How to cure jaundice?

December 15, 2020

Jaundice is a disease which causes the colour of the skin and the whites of the eye to turn yellow. The yellowing happens due to an excess of bilirubin in the blood, which can occur due to liver disease, excessive breakdown of red blood cells, or obstruction of the bile duct. Any symptoms like yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, vomiting, fever and very dark urine, do consult a medical expert immediately. 

Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is created in the body when old red blood cells carrying oxygen to all parts of our body break down. This breakdown of the red blood cells is a normal process. The red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days and new red blood cells are manufactured to replace the dying ones. The bilirubin which gets created when the old red blood cells break down, circulate through the bloodstream and travels to the liver.  From the liver, it is excreted into the bile duct, and stored in the gallbladder. From the gallbladder, the bilirubin is released in small quantities, as bile, into the small intestine. Here,  it helps to digest fats and then is eventually excreted from the body with stool.

The symptoms of jaundice include:

  1. Yellow tinge on the skin and in the whites of the eyes
  2. Vomiting
  3. High fever
  4. Dark coloured urine
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Pale coloured stool
  7. Abdominal pain (especially in the liver region)
  8. Weakness
  9. Weight loss
  10. Swelling of the abdomen due to the accumulation of fluid

The medical treatment of jaundice targets the specific cause, rather than the jaundice itself. For example:

  • Hepatocellular jaundice is treated with antiviral medications and steroids
  • Hemolytic jaundice is treated with iron supplements
  • Obstructive jaundice is treated with surgery to remove the obstruction followed by medication
  • There is also medication induced jaundice, in other words, jaundice which occurs as a side effect to consuming certain medicines. In such cases the medicines are discontinued and alternative medicines are prescribed.

The most important step is to consult a doctor when your body starts showing the symptoms. You must take even the slightest symptom serious as jaundice can be life-threatening to some people.

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