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Jaundice - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Jaundice?

Jaundice is also called icterus and describes a yellow coloring of skin and the sclera. It happens due to excess blood bilirubin levels (hyperbilirubinemia). Body fluids might turn yellow as well. The sclera and skin color changes depending on bilirubin levels. Moderately high bilirubin levels turn the skin yellow and very high levels turn it brown. Bilirubin is a yellow waste product that causes sclera and skin coloration in jaundice. Bilirubin is the byproduct after iron gets removed from the RBCs. Excess bilirubin might leak into the surrounding tissues and cause coloration.


Underlying disorders where bilirubin is overproduced or the liver is prevented from disposing it cause jaundice in most cases. In both instances, the bilirubin gets stored in the tissues.

Few conditions that might result in jaundice are:

  • Acute liver inflammation- it might impair the liver’s ability to secrete bilirubin after conjugating it and may result in buildup.
  • Bile duct inflammation- it might obstruct the liver in bilirubin disposal
  • Hemolytic anemia- bilirubin production increases when there are large amounts of RBCs to be broken
  • Gilbert’s syndrome- it is inherited and impairs the enzymes ability to excrete bile

Cholestasis is a condition when the bile flow is interrupted. The bile with the conjugated bilirubin, instead of getting excreted, stays within the liver.

    Jaundice has three primary types:

    • Hepatocellular Jaundice- It happens due to liver injury or disease.
    • Hemolytic Jaundice- It happens due to hemolysis and results in increased bilirubin production.
    • Obstructive Jaundice- It happens due to bile duct obstruction and prevents the bilirubin from escaping form the liver.

    Jaundice treatment needs a diagnosis for a specific cause for selecting viable treatment plans. Such a treatment targets the cause instead of the jaundice.

    • Jaundice caused due to anemia can be addressed by increasing the blood’s iron content by either consuming food rich in iron or using supplements.
    • Jaundice resulting from hepatitis can be treated by giving steroid or anti-viral medications.
    • Obstruction induced jaundice can be treated with surgery so as to make it unobstructed.
    • Medication induced jaundice can be treated with alternative medicines and stopping the medicines that started it


The itching in jaundice might get very intense and the patients might have insomnia, scratch excessively and in extreme cases may commit suicide. The complications in jaundice are mostly not due to the jaundice itself, but the underlying causes. For example, a bile-duct obstruction jaundice might result in continuous bleeding due to vitamin deficiency.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Yellowish colour in skin and eyes which starts at the head and spreads downwards Itchiness Pale stools Vomiting Dark coloured urine Pain in the abdomen

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Popular Questions & Answers

I am 32 years old. I am having a baby of 26 days old. She is suffering from jaundice but not severely. Please suggest me the diet to get rid my baby frm the disease as quickly as possible. Will you please also suggest me the diet to increase the milk production during breastfeeding?

Jaundice in newborn is of different type and diet not important in same. Consult Paediatrician. No special diet to increase milk production. Consult paediatrician to confirm that milk is enough for child.

HI, My father is having 52 years old. He is suffering from Liver Damage. He is a alcoholic, symptoms for his disease jaundice, swellings legs. Can you please explain how to cure my dad and he surely will avoid alcohol but now what is the condition. How to heal his problem.

Dear, Your father needs immediate treatment for jaundice and liver damage. Probably you need to admit and treat him in a hospital. During admission, the doctors will manage his withdrawal symptoms of alcohol and detoxify him. Later you can plan ot...

Hi sir or mam, from my body liver how to remove toxic by natural method because I am getting always Jaundice. Please suggest.

Take antioxidants rich diet less of stress and free from polluted environment will help naturally which is practically not possible everyday or Everytime so you need a proper constitutional Homeopathic treatment to resolve this based on your prese...

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What is Jaundice?