What is Jaundice? How Does It Happen?

Jaundice is a symptom of a variety of diseases and causes yellow tinted skin as well as yellow in the white parts of your eyes. Red blood cells being destroyed (due to age) causes higher levels of bilirubin in the body.

Bilirubin is a waste product of your red blood cells. When there is more bilirubin in your system, your eyes and skin are unable to maintain their natural color.

In normal circumstances, bilirubin is sent out of the body as waste. It’s actually what gives feces its brown color.

Liver and bile duct problems such as inflammation can lead to increased levels of bilirubin; which in turn lead to Jaundice. If the liver isn’t able to remove this chemical, there will be more in your system.

On the other side of things, if there is something blocking your body’s bile ducts (such as a tumor); this has a similar effect on the body.

Symptoms

Not only can your skin and eyes turn yellow but your urine (due to bilirubin being sent out of the body) may be a brownish color and your feces will appear lighter in color since there isn’t bilirubin to maintain the normal color. Individuals suffering from Jaundice are typically very itchy as well.

Some Jaundice Is Normal

Pregnancy can also lead to Jaundice so it’s important to check with your physician regularly to stay healthy not only for yourself but for the baby.

Jaundice is normal during the first few days after a child is born as the baby’s body is coping with many changes; but if the baby is still yellow or has yellow eyes, it’s important to know how to get rid of Jaundice.

Is There A Cure?

First and most importantly, you need to speak with your doctor to have them complete a few tests that may include blood work, MRI, CAT scan or an Ultrasound.

Your doctor will first do a physical examination and check for tumors in the abdomen and they will feel your liver to make sure it doesn’t feel too hard. A hard liver can mean more severe disease.

Blood work makes it easier for doctor to diagnose the problem if they haven’t already; giving them exact measurements of you bilirubin levels and such to figure out exactly where the problem lies. Of course, MRIs, CAT scans and Ultrasounds are just taking this a step further.

In order to get rid of Jaundice, your doctor must first know where the problem lies. If there is something blocking a bile duct; then it would need to be removed.

A biopsy may need to be done of your liver (by extracting a small piece and inspecting) to determine if there is cancer in or near the liver. Oftentimes, tumors can be removed and problems may never come back again.

It’s all about catching things early on so the healing process can begin. Waiting too long can lead to worse problems down the road.

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