Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
A study conducted by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases stated that Jaundice is quite common in India, about 2.76 cases per 1000 people, however due to the pandemic’s effect on medical infrastructure, infection has been on a steady rise in the last two years. It is largely a non-invasive disease that subsides within a week, but can have complications on underlying health conditions and be dangerous for infants. This blog goes over how you can spot jaundice early, what treatment is available, especially from the best doctors in Mangalore and how you can maintain a good quality of life even after being afflicted.
What are the causes of Jaundice?
Jaundice is the excess production of bilirubin in the liver, so much so that it causes yellow-ish discoloration of the skin, sclera (whites of the eyes) and mucous membranes. It has a host of causes, but the condition itself happens through the breakdown of red blood cells, producing extra bilirubin.
Jaundice is a fairly common ailment, due to how many causes it has. Some of the primary ones are -
When a large clot gets reabsorbed into the bloodstream
A condition known as hemolytic anaemia, where red blood cells die off prior to the completion of their regular life cycle
A host of viruses, namely Hepatitis A, B and C, as well as a condition called Epstein-Barr virus, which is more commonly known as Mono.
Rare genetic conditions, like Dubin Johnson syndrome where the liver produces excess bilirubin
Some medicines, including toxicity from acetaminophen, penicillin and oral contraceptives, to name a few
Additionally Jaundice can be a symptom of other ailments like gallstones, gallbladder cancer or liver/pancreatic cancer.
The symptoms of Jaundice are fairly straightforward and give it its moniker of the “yellow fever”. Yellow discoloration of the skin, sclera and mucous membranes are the most obvious symptoms, however there are a lot of secondary symptoms to keep an eye out for, including fever, chills, itchy skin, abdominal pain and much darker than usual urine and stool. Visiting an infectious disease specialist can help you gain more clarity on how your body is processing the illness as well.
In adults, jaundice is largely cleaned up by your immune system and healthy adults can expect a recovery in 1-1 ½ weeks. If the problem persists, there may be complications with your immune system that you must consult a doctor for, particularly a gastroenterologist as they can tell you the root cause of the illness. In infants, due to a still-developing immune system, jaundice can be far more harmful.
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