Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Those at Risk
I believe most people are not aware that jaundice is among the common and treatable liver conditions. The presence of jaundice is proof that the liver isn't functioning properly and bilirubin builds up in the blood. The effect of such could make the eyes and skin turn yellow.
I'll advise you should seek medical attention if you think you have jaundice before it could damage another part of the body. What I mean in effect is that jaundice can be a sign of a serious health problem, such as liver damage or cancer and must not be left untreated. In most cases anyway, jaundice is caused by a minor infection or other benign condition.
In this post, I'll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of jaundice at least to get you informed about the illness.
What Is Jaundice?
jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and whites part of the eyes to turn yellow. This is usually caused by a build-up of bilirubin, a yellow pigment that's normally released when red blood cells break down.
This is to say, that much bilirubin in the bloodstream has the capacity of causing jaundice. Sometimes, the conditions seem to be serious, especially if left untreated. The symptoms of jaundice may include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, itchiness, dark urine, and pale-colored stools.
Causes of Jaundice
The key cause of jaundice is usually a blocked bile duct. Such things usually occur as a result of some illnesses like hepatitis, cirrhosis, pancreatic cancer, and many others which I'll be providing you below.
• Gilbert's syndrome: This is usually a genetic disorder that affects how the liver processes bilirubin.
• Sepsis: This is a very serious infection that leads to organ failure.
• Drugs and toxins: This could be a result of medications, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
• Pregnancy: Yes, there's every tendency that a pregnant woman may develop jaundice if her baby has a problem with their blood.
Symptoms of Jaundice
I believe that a lot of people may think that the yellowing of the skin and eyes are the only symptoms of jaundice. But that's not the case because there are other symptoms that I'll be providing you with.
a. Yellowing of the skin and eyes
c. Dark urine
d. Pale stool
e. Weight loss
Please, if you're noticing any of the above-mentioned symptoms. You need to see your doctor with immediate effect because jaundice can be a sign of a number of different health problems.
Who Is at Risk for Jaundice?
To be honest with you, before I thought that it was only babies that usually have jaundice. The truth here is that anybody can have jaundice but they are people who are at more risk than others.
According to research, babies seem to be among the group that is at risk for jaundice. In fact, it has been proven that a good number of newborns will develop jaundice in the first week of life. The main reason why newborns may have it is that their livers have not properly developed and may not be able to break down bilirubin properly.
Another group of people that I consider to be at risk for jaundice are those with liver diseases or hepatitis.
Another set of people who are also at risk for jaundice is those who have blood transfusions or who are on dialysis.
I believe with the little explanations above about jaundice, you should have acquired some knowledge about it. Now, I'll be providing you with how the diagnosis work. Whenever you visit your doctor, I believe that they will definitely take a look at your skin and assess your symptoms.
If your doctor may have suspected jaundice, he/she will order some tests to confirm the diagnosis. One of the key tests is usually through the blood, and it will serve the doctor to determine how severe the jaundice is.
If you're diagnosed with jaundice, no need to panic because there are many treatment options available. Jaundice is treated according to the cause, but might include antibiotics, fluids, or surgery.
The first thing I'll advise you should do is to always drink lots of fluids and eat a healthy diet. The consistency in drinking water will help your liver flush out the bilirubin.
Another option you can follow to treat jaundice is light therapy. The UV rays have the capability to break down the bilirubin, which makes it easy for your body to regain freedom.
Lastly, jaundice can be treated with the use of medications. The use of antibiotics will help fight a bacterial infection if you have such, or your doctor may give you medication to help your liver function well.
If there's any way you're suspected to have jaundice, the best thing you can do for yourself is to see a doctor immediately. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis and start treating you immediately. Jaundice may not be a threat in some cases and can be treated easily. However, you need to always examine yourself with your doctor for early dictation and treatment.