Jaundice - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Summary about Jaundice in Urdu

یرقان کو انگریزی میں جائنڈس کہا جاتا ہے۔ یہ جگر کی بیماریوں کی ایک اہم ترین علامت ہے۔ یرقان آنکھوں اور جلد کے پیلے ہو جانے سے تشخیص کیا جاتا ہے اسی باعث اس کو پیلیا بھی کہا جاتا ہے۔ اس کی دیگر علامات میں مسوڑوں اور زبان کی رنگت تبدیل ہو کر پیلل یا سیاہی مائل ہو جانا شامل ہیں۔ اس کے علاوہ بھوک کی کمی، منہ کا تلخ ذائقہ، جلد پر دانے، کمزوری اور چڑچڑا پن شامل ہیں۔ بچوں میں پیدائش کے بعد یرقان کی علامات ظاہر ہو سکتی ہیں۔ اس بیماری کا علاج اور خوراک میں احتیاط اس سے نجات دلانے میں معاون ثابت ہوتے ہیں۔

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Summary about Jaundice in English

Jaundice is a liver disorder which is caused by overproduction of bilirubin. This may happen due to any liver damage or infection like hepatitis. It may also be induced by anemic conditions. Other than these, jaundice can also be a result of gall bladder problems. It is manifested by yellowing of skin and whites of eyes. Yellow colored urine and changed stool color is also a sign of jaundice. Vomiting, abdominal pain, and weight loss may also accompany. Infantile jaundice occurs because the baby's blood contains an excess of bilirubin, a yellow pigment.

 Infantile jaundice is a common disease, especially in babies born before the 38th week of pregnancy (premature babies), and in some breastfed babies. Infant jaundice usually occurs because a baby's liver is not mature enough to eliminate bilirubin in the blood. In some babies, an underlying condition can cause jaundice. In rare cases, abnormally high levels of bilirubin in the blood can cause neonatal brain damage, especially if certain risk factors for severe jaundice exist. Treatment of jaundice depends on its cause. Anemia-induced jaundice is treated by enhancing the amount of iron in the blood while hepatitis-induced jaundice is treated with antiviral or steroid medication.

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Symptoms of Jaundice

Sometimes the person may not have symptoms of jaundice and the condition may be discovered by mistake. The severity of symptoms depends on the underlying causes and the speed or slowness with which the disease develops.

If you have short-term jaundice (usually caused by infections), the following symptoms and signs may appear:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Stomach ache

  • Symptoms of the flu

  • Change the color of the skin

  • Dark stools of urine and or clay

If jaundice is not caused by infection, symptoms such as weight loss or itching of the skin (pruritus) may occur. Abdominal pain is the common symptoms if jaundice occurred due to the cancer of the bile duct and pancreas.

 . On occasion, it can cause jaundice in liver disease if:

  • Chronic hepatitis or inflammation of the liver.

  • Pyoderma gangrenosum (a type of skin disease)

  • Acute hepatitis A, B or C

  • Polyarthralgia (inflammation of the joints)

Causes of Jaundice

The main cause of the jaundice is excess bilirubin. Bilirubin, responsible for the yellow color of skin and eyes in jaundice. It is normally a part of the pigment released due to the degradation of "spent" red blood cells.

Newborns produce more bilirubin than adults because red blood cells are produced more in the early days of life. In normal people, the filtered bilirubin from the liver releases into the intestinal tract.  The immature liver of a newborn can often not eliminate bilirubin fast enough, resulting in excess bilirubin. Jaundice due to these normal neonatal conditions is called physiological jaundice and usually occurs on the second or third day of life.

Risk Factors of Jaundice

Jaundice is often a result of an underlying condition that causes the production of too much bilirubin or the liver is getting rid of it properly. Both lead to the deposition of bilirubin in tissues.

The underlying conditions that can cause jaundice includes:

Acute hepatitis:

This may affect the ability of the liver to conjugate bilirubin, leading to accumulation.

Inflammation of the bile ducts:

It can prevent the elimination of bile and excretion of bilirubin hence causing jaundice.

Bile obstruction: 

Getting rid of bilirubin is hindered due to this condition.

Hemolytic anemia:

Bilirubin production is increased due to excessive breakdown of RBCs.

Gilbert syndrome:

This is a hereditary disease that affects the ability of enzymes to treat bile excretion.

Cholestasis:

The flow of the bile interrupts from the liver by cholestasis. Conjugated bilirubin, which contains bile, remains in the liver rather than being excreted.

Preventive Measures of Jaundice

Jaundice is related to liver function. It is important to maintain the health of this vital organ by having a balanced diet, exercising regularly and not consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol.

Types of Jaundice

There are three main types of jaundice:

Hepatocellular jaundice:

Hepatocellular jaundice is caused by injury or disease in the liver.

Hemolytic yellowing:

Hemolytic yellowing occurs as a result of hemolysis or accelerated red cell degeneration, resulting in increased bilirubin production.

Obstructive jaundice:

Obstructive jaundice occurs as a result of bile duct obstruction. This prevents bilirubin from leaving the liver.