Learn About Ailments | Jaundice


Jaundice is a yellowy staining of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by high levels of the chemical bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is an indicator of liver disease, anaemia or problems with the metabolism. Accompanying symptoms of jaundice can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain. Obstructive jaundice has symptoms of itchy skin, darkened urine and pale stools.

In This Article
Did you know? Causes of jaundice
Symptoms of jaundice Diagnosis of jaundice
Related Terms

  • Over 50% of babies have jaundice during their first week
  • 8 out of 10 premature babies will have jaundice
  • 3-7% of the population have Gilbert's syndrome which causes jaundice

Jaundice (medical name 'icterus') is caused by a build up in the blood of a yellow coloured substance called 'bilirubin'. This occurs when red blood cells are broken down. Usually the liver  takes the bilirubin and filters it through the kidneys for it to then be excreted in urine. If problems arise in the liver or biliary system then excess bilirubin is produced.

Common causes of jaundice include:

Hepatitis – The five hepatitis viruses (A,B,C,D,E) cause the liver to become inflamed. Acute hepatitis can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or taking certain medicines.

Bile duct obstruction – Small tubes in the liver remove bile and if these become blocked or damaged the result can be a build up of bilirubin.

Anaemia – Haemolytic anaemia occurs when blood cells are destroyed by diseases such as malaria or autoimmune disease. This results in an increased production of bilirubin.

Gilbert's syndrome – This is an inherited condition which prevents enzymes in the body from functioning and preventing the processing bile.

Newborn jaundice – Known as neonatal jaundice, this problem affects over half of all babies in the first week of life and occurs because of the liver not being fully developed to deal with bilirubin. The condition usually clears without treatment after a week.

Other conditions that cause jaundice, although rare, include: Crigler-Najjar syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor's syndrome, Pseudojaundice.

The common symptom of jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Jaundice usually begins on the face and then spreads to other areas of the body.

Other symptoms which may accompany the yellow tinge include: fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.

Jaundice can also cause itchy skin and affect the colour of urine (darker) and stools (paler).

A diagnosis of jaundice will be easily made from the yellow tinge on the skin and eyes but the underlying cause of the condition will require tests.

The common test is for liver function to determine if the liver is functioning properly and a blood test to check for levels of bilirubin. You are likely to also be tested for hepatitis A, B and C and may require a conjugated bilirubin and unconjugated bilirubin test.

Obstructions in the liver will require an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan or MRI scan. You may also be referred for a scan of the bile ducts (known as a cholangiography) and if necessary, you may require a liver biopsy.

Blood cells
Haemolytic jaundice
Hepatocellular jaundice

Therapies to consider
Chinese Herbal Medicine Nutrition

Other Health Articles/Videos

Curing A Fear Of Flying

Fear Of Public Speaking Helped By Hypnotherapy

CBT - helping anxiety

Achieving a balanced lifestyle

Internet marketing for therapists

Sex, Intimacy and The Self

Curing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with Hypnotherapy

Childhood diseases - Glandular Fever

Gliders workout video - intermediate

Life Coaching - An overview

Advertise Here

By getting your products and services listed on GoToSee, you will be helping your business to be found by a highly targeted group of new potential clients.

Contact our sales team here

Classified Ads

Classified Health Ads


Search The Listings Here

Back Back
Email this page Print this page
Bookmark and Share
Do not copy from this page - plagiarism will be detected by Copyscape. If you want to use our content contact us for syndication criteria.
GoToSee Home | About Us | Contact Us | Media | Terms & Conditions | Site Map
Learn About Therapies | Learn About Ailments | Find A Practitioner | Find A College Course | Health Articles Videos | Health News | Natural Health Products |
Free Classifieds | Counselling | Hypnotherapy | Nutritional Therapy | Osteopathy | Physiotherapy | Psychotherapy | Health Articles Videos RSS | Health News RSS |
Low Cost Therapist WebsitesAdvertising | Internet Marketing Team

Copyright 2013 GoToSee.co.uk
The UKs leading Complementary Therapy, Complementary Medicine & Alternative Medicine Website

We always advise with any conditions, ailment or health problem you take independent medical advice
from your GP before considering a complementrary therapy, alternative medicine or alternative treatment.