Jaundice: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment

Jaundice is a symptom that is characterized by giving a yellowish tone to the entire skin and the pupil of the eyes. This is caused by the bilirubin, a chemical component that is responsible for bringing oxygen to the blood. In fact, jaundice occurs when a condition known as high bilirubin (also known medically as hyperbilirubinemia).

All this process is causing the red blood cells to take that characteristic yellow color. And that's when the body is forced to create new cells with the aim of replacing those that are damaged.

All those who end up contaminated by this substance end up directly in the liver and as this organ is not capable of degrading them, it is inevitable that the bilirubin begins to expand throughout the body. It can also directly affect the color of the urine or feces, which get to take very dark colors (also called as coluria and acolia respectively)

It is very normal that newborns suffer from jaundice during the first months of life. However, there are many more people who suffer from this condition that can occur at any age for many reasons that we will shed through the following article.

Causes of jaundice

One of the main causes of jaundice is the existence of damage in the liver, due mainly to certain liver diseases that cause problems in this important organ.

A good example is the case of fatty liver, a condition so common today that affects millions of people around the world.

  • Liver infection Undoubtedly one of the most common causes for which jaundice may appear. The carrier suffers a liver virus that can cause both hepatitis A, B, C and D and E.
  • Biliary accumulations. Disorders in the gallbladder can also cause jaundice in the patient.
  • Drug overdose Jaundice can also appear due to a massive intake of medications. The most provoking this condition is paracetamol.
  • Pancreatic cancer. Due to cancer, the pancreas organ is not able to function correctly, something that later translates into a multitude of jaundice.
  • Congenital disorders. It is also very possible that the person suffering from jaundice is not able to decompose bilirubin naturally. This is something that is known as Gilbert's syndrome or Dubin-Johnson syndrome.

What treatment is there for jaundice?

Notably there is no direct treatment to treat jaundice since it is a symptom and not a disease. Given this, the best thing to do is directly attack the causes of it. For example, if jaundice is caused by the massive intake of any alcoholic beverage or a series of drugs, then obviously there will be no choice but to drastically reduce the consumption of these two substances.

If the jaundice appears due to a malfunction of the liver that is causing all kinds of stones to appear on the walls of this organ, because here there will be no choice but to go to our doctor. In most cases, an endoscopy should be carried out so that all bilious stones can flow normally.

If the jaundice has appeared in the baby just a few weeks after birth, you do not have to worry much because it is very common. Although yes you have to take into account a series of indications. First, you have to check the level of bilirubin in your blood. If for any reason it is higher than 20mg / dl, then it will be necessary to give it a specific treatment that only a doctor can give it in order to reduce this substance in blood. During treatment, it is very important to keep the child hydrated as this will help the symptoms to be reduced considerably.

Jaundice can also occur when both the baby and his mother have a different blood group. When breastfeeding, the woman begins to create antibodies that will "attack" the baby's red blood cells. And by destroying them, the little one is segregating bilirubin as a defense mechanism. Given this situation, the child should stop consuming breast milk and replace it with another recommended by the pediatrician. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesLiver

What is Jaundice in Newborns? (May 2024)