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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.

Causes

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

Complications

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
Symptoms
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

Popular Health Tips

Jaundice - The Right Way It Can Be Treated!

MBBS, DNB - Internal Medicine, DNB - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Faridabad
Jaundice - The Right Way It Can Be Treated!

Jaundice is a medical condition where the bilirubin level shoots up in the blood of the affected person. Also referred to as icterus, the condition may affect adults as well as newborn babies (Neonatal Jaundice), whereby the skin and the white part of the eye (sclera) appears yellowish in color (due to the accumulation of bilirubin).

Bilirubin is the bile pigment that results from the breakdown of hemoglobin (when the RBC cells breakdown). The bilirubin thus produced is released into the plasma. The liver then filters the released bilirubin for further metabolism. In the case of a diseased condition, injury or infection to the liver, it fails to remove the bilirubin from the bloodstream. As a result, there is an abnormal rise in the bilirubin level in the blood (Hyperbilirubinemia), resulting in jaundice. In jaundice, Bilirubin can go upto much higher levels. At 2.5-3 it just starts to get manifest as yellow eyes. Obstructive jaundice may require an endoscopic procedure or surgery.

Types of jaundice:
Jaundice may be of the following types:

  • Hepatocellular jaundice: In Hepatocellular jaundice, the elevated bilirubin level in the blood is an outcome of a liver disease or an injury (altering the normal functioning of the liver).
  • Hemolytic jaundice: Here, the increased level of bilirubin in the blood results from an increased breakdown of the RBCs (Hemolysis).
  • Obstructive jaundice: As the name suggests, Obstructive jaundice results from an obstruction in the bile duct. As a result, the bilirubin does not get filtered and remains in the liver.


Factors contributing to jaundice:
The increased buildup of bilirubin may be an outcome of

  • Obstruction and inflammation of the bile duct.
  • Chronic liver disease including liver cirrhosis and hepatitis.
  • Pancreatic Cancer.
  • Hemolytic anemia: It is a condition resulting from increased breakdown of RBCs.
  • Gilbert's syndrome.
  • Certain medications may also interfere and alter the normal functioning of the liver (steroids, birth control pills, and acetaminophen, to name a few).
  • In cholestasis, the bile (conjugated bilirubin), instead of getting eliminated, remains in the liver.

Symptoms:
The symptoms associated with jaundice include

  • The skin (particularly, the face, hands, nails, and feet) and the sclera appear yellowish.
  • The urine appears dark in color.
  • Fever, vomiting, tiredness, and loss of body weight.
  • Abdominal pain (mild to severe).
  • The stool appears pale in color.
  • Itchiness or Pruritus.

Diagnosis and treatment:
The earlier the diagnosis, more effective is the treatment.

  • Jaundice can be diagnosed by
  • Physical examination.
  • Bilirubin tests to determine the total bilirubin level.
  • CBC is used to determine the levels of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets.
  • Liver function tests.

The treatment for jaundice involves identifying the underlying factor responsible for the condition and treating it.

  • In the case of obstructive jaundice, operation helps to improve the condition.
  • Patients with hepatitis may benefit from antiviral medicines as well as steroids.
  • In hemolytic anemia, use of iron supplements helps to improve the condition.
  • Avoid oily and spicy foods, smoking and drinking.
  • Rest as much as possible.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2141 people found this helpful

Enlarged Pancreas - 5 Factors Behind It

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM
Endocrinologist, Hyderabad
Enlarged Pancreas - 5 Factors Behind It

Enlarged pancreas can result beacuse of factors such as: 

  1. An abscess in your pancreas: This refers to a dangerous formation inside the pancreas. Neglecting its occurrence can also turn out to be fatal. An abscess is a cavity containing pus that further infects the rest of the organ. Presence of harmful bacteria in the pancreas leads to such a case.
  2. A cyst in the lining of your pancreas: Epithelial cysts in the pancreas can also cause the organ to swell up. Such cysts are mostly benign but they are accompanied by disabling pain.
  3. Pancreatitis is one disease with an array of threats: Highly active enzymes within the organ can make its tissues wear down thus, affecting the size of your pancreas. If you are an alcoholic, you are more prone to develop this condition. It could also be contracted due to an excess of calcium or fats in the blood.
  4. Cancer of the pancreas is dreadful too: Due to the unanticipated growth of cancer cells in the pancreas, the organ grows bigger. A person suffers from excruciating pain under the influence of this condition.
  5. Pseudocysts in the pancreas can have serious ill effects: When benign cysts become unmanageably harmful, they result into pseudocysts. The cysts contain remains of your tissues and other damaging fluids that can increase the size of the pancreas.

