Jaundice is a medical condition that is a symptom that indicates some sort of malfunctioning and disorders in the liver, which is considered as one of the largest and one of the most important organs of the body and in some cases from the abnormalities in your gallbladder, pancreas, red blood cells. Jaundice is caused both in infants and adults, but it is primarily found among adults in increased numbers. The main reason behind the cause of jaundice is the increased levels of a type of yellow-colored pigment called bilirubin manufactured as hemoglobin within the red blood cells of your body. This bilirubin is transferred to the liver through the blood flow. Jaundice can be of different types and there may be a varied number of causes behind the occurrences of jaundice in an adult body that needs to be thoroughly discussed.
All You Need To Know About Jaundice:
Our liver takes in a yellow pigment called bilirubin and gives it out by filtering it. The excess of this pigment in the bloodstream or the malfunctioning of the liver to purify the pigment may be a possible chance of jaundice. There are about three types of jaundice that are mostly found to occur among adults. They are:
Possible Causes Of Jaundice Among Adults:
The main reason behind the occurrence of jaundice in adults is that the liver cannot function sufficiently to purify the dead cells of hemoglobin turned into bilirubin. This bilirubin surplus in your body can be caused due to a varied number of reasons. Some of them are listed below:
- Hepatitis: Hepatitis is known as a type of chronic and an acute viral infection in the body that leads to malfunctioning of your liver and liver damage that causes jaundice in adults and are found to last in adult bodies for approximately six months or longer. Doctors say that overconsumption of harmful drugs or several types of autoimmune disorders might be the causes of hepatitis infection.
- Hepatitis A: Hepatitis A is a type of harmful viral infection that not only leads to chronic inflammation in the liver but also damages liver functions severely. Hepatitis A is a major reason behind the occurrence of jaundice among aged individuals and it is a highly contagious form of disease that is known to get transmitted through contaminated food or water.This disease leads to several symptoms in your body like nausea, vomiting, pain in the stomach, high fever, loss of appetite, weakness and fatigue, muscle pain and headaches, dark urine, paleness, or discoloration of stools, yellowing of eyes and skin tissues which are the signs of enlargement of liver. If you are having symptoms of hepatitis A, you should immediately seek medical help because this viral infection is easily treatable and can be treated by a process called immunization before traveling to contagious places or areas where there is a lack of proper sanitization procedures.
- Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is also a viral infection that is known tocause liver inflammation and responsible for causing jaundice among adults characterized by fatigue and extreme weakness, dark urine, muscular pain, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, yellowness in the eyes and skin cells. This is a highly contagious disease that gets transmitted through direct contact with infected blood while being injected with a contaminated needle or the virus may get transmitted into the child from the mother during birth, transfer from mother to baby during birth and using a razor or any other personal items that are contaminated with infected fluid. Hepatitis B is severe condition of your liver that may worsen your liver conditions if left untreated for long, causing life- threatening disorders like liver cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, and can eventually lead to death.
- Hepatitis E: Hepatitis E, like the other forms of hepatitis is a severe viral infection in the liver that spreads by drinking or eating contaminated food or water, dwelling in areas with lack of hygiene or sanitation, transfusions of contaminated blood into the body, or transmission from mother to the child during birth with similar symptoms of hepatitis like yellowing of the skin, dark stool and urine, joint and muscular pain, loss of appetite, pain in the abdomen and stomach upset, liver enlargement, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and fever are possible symptoms.
- Alcohol-related liver disease: Overconsumption of alcohol and hard drinks are linked to severe chronic inflammatory liver damage and liver disorders like jaundice that can cause malfunctioning of liver. This condition is further responsible for the occurrences of several types of liver diseases like alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic liver scarring or cirrhosis characterized by symptoms like rapid bleeding, lack of blood coagulation or bruising, extreme weakness and fatigue, changes in your mental state along with yellowing of the skin or eyes (sclera), pain, discomfortor swelling in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss that can damage the liver profusely.
- Blockage in the bile ducts: Bile is an important digestive fluid that is carried by thin tubes known as the bile duct from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. But this passage sometimes gets blocked by several hindrances like gall bladder stones, liver and pancreatic cancer cells, or rare liver diseases like liver scaring. This blockage of the bile duct finally leads to a number of liver damages, including jaundice in adults.
- Stones in Gall bladder: There is a small gland called gall bladder under the liver that plays an important role in the transmission of a fluid called bile from the liver and gall bladder to the small intestine and thus in the process of digestion. This small gland may often develop some hard, pebble-like pieces of materials that are frequently known as‘gall bladder stones’ or ‘gallstones’ that are often found to block the passage of bile through the bile duct that causes jaundice in adults by increasing the amount of yellow pigments called bilirubin in the bloodstream, causing yellowing of optic scelra and the skin cells and tissues.
- Cancer in Pancreas: Pancreas is considered as one of the most important digestive organs in the body apart from liver that is very much vulnerable to several types of disorders including cancer that can cause jaundice among adults by blocking the bile duct.
- Adversities of certain medications: Continuous overconsumption of medications like acetaminophen, penicillin, birth control pills, and steroids without proper advice of registered medical practitioner can be life- threatening and can be a major cause liver diseases like jaundice.
- Cirrhosis in Liver: Liver cirrhosis is a severe damage or scare in the liver that worsens the condition of your liver slowly over a prolonged period of time.The major reasons behind the occurrence of liver cirrhosis can be being overweight or obesity, overconsumption of high doses of alcohol and related hard drinks, suffering from hepatitis (mostly hepatitis B and C) for a longer period of time or several other viral infections. Doctors say that liver cirrhosis is one of the most important causes of jaundice among adults.
- Sickle- Cell Anemia: Sickle cell anemia is an abnormal condition of the red blood cells, mostly found among people with African or Caribbean ancestry in which the red blood cells in our body become sticky and curved and the liver starts malfunctioning, as it becomes unable to purify them and causes an excess in the amount of bilirubin which finally leads to jaundice.
Symptoms of Jaundice:
- Yellowing of eyes and skin: In case of jaundice, there is a surplus of yellow bilirubin pigments in your body that makes your skin and the white portions of eyes, known as scelrabecome white in color.
- High Fever: A very common symptom of jaundice is falling sick and trembling with a high fever when your body becomes awfully weak.
- Vomiting: During jaundice, the liver starts malfunctioning and thus the bile disrupts proper digestion, which finally leads to vomiting.
- Changes In Color Of Urine And Stool: As jaundice occurs in the body, the liver fails to perform the process of purification properly and thus the color of our excretory substances like stool and urine changes.
- Abdominal Pain: Stomach pain or pain in the surrounding areas of the abdomen is a common symptom of jaundice that occurs due to the irregular functioning of the bile and liver.
Possible Ways Of Diagnosis:
Jaundice among adults cannot be treated by itself. In case of severe and chronic liver infections from the hepatitis virus, jaundice will go away on its own as the liver begins to heal. But in the case of blockage of the bile duct or any malfunction of the gall bladder due to the presence of gall bladder stones, then you should go to your doctor for medical treatment or surgery of the gall bladder. Severe jaundice can be detected by several symptoms like yellowing of eyes and skin, and the actual amount of bilirubin in your blood through a bilirubin test, which your doctor may suggest, and other necessary tests and check-ups like complete blood count (CBC) and other liver tests. If you have jaundice, your level of bilirubin will be high. In that case, it is essentially important to abide by the instructions of your medical caregiver and maintain a healthy diet and a proper lifestyle to keep your liver out of danger and minimize the chances of developing jaundice or other liver problems, mostly in adults.
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