Jaundice: Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

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Jaundice is defined as the yellow staining of the skin and sclerae that is caused by high levels in blood of the chemical bilirubin. The color of the skin and sclerae varies depending on how high or low the blood of the chemical bilirubin is. When the level is highly elevated, the skin or sclerae is yellowish; when the level is high the skin or sclerae is brown. Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin being produced for the liver to remove from the blood.

Jaundice also occurs when there is a defect in the liver that prevents bilirubin from being removed from the blood, converted to a conjugated acid or secreted in bile, or blockage of the bile ducts that decreases the flow of bile and bilirubin from the liver into the intestines. Jaundice in babies usually occurs because their immature livers are not efficient at removing bilirubin from the bloodstream. Jaundice can turn the skin and sclerae yellow. Stool also can become light in color, even clay-colored because of the absence of bilirubin that normally gives stool its brown color.

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With jaundice, urine may turn dark or brownish in color. Jaundice in newborns most commonly happens because their livers are not mature enough to remove bilirubin from the blood. A mother who has diabetes may cause a baby to develop neonatal jaundice. There are many signs and symptoms associated with Jaundice. The signs and symptoms that adults have when they have jaundice are yellow skin, yellow eyes, dark or reddish urine, bronze skin , loss of appetite , bitter taste in mouth , furry tongue, pale feces, foul-smelling feces, nausea, itching skin , lethargy, slow pulse, and confusion.

The signs and symptoms that newborns have are ill appearance, fever, and poor feeding. Newborn babies will begin to appear jaundiced when they have more than 5 mg/dL of bilirubin in their blood. There are several diagnostic tests to determine the diagnosis of Jaundice. These tests include blood tests , complete blood count , liver function blood test, abdominal x-rays and, abdominal ultrasound. In newborns, there are also tests to determine the diagnosis of Jaundice. These tests include a Coombs test, a complete blood count, and a reticulocyte count test.

A Coombs test checks for antibodies that destroy red blood cells in an infant. A reticulocyte test checks to make sure that the baby or infant is producing sufficient new blood cells. There are various ways to treat Jaundice and some of the treatments are very simple. They include adequate bed rest , adequate fluid intake to avoid dehydration , anti-inflammatory medications , acetaminophen , Tylenol, tempra ,feverall ,Reglan ,prednisone , deltasone , azathioprine , Imuran , azasan , anti-emetics, metoclopramide, interferon alpha-2b, amantadine , symmetrel ,and liver transplantation in severe cases.

Jaundice is a sign indicating increased production of bilirubin, or decreased ability of the liver to process it, usually related to liver disease. Treatment is dependent upon the original disease process. These treatments include phototherapy, supportive therapy, abstinence from alcohol and cessation of medications contributing to liver dysfunction, steroids, and the use of immunosuppressant. Treatment of Jaundice in newborn includes placing a child in a well-lit window for 10 minutes twice a day to help cure mild jaundice.

Jaundice is most often treated with phototherapy. This involves placing the baby on a warmer beneath special lights. These lights are able to penetrate a baby’s skin and affect the bilirubin within the child. The light changes bilirubin into lumirubin, which is easily handled by the baby’s body. Two factors help decide whether or not to start phototherapy: the age of the child and the level of bilirubin. The two factors are younger children with higher bilirubin levels will more often require treatment.

They are the decision to begin phototherapy depends on the opinion of your pediatrician and on your comfort level, and younger children with higher bilirubin levels will more often require treatment. The common cause of Jaundice in children are autoimmune hepatitis, biliary atresia, breastfeeding jaundice, breast milk jaundice ,disorders present since birth that cause problems processing bilirubin, hemolytic anemia ,malaria ,newborn jaundice, and viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E).

Breastfeeding jaundice may occur in the first week of life in more than 1 in 10 breastfed infants. The common cause of Jaundice in adults are alcoholic liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, biliary stricture, blocked bile ducts, cancer of the pancreas, chronic active hepatitis, disorders present since birth that cause problems processing bilirubin, drug-induced cholestasis, drug-induced hepatitis, and hemolytic anemia. Jaundice affects the integumentary system because it turns the skin yellow.

