What is Jaundice?

What is Jaundice?

Jaundice is a disease that causes the yellowish discoloration of the skin, the white part of the eye, and other mucous membranes. Additionally, body fluids may also change to yellow color. Technically called icterus.

Bilirubin is a waste product that is generated when red blood cells break down. It is then transported to the liver through the bloodstream where it is then combined with a digestive fluid called bile. Usually, bilirubin is discharged through the stool and the remaining is excreted through urine. But if bilirubin cannot be propelled through the liver, it gets accumulated in the blood causing Jaundice.

Symptoms of Jaundice

If you have a short-term case of jaundice usually caused by infection, you may have the following symptoms and signs:

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Change in skin color.
  • Dark-colored urine and clay-colored stool.

If it isn’t caused by an infection, you may have symptoms such as weight loss or itchy skin. If it is caused by pancreatic or biliary tract cancers, the most common symptom is abdominal pain.


Types of Jaundice

It can be classified into three categories. Treatment of jaundice depends upon the underlying cause of it. In other words, treatments target the symptoms rather than the disease itself.

  1. Hepatocellular jaundice: It occurs as a result of liver damage or injury. Due to infections, excessive consumption of alcohol, and also due to parasitic infections the liver could be damage.
  2. Hemolytic Jaundice: It occurs when erythrocytes or red blood cells break down at an accelerated rate, resulting in the buildup of more bilirubin. This occurs due to infectious diseases such as malaria, anemia, etc.
  3. Obstructive Jaundice: This occurs when bilirubin is blocked and is unable to be discharged from the liver.

How It Could Prevent

It’s hard to provide specific prevention measures. Some general tips include:

  • Avoid hepatitis infection.
  • Stay within recommended alcohol limits.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your cholesterol.