An enlarged pancreas surfaces in the form of these symptoms:

  1. The kind of stool you pass indicates a lot about your health. Oily poop can be indicative of an enlarged pancreas. Persisting diarrhea can also be a symptom of pancreatic ailments.
  2. You may even experience an accelerated pulse rate.
  3. You may feel feverish continually. Bouts of fever can impede your free movement and general health.
  4. Health issues with your pancreas can make you suffer from jaundice. It could be a one- time affair or it could reappear from time to time.
  5. Constant queasiness could hint at some underlying problem in your pancreas.
  6. You may even lose more than a few pounds over a short span of time. Such a thing should not be taken lightly as it not only makes you look sick but also degrades your immunity. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist.
3108 people found this helpful

Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

F.I.A.G.E.S , MNAMS (Membership of The National Academy) (General Surgery), DNB (General Surgery), MBBS
General Surgeon, Delhi
Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The medical name for the yellow tint on your skin and around the white portion of the eye is jaundice. However, jaundice is a symptom of a variety of underlying medical conditions, and not a specific disease. When the body break downs deceased red blood cells, a yellow pigment known as bilirubin is formed. Jaundice develops when your system contains excess bilirubin. Usually, the bilirubin, as well as the dead blood cells, are exterminated by your body.

Jaundice may symbolise a critical problem with your pancreas, blood cells, gallbladder or liver.

Causes:

Jaundice isn’t a disease; it is a symptom. Thus if you have jaundice, it might indicate you may have any of the following complications:

  1. Alcohol abuse.

  2. Liver infection

  3. Liver cancer

  4. Cirrhosis (Liver scarring mostly due to alcohol).

  5. Gallstones.

  6. Hepatitis (Swollen liver that decreases its functionality).

  7. Pancreatic cancer

  8. Blood disorders.

  9. An overdose or adverse reaction to certain medications.

Symptoms:

The major indication of jaundice is yellow tinted skin and eyes. In serious cases, the sclera (white parts) of the eye can turn orange or brown. You might additionally exhibit other symptoms such as pale stools and dark urine.

If a concealed condition such as viral hepatitis is causing jaundice, you will probably experience symptoms such as vomiting and excessive fatigue.

Misdiagnosis is common when it comes to jaundice. Sometimes, an abundance of beta carotene (a type of anti-oxidant found abundantly in fruits and plants) can turn your skin yellow.

Treatments:

Since jaundice is a symptom of some other underlying disease, the treatment will focus on that disease. When your treatment starts, the yellow tint will disappear on its own.

If the jaundice is serious, blood transfusions might be needed to expel the excess bilirubin and rejuvenate the body’s red blood cells. However, if the body’s bile duct mechanism gets blocked, a surgery might be required to unblock the same. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

2127 people found this helpful

Know All About Jaundice!

M B B S, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship of National Board(Minimal Access Surgery)
General Surgeon, Pune
Know All About Jaundice!

The medical name for the yellow tint on your skin and around the white portion of the eye is jaundice. However, jaundice is a symptom of a variety of underlying medical conditions, and not a specific disease. When the body break downs deceased red blood cells, a yellow pigment known as bilirubin is formed. Jaundice develops when your system contains excess bilirubin. Usually, the bilirubin, as well as the dead blood cells, are exterminated by your body.

Jaundice may symbolise a critical problem with your pancreas, blood cells, gallbladder or liver.

