Causes and Symptoms of Jaundice

Yellowish eyes, pale skin and sullen nails are the alarming signs of jaundice, which exhibit the severity of ailment a patient is suffering with and dreadness of their loved ones, who are putting every effort to bring fastest recovery. Let us extend a helping hand to combat this scary medical condition with the enlightenment of some connecting information to jaundice. In this article, we will be unveiling its causes, states, symptoms, diagnosis ways, consumables & dietary intakes, risks and other associated tips to comprehend this fatal state.

What are the causes?

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‘Bilirubin’ is a waste product which is produced as a result of the breakdown of RBC’s (red blood cells). It gets break down further and comes out of the body via excretory feces (stools). Improper excretion and weak immunity leads to rising level of bilirubin in blood and when level rises above 2.5 mg/dL then it turns yellowing of skin and whites of eyes, and the term is medically referred to as Jaundice.

States of Jaundice

This hazardous medical condition can be sub-categorized into three forms:

Pre-Hepatic

In this form an excessive breakdown of red blood cells occurs, which engulfs the liver’s ability to metabolize bilirubin.

Hepatocellular

It is a state when the liver sheds its ability to metabolize bilirubin and is often experienced as result of liver dysfunction.

Post-hepatic

When the body feels an inhibition in the excretion of bilirubin from the body, then it results in the third state, namely referred as post-hepatic jaundice.

Visible/Experienced Symptoms

Pale stool, Itchy skin, Vomiting, Bleeding (in rectum), Diarrhea, Loss of appetite, Fever, Abdominal pains and headaches, Weight loss, Swelling (legs and abdomen), Chills, Nausea, Dark urine and Weakness are some of the common symptoms of jaundice.

Diagnosis Ways

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There are several methods of examining the extent of Jaundice in one’s body, like blood test, amniotic fluid test and a urine test. The most common way of testing bilirubin levels is through a blood test. These test measures the levels of both conjugated and unconjugated bilirubin. The general bilirubin levels range from 0.2 mg/dL – 1.2 mg/dL in a healthy human being. If levels exceed this range then the individual has an increased risk of developing jaundice.

Consumables/Diet Intake in Jaundice

Fibrous Meals

Enzymatic inadequacy in food would make liver’s digestion job difficult. So, do not maintain your dietary intake away from natural enzymes and go for more and more fibrous fruits and meals like papaya, mango, berries, cruciferous vegetables such as kale and broccoli, oats, brown rice, and almonds which are rich in digestive enzymes. As per USDA (United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans), a man should consume 38 grams of fiber and woman should intake altleast 25 grams of fiber everyday.

Drinking adequate amount of water

Water is known as ‘Universal Solvent’ and it can dissolve almost anything, therefore sufficient amount of its daily intake maintains a proper circulation and fluidity within the body. It is advisable to intake at least 8 glasses of water per day, as it aids in draining out toxins from the body and demeans the density of blood, thereby making purification task easier for liver.

Sugarcane Juice

Drinking 1-2 glasses of sugarcane juice till improvement in the health is observed is considered mandatory, as it improves functionality of liver which indirectly regulates bilirubin levels in the blood. It has been evident that fresh sugarcane juice along with a few drops of lemon juice can also work wonders for the liver.

Ginger extract or additive

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Ginger is one of the warmly regarded herbs renowned to cure jaundice effectively. We can choose either way to take benefit from this natural remedy- as an extract or a meal additive. For preparing ‘Ginger extract’, take 1-2 inches of chopped ginger piece and a cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once the first boil is attained, then keep it rested for 5 minutes on a low sim of flame and serve the warm filtered extract of ginger in a cup. Its consumption will propel liver function as it possess mighty antioxidants and hypolipidemic properties.

Papaya Leaves Juice

Papaya leaves are nutrient source of enzymes like papain and chymopapain and befittingly support our digestive system. It also heals liver related problems like jaundice. In order to prepare papaya leaves juice, first of all take one to two stems of papaya leaves and grind them thoroughly to form a paste. After preparing the paste filter out the mixture to obtain juice, now take half tablespoon of juice and add a tablespoon quantity of honey to it and then the ultimate mixture will be attained which should be consumed two to three times a day for quick recovery.

Radish Leaves Juice

Radish is an immunizing edible root vegetable which is not befriended with the taste buds of many but act as foe to jaundice by flushing out excess bilirubin and detoxifying the blood. Also, Radish leaves have compounds which induces appetite by improvising the bowel movements. Daily drinking a glass of the extracted juice would be quite endearing for betterment of health.

Goat Milk

Goat milk is one of the nutritious beverages, which is often recommended in Indian society as a vital drink to fight against jaundice due to the presence of antibodies in it. If daily, consumption of 1 cup of goat milk is included in recovery diet, then definitely its going to be a life saver for the patient as it strengthens immunity.

Indian Gooseberry

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It is known for its safeguarding properties and therefore manifests a protective shield in the damaged liver cells and improve overall blood circulation. If the ‘partnering formulae’ has to be recommended in a most effective manner, then Vitamin C pertaining Gooseberry & Lemon juice is master of all ancient home remedies. When the duo juice is consumed, it actively helps in neutralizing the damage caused by free radicals and rejuvenates the optimal function of the liver again. In many parts of the world gooseberry is not readily available and in such cases lemon juice can be taken as an alternative of gooseberry. So, drink the combination of these two juices or at least any of them as much as possible in order to activate the liver shield within the body and restore proper liver functioning.

Risks Due to Jaundice

  • Drops down health instantly which becomes grueling to recover and brings lethargic attitude in day to day works.
  • Weak body is always prone to major infectious disease, in jaundice too exposure to different types of viral hepatitis has been seen vigilant.
  • Sheds weight and brings weakness in the body.
  • Medical conditions like malaria, sickle cell anemia, gallstones, cirrhosis, cancer, and autoimmune disorders have also been witnessed in extreme cases.

Other Associated Tips

  • Do not keep your body water scarce (Insufficient water intake) as it could be hazardous and is going to prolong recovery period. Drink at least eight glasses of fluids every day, as it prevents your body to be drained out and aids in maintaining a proper bowel movement.
  • Say yes to immunizing beverages like Herbal tea’s which are marvelous choice to opt for in jaundice as it purifies blood and helps in restoring the immunity of the body.
  • Instead of using iodized salt, try to add various flavorings of spices, lemon extract and lime juice to the food, so that along with taste buds, liver is also pleased.  
  • Alcohol can cause additional damage to the liver, so it’s actually best to avoid it completely or at least replace alcoholic beverages with low-calorie mocktails.
  • Daily eat at least 2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits.
  • Opt for lean proteins, such as fish, which are less likely to contribute to liver damage and are full of nutrients.
  • Saturated fats, for instance which are found in meat, are harder for liver to process, whereas unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, can be taken into account as moderation in food meals.
  • Refined sugar can cause fat buildup in the liver, so it is better to look upon foods containing natural sugar.
  • Eat small, frequent meals, rather than three large ones, as it do not burden the digestive system and keeps you cherishing throughout the day.

Doctor’s Visit

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  • If in the blood test bilirubin levels are found abnormal then doctor’s visit is must, so that state of jaundice is assessed accurately and medication is prescribed accordingly.
  • Doctor’s consultation should be sought in case of any of the symptoms are observed or any uneasiness is felt.
  • For dietary quantities and substitutes do not hesitate to meet doctor for advice.