (a special type of light).
-Jaundice in adults does not require medical assistance and can be treated by making essential lifestyle changes.
-Jaundice happens when something goes off with the liver or the tubes that carry bile to the intestines.
What is Jaundice?
In Jaundice, the skin, the Sclera (white part of the eye), and the mucus membrane turn yellow. Jaundice occurs when the chemical bilirubin, a yellowish bile pigment in the blood, is elevated. Bile is secreted by the liver, which then moves to the intestines. It is formed from the breakdown of the red blood cells. Jaundice in adults clearly indicates problems in the gallbladder, liver, pancreatic tumour, and gallbladder cancer.
Jaundice affects the complexion; here, complexion means the affected person’s skin turns yellow, which takes around 1 to 2 weeks.
Types of Jaundice
The three main types of Jaundice are Pre hepatic, Hepatic, and Posthepatic and they are characterised by where Jaundice within the liver has taken place:-
It happens before the liver can process the waste, resulting in excess bilirubin chemicals production. Pre-hepatic Jaundice is due to hemolytic anaemia, which causes heme breakdown.
It takes place when the liver is scarred, commonly called cirrhosis making it difficult for the liver to be less effective at filtering out the bilirubin chemical from the blood.
It happens after the liver has processed the waste, and the bile duct gets blocked when the bile is not able to process further and therefore leaks into the circulation.
Causes of Jaundice
The presence of too much bilirubin in the liver makes it difficult for the liver to process, and this is called hyperbilirubinemia, and it leaves the skin and eyes yellow. The cause of Jaundice can typically be due to any underlying condition, below are some possible causes:-
- Cirrhosis condition
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Liver infections
- Side effects from certain medication
Symptoms of jaundice
- Yellow skin
- Yellow eyes (whites of the eyes)
- Pale stool
- Dark urine
- Abdominal pain
- Sudden weight loss
- Feeling dizzy
Diagnosis of Jaundice
Medical history of the person and a physical exam can help diagnose Jaundice. During the diagnosis, doctors closely examine the abdomen, liver and skin.
Some standard tests might help in the diagnosis of Jaundice:
Bilirubin tests determine the amount of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced by the natural disintegration of red blood cells (red blood cells).
Complete Blood Count (CBC) test helps to measure the red and white blood cells and platelets. This test helps evaluate the overall health and diagnose a wide range of disorders.
Hepatitis A, B and C tests are useful for diagnosing any liver infections.
Doctors may recommend CT scans, ultrasound scans, endoscopy, and X-ray imaging in some cases.
Treatment of Jaundice
The exact cause of Jaundice will help determine the treatment plan for Jaundice. A healthcare expert may be the best person to visit for the treatment of Jaundice. Jaundice can sometimes damage the liver, and the patient’s case may become severe if left unattended.
Prevention of Jaundice
Since Jaundice is a condition related to the functioning of the liver, so taking care of the liver can help in preventing any liver infections or Jaundice.
- Maintain a healthy and nutritious diet
- Limit consumption of alcohol, smoking and toxic drugs
- Exercise regularly
- Take necessary vaccinations
- Take only prescribed medications
Doctors may prescribe antibiotics for treating Jaundice, depending on the severity of the condition. In addition, transfusion of blood may be required for individuals who lack healthy blood red blood cells.
Unhealthy living habits are one of the most common causes of Jaundice in adults. People who are chain smokers and drinkers are at high risk of infected with conditions related to the liver.
The body may take at least 5-6 months to recover completely. This is because the body needs time to regain lost energy, and therefore it is important for the patient to maintain a healthy diet.