Causes:

Jaundice isn’t a disease; it is a symptom. Thus if you have jaundice, it might indicate you may have any of the following complications:

  1. Alcohol abuse.

  2. Liver infection.

  3. Liver cancer.

  4. Cirrhosis (Liver scarring mostly due to alcohol).

  5. Gallstones.

  6. Hepatitis (Swollen liver that decreases its functionality).

  7. Pancreatic cancer.

  8. Blood disorders.

  9. An overdose or adverse reaction to certain medications.

Symptoms:

The major indication of jaundice is yellow tinted skin and eyes. In serious cases, the sclera (white parts) of the eye can turn orange or brown. You might additionally exhibit other symptoms such as pale stools and dark urine.

If a concealed condition such as viral hepatitis is causing jaundice, you will probably experience symptoms such as vomiting and excessive fatigue.

Misdiagnosis is common when it comes to jaundice. Sometimes, an abundance of beta carotene (a type of anti-oxidant found abundantly in fruits and plants) can turn your skin yellow.

Treatments:

Since jaundice is a symptom of some other underlying disease, the treatment will focus on that disease. When your treatment starts, the yellow tint will disappear on its own.

If the jaundice is serious, blood transfusions might be needed to expel the excess bilirubin and rejuvenate the body’s red blood cells. However, if the body’s bile duct mechanism gets blocked, a surgery might be required to unblock the same.

काला पीलिया के लक्षण, उपचार - Kaala Peeliya Ke Lakshan!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Lakhimpur Kheri
काला पीलिया के लक्षण, उपचार - Kaala Peeliya Ke Lakshan!

काला पीलिया एक आम यकृत विकार हैं, जो कि कई असामान्य चिकित्सा कारणों की वजह से से हो सकते हैं. काला पीलिया होने पर किसी व्यक्ति को सिर दर्द, लो-ग्रेड बुखार, मतली और उल्टी, भूख कम लगना, त्वचा में खुजली और थकान आदि लक्षण होते हैं. त्वचा और आंखों का सफेद भाग पीला पड़ जाता है. इसमें मल पीला और मूत्र गाड़ा हो जाता है. हालांकि ऐसे में कुछ घरेलू उपचार आपकी काफी मदद कर सकते हैं. तो चलिये जानें काला पीलिया या हेपेटाइटिस बी के इलाज के लिए कुछ घरेलू उपचार.

काला पीलिया का लक्षण-
* काला पीलिया के पीड़ितों के तमाम लक्षणों में बुखार, कमजोरी, थकान, भूख की कमी, वजन में कमी, मतली, हल्के रंग का मल, पेटदर्द, कब्ज, सिरदर्द, गहरे रंग का मूत्र, शरीर में जलन और कुछ मामलों में खुजली भी शामिल है.
* आप एक हेल्थी जीवन चाहते हैं तो अपने लिवर का ख्याल रखें और शराब आदि के सेवन से दूर रहें. साथ ही हेल्थी डाइट फॉलों करें और काला पीलिया के लिए जीवनशैली में परिवर्तन करें. काला पीलिया और अन्य लिवर विकारों से छुटकारा पाने के लिए आयुर्वेदिक उपचार की मदद ली जा सकती है.

काला पीलिया के आयुर्वेदिक उपचार-
काला पीलिया के आयुर्वेदिक उपचार के लिए आपको कई जड़ी-बूटियों और अन्य चीजों का सहारा लेना होगा. ये सभी आमतौर पर उपलब्ध होते हैं इसलिए इन्हें प्राप्त करना बेहद आसान है. तो आइए इसके बारे में जानें.

1. मूली का रस व पत्ते
मूली के हरे पत्ते काला पीलिया में लाभदायक होते है. यही नहीं मूली के रस में भी इतनी ताकत होती है कि यह खून और लीवर से अत्‍यधिक बिलिरूबीन को निकाल सके. काला पीलिया या हेपेटाइटिस में रोगी को दिन में 2 से 3 गिलास मूली का रस जरुर पीना चाहिये. या फिर इसके पत्ते पीसकर उनका रस निकालकर व छानकर पीएं.

