Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Precaution

Find everything you need to know about Jaundice, including causes, symptoms, treatment and precaution.

The term jaundice means yellowing. It describes yellow discoloration of the skin. It is also visible especially in the white part of the eye called “sclera” and to some degree on mucus membranes. This is a symptom more than a disease. Jaundice occurs when there is increase in the pigment called “bilirubin” in the blood. Bilirubin is generally a by-product of red blood corpuscles.  So there is yellow discoloration of the skin. It is first noticeable in the sclera of the eye. Another feature that comes with this condition that is very common is “itching”.

Normally about 1 % of our RBC is replaced by fresh red blood corpuscles. The old ones are processed in the liver and get rid of. The breakdown of the old RBC is released through the stool and faeces but if there are too many RBC to be handled then  yellow pigment builds up in the body, then it becomes visible and this results in yellowing of the eyes, skin ,urine and mucus .There are many other causes in children and adult and may include things like blood incompatibility, certain blood diseases and genetic disorders, infections such as Hepatitis, Cirrhosis of the liver, blockage of the bile duct and other liver disorders. This disease occurs due to infected water. It can happen also due to birth defects and a number of other medical conditions.

As we have seen earlier the first symptom of jaundice is yellowing of the white of the eyes. Patient can have yellow colour inside the mouth, dark or brown- coloured urine, pale or clay coloured stools. When jaundice is more severe, these areas may look brown. Apart from other symptoms it includes nausea, abdominal pain especially in the right side of the stomach, vomiting, loose motion, weight loss, loss of appetite and weakness.

Severe condition of jaundice  can change the white clothes into yellowish  especially the colour of thigh turns more yellow  than any other part of the body.

NOTE: - If the whites of your eyes are not yellow, you may not have jaundice. Your skin can turn a yellow to orange colour if you eat too much beta carotene, the orange pigment in carrot.

Different laboratory tests are done to find the causes of jaundice and study the level of Bilirubin. The Jaundice usually disappears as the condition of the liver improves. As we know that Jaundice takes place due to breakdown of RBC, Vitamin E helps to lower the level of bilirubin. Juice made from radish can also be taken. The patient should take sugarcane juice. Unripe papaya is also very helpful to reduce jaundice. Glucose water is also helpful.  The patient should take enough rest during this condition.

  1. People should avoid fast food. The food should be rich in Iron and Vitamin C. People should avoid oily and spicy food. 
  2. Water should be boiled before drinking. 
  3. The person should properly maintain hygiene. 
  4. People should not do any type of hard work in scorching sun. 
  5. Don’t discharge urine at very dirty and unhygienic  places.