The yellow pigment in the skin is from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. There is research being done about neonatal jaundice. The goal of this research is to study the association between neonatal jaundice and disorders of psychological development in a national, population-based group and to study whether gestational age, similarity, and season of birth influenced it. The result they received from this research is that the exposure to jaundice in neonates was associated with increased risk of disorders of psychological development for children born at term.

The conclusion they came up with is that Neonatal jaundice in children born at term is associated with disorders of psychological development and similarity and season of birth play important roles. There was another research done about jaundice to determine if jaundice may increase the risk of autism and developmental problems. In this research, the researchers speculated children born in winter months were also more likely than those born in the summer to be diagnosed with both jaundice and autism, maybe because exposure to sunlight helps the body clear excess bilirubin.

The research was directed at Aarhus University in Denmark. Parents can do their best to reduce any possible risk by ensuring newborns are monitored for jaundice, and are treated properly if diagnosed with the disorder. The National Institutes of Health recommends that all new babies should be checked for signs of jaundice every 9 or 12 hours in their first day of life, A newborn who looks jaundiced, with yellow eyes and skin, in the first day after birth should be immediately screened for bilirubin levels with a skin or blood test, and Jaundiced babies should be kept well-fed with breast milk or formula.

The body disposes of excess bilirubin in stool. It is also said that the majority of babies with jaundice get better within two weeks without any treatment, but the known complications from high bilirubin levels can be devastating such as cerebral palsy, deafness, and brain damage. There is a cure for jaundice. There’s many ways that people can treat it also. There are simple cure and treatments for jaundice such as tomato juice, radish leaves, lemon juice, barley water, and coriander seeds. The lemon juice is beneficial because of its liver healing properties in the juice.

Coriander seeds also can help cure jaundice by reducing yellowness of the skin and whites of the eyes. A person can use jaundice home remedies as jaundice remedies for battling jaundice effectively. Some of the jaundice home remedies are It is advisable to drink 8 glasses of water daily, leafy green vegetables and fruits are also beneficial for patients of jaundice ,foods like coffee, alcohol, red meat and white sugar should be totally avoided, Intake of dairy products like cheese and milk should be cut down.

A jaundice-afflicted person requires plenty of sleep and rest, and a diet including lots of orange juice, sugarcane juice and barley water is prescribed for jaundice patients. Jaundice remedies include Ayurvedic Management as well. There are certain herbs recommended by Ayurveda that are very effective for treating jaundice patients and these are effective as jaundice home remedies. Ayuverdic Management is a way that people believe that their disease will get cured. It is using herbs instead of medicine to get cured. It is proven that jaundice is the most common condition that requires medical attention in newborns.

Neonatal jaundice may have first been described in a Chinese textbook 1000 years ago. Medical theses, essays, and textbooks from the 18th and 19th centuries contain thoughts about the causes and treatment of neonatal jaundice. Neonatal jaundice is extremely common because almost every newborn develops an unconjugated serum bilirubin level of more than 1. 8 mg/dL during the first week of life. Neonatal jaundice first becomes visible in the face and forehead. Incidence figures are difficult to compare because authors of different studies do not use the same definitions for significant neonatal jaundice.

Furthermore, identification of infants to be tested depends on visual recognition of jaundice by health care providers. The incidence of neonatal jaundice is increased in infants of East Asian, American Indian, and Greek descent. Black infants are affected less often than white infants. For this reason, significant jaundice in a black infant merits a closer evaluation of possible causes, including G-6-PD deficiency. 49% of East Asian, 20% of white, and 12% of black infants had serum bilirubin levels of more than 10 mg/dL. The risk of developing significant neonatal jaundice is higher in male infants.

Reference Sheet-Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 150. -Boamah L, Balistreri WF. Manifestations of liver disease. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman

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Jaundice: Treatment, Symptoms and Causes. (2017, Mar 30). Retrieved from


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