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23 Jul

Jaundice – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Jaundice forms when there is too much bilirubin in your system. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is formed by the breakdown of dead red blood cells in the liver. Normally, the liver gets rid of bilirubin along with old red blood cells. Jaundice is a sign of an underlying disease.


What are the causes of jaundice?

The most common cause of jaundice in older babies and children is an infection of the liver, called hepatitis. Other causes are very rare. The yellowish skin color associated with jaundice is because of a bilirubin overload in the body. Bilirubin is a product of red blood cell breakdown, which is a normal process.


Symptoms of jaundice:

If a person has jaundice, you’ll notice his/her skin turning yellowish. The whites of his/her eyes will be yellow too. A child with jaundice might also have dark yellow urine and pale-colored feces. His/her skin might be itchy.

Symptoms of jaundice include:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Weight loss.



Urine can be tested for urobilinogen, which is produced when bilirubin is broken down. Finding high or low levels can help pinpoint the type of jaundice. Blood tests may be used to check for conditions like malaria or hepatitis. A liver function blood test may indicate hepatitis, cirrhosis or alcoholic liver disease


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