Jaundice – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Diagnosis, Precautions,

What is Jaundice?

Jaundice or jaundice is a disease that occurs due to excessive amount of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin builds up in the tissues and blood due to the breakdown of red blood cells. This is a liver disease. The skin and eyes of the patient suffering from this become yellow.

The liver filters the bilirubin (thick yellow substance) formed by the breakdown of red blood cells and removes it from the body. Many times, bilirubin starts getting produced in our body in large quantities which the liver is unable to filter. Jaundice is caused by this excess bilirubin. If jaundice is not treated timely, it can lead to sepsis. This may increase the risk of liver failure

How does jaundice occur?

The liver takes bilirubin as waste from the blood and changes its chemical structure and removes most of it in the stool through bile. Bilirubin is a yellow-orange substance found in red blood cells. When these cells die or break, the liver collects and filters the bilirubin released from them. When the liver is unable to do this work properly, the amount of bilirubin in the body increases. Jaundice is caused by this excess bilirubin. Due to bilirubin, the skin and eyes of a patient suffering from jaundice appear yellow.

Types of Jaundice :

1. pre-hepatic jaundice :

In this, red blood cells break down in excessive amounts due to which bilirubin is produced in large quantities. Due to this, the liver is unable to collect bilirubin and it starts spreading in the body. This excess bilirubin causes jaundice.

2. hepatocellular jaundice :

In this condition, due to damage to the liver cells, the liver is unable to collect bilirubin in sufficient quantity and bilirubin cirrhosis occur .This causes pressure in the intrahepatic part of the biliary tree which causes blockage of the cells. Due to this blockage, liver cells become dysfunctional which causes hepatocellular jaundice.

3. Post-hepatic jaundice :

In this condition, the bile ducts get damaged and a kind of swelling occurs in them due to which the bile ducts get blocked. Due to this, bile is not able to reach the digestive system from the gallbladder. This causes post-hepatic jaundice.

Symptoms of Jaundice :

  • being tired
  • stomach ache
  • weight loss
  • vomiting and nausea
  • Fever
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling weak
  • itching in body
  • Insomnia
  • flu-like symptoms
  • feeling cold
  • dark urine
  • gray or yellow stool
  • change in skin color
  • chronic hepatitis
  • acute hepatitis
  • pyoderma gangrenosum
  • polyarthralgia

How many days does jaundice last? ,

Jaundice in adults is treated according to its cause. Because the time frame for treatment of each cause is different, a definite time frame cannot be given.

In babies who are on mother’s milk, jaundice can last for up to 1 month. In babies who are on formula, jaundice can last for up to 2 weeks. If jaundice continues for 3 weeks or more, contact a doctor immediately

Complications caused by jaundice –

The type of complication and the severity of the complications depend on the cause of jaundice. Some of the possible complications include –

  • electrolyte abnormalities
  • anemia
  • bleeding
  • infection/sepsis
  • chronic hepatitis
  • liver failure
  • hepatic encephalopathy

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