2. टमाटर का रस
टमाटर का रस, काला पीलिया में बेहद लाभदायक होता है. इसमें विटामिन सी पाया जाता है और यह लाइकोपीन जैसें एंटीऑक्‍सीडेंट में पूर्ण होता है. इसके रस में थोड़ा नमक और काली मिर्च मिलाकर सेवन करने पर काफी लाभ देखने को मिलता है.

3. आंवला
आवंले में भी विटामिन सी प्रचुर मात्रा में पाया जाता है. कमालकी बात तो यह है कि, आप आमले को कच्‍चा या फिर सुखा कर खा सकते हैं. इसके अलावा जूस के रूप में भी प्रयोग किया जा सकता है.

4. नींबू या पाइनएप्‍पल का जूस
नींबू के रस को पानी में निचोड़ कर पीने से पेट साफ होता है. इसे रोज खाली पेट सुबह पीना काला पीलिया में सही होता है. इसके अवाला पाइनएप्‍पल भी लाभदायक होता है. पाइनएप्‍पल अंदर से पेट के सिस्‍टम को साफ रखता है.

5. नीम
नीम में कई प्रकार के वायरल विरोधी घटक पाए जाते हैं, जिस वजह से यह हेपेटाइटिस के इलाज में उपयोगी होता है. यह जिगर में उत्पन्न विषाक्त पदार्थों को नष्ट करने में भी सक्षण होता है. इसकी पत्तयों के सर में शहद मिलाकर सुबह-सुबह पियें.

6. अर्जुन की छाल
अर्जुन के पेड़ की छाल, बहुत से लाभों के लिए जानी जाती है. यह दिल और मूत्र प्रणाली को अच्छा बनाने में सहायक होती है. इसमें मौजूद एल्कलॉइड जिगर में कोलेस्ट्रॉल के उत्पादन को विनियमित करने की क्षमता भी रखता है. जो इसे हैपेटाइटिस के खिलाफ एक मूल्यवान दवा बनाता है.

7. हल्दी
देश के कुछ भागों में, ऐसी भ्रातियां प्रचलित है कि हल्दी का रंग पीला होता है, इसलिए काला पीलिया के रोगी को इसका सेवन नहीं करना चाहिए. हालांकि, यह एक कमाल का एंटी-इन्फ्लेमेट्री, एंटीऑक्सिडेंट, एंटी-माइक्रोबियल प्रभाव वाली तथा बढ़े हुए लिवर नलिकाओं को हटाने वाली होती है. हल्दी हैपेटाइटिस के खिलाफ सबसे प्रभावी उपायों में से एक है.
 

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Popular Questions & Answers

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.

MBBS, DPM
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
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 other treatments for avoiding alcohol on discharge.

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

NCCH & MCH
Homeopath, Raebareli
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 present lft parameters. Kindly forward the reports.

My son suffering from jaundice. Hepatitis A, B, C and E are reported negative. HIV is also negative. Ultrasound scan for liver, pancreas, gall bladder, kidneys are also ok. What may be the reason?

MBBS, DDV, FCPS, APEX, Diplomat American Board of Sexology
HIV Specialist, Mumbai
Jaundice can be due to multiple reasons. It can be obstructive jaundice if all Infection parameters are negative. But nothing to worry about. Please take private consult thru Lybrate.

Hello, Please prescribe me the best food for jaundice. My LFT result shows 6.9 mg%(total bilirubin), 3.5 mg% (direct bilirubin). I am active alcoholic for last ten years. Now, totally quit for 7 months.

M.B.B.S
General Surgeon, Navi Mumbai
Dear Mr. lybrate-user, If bilirubin is not coming down even after you stoped alcohol indicate liver damage. You need to have detailed test to assess severity of liver damage. Which is important to plan further treatment.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Jaundice?

Causes

Complications

Play video
Black Jaundice
Jaundice is a medical condition, which is characterized by the yellow coloring of the skin and eyes. It generally occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin in your system. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment formed in the liver by the breakdown of red blood cells. It normally gets discharged by the liver along with other dead red blood cells.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice