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Condition

Jaundice

Symptoms, Doctors, Treatments, Research & More

Condition 101

What is the definition of Jaundice?

Jaundice is a yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow coloring comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jaundice can be a symptom of several health problems.

What are the alternative names for Jaundice?

Conditions associated with jaundice; Yellow skin and eyes; Skin - yellow; Icterus; Eyes - yellow; Yellow jaundice

What are the causes for Jaundice?

A small number of red blood cells in your body die each day, and are replaced by new ones. The liver removes the old blood cells. This creates bilirubin. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed by the body through the stool.

Jaundice can occur when too much bilirubin builds up in the body.

Jaundice can occur if:

  • Too many red blood cells are dying or breaking down and going to the liver.
  • The liver is overloaded or damaged.
  • The bilirubin from the liver is unable to properly move into the digestive tract.

Jaundice is often a sign of a problem with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Things that can cause jaundice include:

  • Infections, most commonly viral
  • Use of certain drugs
  • Cancer of the liver, bile ducts or pancreas
  • Blood disorders, gallstones, birth defects and a number of other medical conditions

What are the symptoms for Jaundice?

Jaundice may appear suddenly or develop slowly over time. Symptoms of jaundice commonly include:

  • Yellow skin and the white part of the eyes (sclera) -- when jaundice is more severe, these areas may look brown
  • Yellow color inside the mouth
  • Dark or brown-colored urine
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Itching (pruritis) usually occurs with jaundice

Note: If your skin is yellow and the whites of your eyes are not yellow, you may not have jaundice. Your skin can turn a yellow-to-orange color if you eat a lot of beta carotene, the orange pigment in carrots.

Other symptoms depend on the disorder causing the jaundice:

  • Cancers may produce no symptoms, or there may be fatigue, weight loss, or other symptoms.
  • Hepatitis may produce nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or other symptoms.

What are the current treatments for Jaundice?

Treatment depends on the cause of the jaundice.

When should I contact a medical professional for Jaundice?

Contact your provider if you develop jaundice.

Jaundice
Jaundiced
Cirrhosis
Bili

REFERENCES

Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver tests. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 147.

Fargo MV, Grogan SP, Saquil A. Evaluation of jaundice in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2017;95(3):164-168. PMID: 28145671 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28145671.

Lidofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.

Taylor TA, Wheatley MA. Jaundice. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 25.

Latest Research

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  • Journal: The Journal of international medical research
  • Treatment Used: Prednisolone, Teprenone, Potassium Chloride, and Calcium Carbonate
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Clinical Trials

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Diagnostic Test
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Study Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 130
  • Start Date: January 1, 2021
Transcutaneous Bilirubinometry in Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia During and After Phototherapy: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Clinical Trial
Diagnostic Test
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Study Type: Diagnostic Test
  • Participants: 300
  • Start Date: October 1, 2020
Research of Diagnostic Value of Fecal miRNA and Intestinal Flora in Infants With BMJ