Jaundice is the yellowish pigmentation of skin, sclera (white part of eye) and other mucous membranes. This is due to the increase in the level of bilirubin in blood. Jaundice is also known as icterus.
Bilirubin is the pigment that is formed by the breakdown heme(iron) in red blood cells.This bilirubin after circulating through blood, reaches the liver. In the liver bilirubin is excreted into the bile duct and is stored in gallbladder. This is then secreted into small intestine as bile, which aid in digesting food. When the level of bilirubin increases it will spread to the surrounding tissues leading to yellow pigmentation.
Causes of Jaundice
- Acute inflammation of the liver
- Liver infection
- Hyperbilirubinemia ( prevent liver from removing bilirubin)
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptom of jaundice is yellowish pigmentation of skin and sclera (white part of eye). In addition to this the following symptoms are also noticed
- Weight loss
- Urine in dark colour
- Color change of stool
- Abdominal pain
If you are noticing any of the above symptoms, then attend a screening camp by just one click.
Bilirubin test, blood count, hepatitis tests can be used to diagnose jaundice. In addition to this imaging tests like CT scan, MRI scan, Ultrasound scan can also be used to get clear picture of its spread.
Anticonvulsants are used to increase the excretion and conjugation of bilirubin. Lipid-lowering agents are used to lower the levels of serum triglycerides and VLDL levels. Jaundice caused by hepatitis is treated using antiviral or steroid medications. Anemia-induced jaundice is treated by increasing the amount of iron in the blood. Based on the cause of jaundice the treatment procedure varies.
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