Jaundice – treatment, symptoms, diagnosis

Description of Jaundice

Mass Jaundice is well known to most people. In the predominant cases, the disease is accompanied by a characteristic yellow coloration of the skin, which is where the pop-cultural name of this health condition, also known by its Latin name – Icterus, originates.

The reason for the presence of jaundice is the increased amount of bilirubin in a person’s blood. This “disease” is more of a medical condition and is itself a symptom rather than a definitive diagnosis of a specific disease.

There are 3 main types with which it is widely known, including – hemolytic, cholestatic and hepatic.

Bilurbin is a by-product of the natural everyday destruction of red blood cells – erythrocytes in the body.

The hemoglobin molecule that is released into the blood during this process is divided into heme and a protein part, and the heme undergoes a chemical transformation into bilirubin, which is transported to the liver and through the bile from the liver enters the duodenum in the human body.

Disturbances of liver metabolism, however, can cause jaundice.

Symptoms of Jaundice

One of the main symptoms of jaundice is yellowing of the skin, but it can also affect other areas, such as the mucous membranes (eg in the mouth) and the whites of the eyes.</p >

This is due to the accumulation of excess bilirubin in the blood, which is deposited in the tissues, including the skin.

One of the important indicators of the healthy functioning of the liver and excretory tracts is the color of the feces. In jaundice, they become discolored or extremely light due to the presence of high levels of bilirubin.

Another characteristic symptom of jaundice is the darkening of the urine. Urine becomes deep dark yellow or brown due to the presence of excess bilirubin that is excreted through the kidneys.

Itchy skin is a common symptom of jaundice. The skin can be affected by the accumulation of bilirubin, which spreads into the tissues, and this can cause unpleasant itching and irritation.

Jaundice can be a consequence of various underlying diseases and complications.

The most common causes of jaundice are viral hepatitis (e.g. hepatitis A, B, C, D and E), alcoholic liver damage, gallstones, cholestasis (impeded drainage of bile acids from liver) and other inflammatory or infectious diseases of the liver and excretory tracts.

In newborn babies, jaundice is a common phenomenon called “physiological jaundice of the newborn”.

This is a temporary condition caused by the immature function of the liver in the first days after birth.

Symptoms are usually felt around the third day after birth and then gradually resolve without the need for treatment.

However, jaundice in newborns can also be a sign of other problems, such as early breakdown of red blood cells, birth trauma or rare genetic conditions.

Regardless of the cause, if you notice symptoms of jaundice, it is important to seek medical advice.

The doctor will carry out examinations and do the necessary tests to determine the cause of the jaundice and offer appropriate treatment if necessary.

In some cases, jaundice can be a serious symptom of a serious illness, so it is crucial to seek medical help and follow the recommendations of specialists.

How is jaundice treated

Treatment for jaundice depends on the cause of the underlying disease that led to it, as well as any complications associated with it.

After making the diagnosis, the attending physician may not prescribe hospitalization and you may be treated at home. It is possible, although home treatment is prescribed, to remain under medical supervision.

Medical treatment with intravenous fluids, drugs, and antibiotics may be required, even if a blood transfusion is needed.

If it is established that a certain drug is the cause of jaundice, its intake must necessarily be discontinued.

In some cases of jaundice in newborns, exposing the baby to special lights – phototherapy or blood transfusion may be necessary to lower the bilirubin level.

It is possible to require surgical treatment. Some recommendations for home treatment of jaundice

The main goal of home treatment is to relieve the symptoms of the underlying disease that caused the jaundice and to stop its progression. The various measures they can take are:

  • Maintain a normal level of hydration of the body by taking sufficient amounts of fluids, including refraining from physical exertion.
  • Taking medication only if prescribed by your doctor.
  • Avoiding drugs, herbs or nutritional supplements that may cause harmful side effects. If necessary, consult your doctor.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol until you have discussed it with your doctor and he has given you permission.
  • Abstaining from certain foods that are contraindicated for your condition, if such a restriction is prescribed for you.

In some cases of jaundice in a newborn, the doctor may to recommend that parents leave their baby near well-lit windows several times a day to lower bilirubin levels.

When developing jaundice in the newborn, caused by breast milk, sufficient milk intake should be ensured for the baby to minimize the effects of this unpleasant health condition.

Preventing Jaundice

Preventing jaundice requires careful attention to healthy habits and hygiene.

One of the most important aspects is vaccination against viral hepatitis, especially for people who are at higher risk, such as healthcare workers or travelers to regions with a high prevalence of viral hepatitis.

A healthy diet also plays a key role – eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins supports liver function.

Avoidance of alcohol and drug consumption is essential as these substances can seriously damage the liver and cause jaundice.

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