Jaundice is a condition where the skin of the body and whites of the eyes are stained yellow due to bilirubin. It occurs in almost all newborn babies and can also affect people of all ages. The yellow staining of the skin is caused due to break down of the extra blood cells that are no longer needed. When blood cells are broken down they release a chemical which gets converted to bilirubin.
What causes jaundice?
Jaundice is caused due to an increase of bilirubin in the blood and body tissue. This increase of bilirubin is caused due to conditions affecting the liver, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or gallstones.
What Are The Symptoms Of Jaundice?
- Yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes
- Stools can be pale in color and urine dark yellow in color
- Stomach pain
How Is Jaundice Diagnosed?
The yellowing of skin and eyes are likely to be the main symptoms that confirm jaundice. However, a physical examination will be conducted to check for swelling of the liver, feet, legs or ankles that might indicate cirrhosis of the liver. Urine and blood tests are usually conducted and your doctor may also call for a liver function blood test to check for cirrhosis, hepatitis, or alcoholic liver disease. In some cases a liver biopsy is done.
What Is The Treatment For Jaundice?
Treatment varies based on the medical condition that caused jaundice, and the associated symptoms. Treatments may include:
- IV fluids in cases of dehydration
- Antiviral medications
- Blood transfusions
- Phototherapy for newborns