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Jaundice: causes and symptoms

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The name jaundice is the disorder suffered by many people in which the skin and the whites of the eyes, the sclera, turn yellow. This occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin in the body, a pigment found in the blood, which is why it says that you have hyperbilirubinemia.

This yellow pigment in the blood is formed when hemoglobin breaks down, a normal process that the body goes through when it recycles old and damaged red blood cells. Then, the bilirubin moves through the bloodstream until it meets the bile in the liver, and, finally, it is excreted to the digestive tract to be eliminated from the body through the feces, mainly. However, a small half is discarded through the urine. If this yellow pigment is not removed, it accumulates in the blood and remains deposited on the skin, resulting in jaundice.

If you know or suspect that you suffer from this disorder, you must visit a doctor; however, at FastlyHealwe want to offer you all the information about jaundice: causes and symptoms.

Some Causes of Jaundice

Many red blood cells die in the body daily, and new ones replace. Then, the liver is responsible for eliminating old substances, forming what is known as bilirubin, which is broken down by this organ until it is eliminated from the body. This is why jaundice can be caused by diseases or by ingesting substances that:

  • Damage the liver
  • Cause destruction of red blood cells
  • They interfere with the flow of bile.

Generally, jaundice is related to liver, pancreas, or gallbladder disorders. This is why people who have hepatitis, liver disorders, obstructions or tumors in the bile duct, or a toxic reaction to a drug may suffer from an excess of bilirubin in the body. On the other hand, infections, cancer, and congenital disabilities can also cause jaundice. Visit the following FastlyHealarticle to learn more about high bilirubin: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Main symptoms of jaundice

Both jaundice and its symptoms can appear suddenly or develop little by little. The most frequent symptomatology in this disorder is the presence of yellow coloration on the skin and the sclera, that is, the white part of the eyes; however, these organs may turn brown when jaundice is very severe.

In addition, you may notice a yellow color inside the mouth, the urine is usually darker, and the stools are pale or have a clay-like pigmentation. You must pay careful attention to all the mentioned parts since, if it is only yellow skin, it can result from other factors, such as consuming too much beta-carotene. On the other hand, you should know that other symptoms depend exclusively on the cause of jaundice.

Treatment of excess bilirubin

As jaundice can have many causes, the treatment of this pathology will depend on the disorder that is causing it. This is why you must consult a doctor when you suspect that you may be suffering from excess bilirubin.

The professional will be in charge of performing the necessary tests and examinations to give you the correct treatment after finding the cause of jaundice. Generally, the doctor will perform a test for bilirubin in the blood. However, he can add other tests, such as laboratory tests for the hepatitis virus, observing liver function, a complete blood count, and liver biopsy.

Important signs of hyperbilirubinemia

People with jaundice may have some signs that cause concern. Among them are these important signs of high bilirubin:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Bloody or very dark stools
  • Vomiting blood
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Discomfort on palpation in the stomach
  • Tendencies to bruising
  • Suffer bleeding easily.

If one or more of these signs are present, you must visit the emergency medical center as soon as possible so that the professional can find the exact cause of jaundice and provide you with the treatment you need.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Jaundice: causes and symptoms, we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category.

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