A number of medical conditions can adversely affect our overall health and our well-being. Added stress may also be experienced if the aforementioned medical condition is something that cannot be easily explained or understood by people with no medical education or background. One such medical condition is known as jaundice and its main symptom which is the turning of the skin and other parts of the body yellow can be quite stressful for most people. Fortunately, there are some books available in the market today that talks about the details of Jaundice and in this article, we look at what jaundice is, its symptoms and causes, and one of the best-recommended books for everything about jaundice. Read on to find out more!
Jaundice: A Brief Introduction
Jaundice is the yellowish color to the whites of the eyes and the skin. Jaundice may also refer to having body fluids that are color yellow. The skin and the eye’s colors will be of varying degrees based on bilirubin levels. Bilirubin is a form of waste commonly present in the blood. Levels that are moderate can lead to a yellow tinge while levels that are high can result in a yellow tinge.
In the United States (US), around sixty percent (60%) of all babies born have jaundice. However, the said condition can happen to anyone at any age and may be caused by a medical condition that may be “underlying”. Jaundice will commonly indicate an issue with the bile duct or the liver. But what is jaundice really?
Jaundice is when the white of the eyes and the skin experience yellowing due to the improper processing of bilirubin. This is commonly the result of a liver problem. It is also referred to as icterus. Bilubirin is a form of waste material that can stay in the blood after the blood has had its iron removed. The liver makes sure that the waste in the blood is filtered out. Once bilirubin gets to the liver, other substances have themselves attached to it. The resulting combination is called conjugated bilirubin. The liver is also responsible for the production of bile, a form of juice used for digestion. This bile is then penetrated by conjugated bilirubin before leaving the body. This form bilirubin is responsible for giving the brown color to feces.
With excess bilirubin, the surrounding tissues may experience leakage of the said substance. This condition is referred to as hyperbilirubinemia, which can give the eyes and the skin yellow color.
What are some of the Risk Factors and Symptoms of Jaundice
Jaundice is usually the result of disorders that are underlying that results in the liver being unable to get rid of excess bilirubin or the body’s excess production of the aforementioned substance. Both situations can lead to this bilirubin getting leaked into surrounding tissues.
Some of the medical conditions that can lead to jaundice include:
- Acute liver inflammation: This can lead to the impairment of the liver in conjugating and secreting any buildup or accumulation of bilirubin.
- Bile duct inflammation: This can cause jaundice due to the prevention of the secretion of bile and bilirubin removal.
- Bile Duct Obstruction: This can lead to the liver having impaired disposal of bilirubin.
- Hemolytic anemia:Bilirubin production is increased when red blood cells in large amounts are broken down.
- Gilbert’s syndrome: This is a form of the condition that is inherited and can lead to the impaired ability of enzymes to have the excretion of bile processed.
- Cholestasis: This condition can lead to the interruption of the bile flow coming from the liver resulting in the conjugated bilirubin staying in the liver instead of getting removed from the system.
Other conditions that are rare which can also lead to jaundice include:
- Crigler-Najjar syndrome: This is a condition that is inherited that can lead to the impairment of a certain enzyme that is tasked with bilirubin processing.
- Dubin-Johnson syndrome: This condition is also an inherited type of jaundice that is chronic that can lead to the prevention of conjugated bilirubin from getting excreted from the liver’s cells.
- Pseudojaundice: This is a form of jaundice that is considered harmless. Beta-carotene can lead to the skin turning yellow and is not actually caused by bilirubin in excess quantities. This health condition can come about due to eating large amounts of melon, pumpkin, and carrot.
Some of the symptoms of the said health condition include itchiness, dark urine, pale stools, and skin and white of the eyes with a tinge of yellow which commonly starts out in a portion of the head before moving down the body. Some of the other symptoms that may accompany the reduced levels of bilirubin in the body also include dark urine, stools that are pale, fever, vomiting, weight loss, pain in the abdomen, and fatigue.
What are the possible treatment options for Jaundice?
The answer to this question is- it depends. Jaundice treatment will usually depend on which underlying condition caused it in the first place. This means that instead of addressing symptoms, treatments will commonly address the cause of jaundice. Some common treatments are:
- Jaundice caused by anemia is commonly treated by having iron in the blood boosted
- Jaundice caused by hepatitis will include steroids and antivirals
- Jaundice caused by obstructions can be addressed with the surgical removal of the whatever it is obstructing proper bilirubin and bile flow
- Jaundice caused by some form of medication will usually require changing current medications or treatments being used (alternative medication).
What is one of the Best Recommended Book for Everything about Jaundice?
To get the best information on everything about jaundice, individuals are advised to check out the book entitled Textbook of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Second Edition. The chapter that specifically talks about Jaundice in this book is Chapter 15. The author of this book is Adrian Reuben MBBS, FCRP, FACG and it was first published in April of 2012.
What makes this book stand out is that while it may seem too technical at times, the information and details about jaundice is quite comprehensive and detailed. Check the book via the website https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118321386.ch15.