What is Jaundice?
You might have heard people talking about jaundice. In fact jaundice is not an illness in itself (as misconceived by many people) but is a symptom of hepatitis. When the hepatitis virus attacks the liver, the liver gets infected and produced number of symptoms. Jaundice is one of such symptoms. Liver is an important organ of digestive system in particular and human body system in general. Infected liver can lead to chronic liver disorders and such chronic liver disorders can result in serious health complications. Following information is produced with am aim of providing you basic information about jaundice.
Description of Jaundice
Jaundice is characterized by yellow colored skin, eyes and mucous membrane. This yellow color is result of bilirubin. You can see bilirubin during the healing of bruise. In simple words, bilirubin is old red blood cell byproduct.
When the amount of old red blood cell in the blood increases considerably, the occurrence of jaundice takes place. When the liver is unable to handle such large amount of old red blood cells, building of yellow pigment starts. When the cells are enough to be visible, the jaundice occurs. Jaundice is also referred to as yellow skin and icterus.
Causes behind development of Jaundice
There are number of causes responsible for occurrence of jaundice. Certain other liver disorders can also lead to occurrence of jaundice. Following are some of the common causes.
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis D
- Hepatitis E
- Liver cancer
- Liver cirrhosis (scarring)
- Gilbert’s syndrome
- Rotor’s syndrome
- Hemolytic anemia
- Dubin-Johnson syndrome
- Crigler-Najjar syndrome
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Billary atresia
Different forms of Jaundice
Jaundice is classified in two categories namely new born jaundice and pathologic jaundice. Succeeding paragraphs will give you brief information about these forms.
- Newborn Jaundice: Al most all new born babies have jaundice symptom during first week after their birth. The ordeal of birth process may lead to early retirement of red blood cells and livers of babies are usually not capable of bearing load of such old red blood cells. As a result of this the bilirubin is accumulated and surface in form of yellow color. Jaundice is more common in babies delivered prematurely.
- Pathologic Jaundice: The term pathological jaundice denotes that the jaundice occurred presents the health risk. Pathological jaundice can affect people of all ages. Development of pathological jaundice is attributable to various reasons. Some of the common reasons include blood diseases, hepatitis, genetic syndromes, and blood incompatibilities, blockage of bile duct, cirrhosis, liver disorders, medications and infections.
Treatment of Jaundice
There are some remedies available for treatment of jaundice. The root cause responsible for onset of jaundice symptom plays a greater role in selection of type of treatment.
Health complications produced by Jaundice
Like other liver associated diseases, jaundice can also produce certain health complications. If not treated in time, jaundice may affect the other body parts and can also worsen the pre-existing jaundice symptoms. If the jaundice in new born is not treated properly it could lead to kernicterus.