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Healthy Community Healthy You – Jaundice – Yellow Warning Sign

By   /  July 6, 2024  /  No Comments

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough – Jaundice occurs when the skin turns a yellowish color, even including the whites of the persons’ eyes and mucus membranes. The yellow pigment is the result of high levels of bilirubin in the body which is a type of bile. The liver produces bile which is a fluid that helps with digestion. Bilirubin’s specific job is to help breakdown red blood cells. Causes of jaundice could be from tumors, gallstones, and/or hepatitis.

During the production of bilirubin, there are factors that can affect this process, thus resulting in jaundice. Causes could be alcohol in the body, the presence of hepatitis A, B, and/or C, medicines, anabolic steroids, metabolic defects, and/or autoimmune disorders. Any of these could impede upon the two phases of bilirubin production which include the reabsorption of large hematoma (when blood collected under the skin). The other phase involves hemolytic anemias which is when blood cells are destroyed before their lifespan is over.

Other than seeing the yellow pigment, signs of jaundice (short-term) include fever, flu-like symptoms, chills, abdominal pain, and/or very dark urine. Visible signs include bruising, palmer erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips), and spider angiomas (collection of blood vessels surfacing the skin). The inflame size and tenderness of the liver can also be a symptom of jaundice. This is because jaundice can occur with liver disease. There could be blockage that is happening while bilirubin is being produced. This could occur from gallstones, pancreatic tumors, and/or gallbladder cancer. 

Jaundice itself doesn’t necessarily have to be treated, but the causes and side effects can be. Some people get itchy skin which can be treated with topical creams. Some people vomit and have an upset stomach which can be treated with herbal teas and ginger. Being careful of liver health is important and one would want to stay away from alcohol and treat any form of hepatitis. Adequate hydration is critical. Some foods are more liver friendly than others. Packed, canned, and smoked foods should be avoided. Whole, fresh foods are the best options. There are also herbal remedies. Following a healthy diet and keeping a healthy weight is always pivotal for good health. It isn’t jaundice itself that is the problem; its causation that should be addressed. Our body gives us warning signs we shouldn’t ignore.

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