Jaundice: The very name of Jaundice creates a panicky sensation in any sensible mind. Often referred to as icterus, Jaundice is the turning yellow of the skin, the white portion of the eyes, and also the conjunctiva. Even the mucous membranes turn yellow. Jaundice, one of the seriously harmful allergies and diseases, has been termed from the French word ‘Jaune’ which means yellow.
How can detect Jaundice
It is very tough to detect this disease. In the initial stages, the yellowish color of the skin and eyes are almost imperceptible. Therefore in most cases, these are ignored. When it is detected in the later stages, the disease already takes a serious form. When treatment becomes tough. Therefore, it is always advised that if you find the least of the symptom of Jaundice, do consult the doctor. The yellowing starts from the face. It gradually spreads to the rest of the body.
Cause of Jaundice
Jaundice is caused when the level of bilirubin in the blood gets increases. After the death of the red blood cells, the heme that hemoglobin contains gets transformed into bilirubin. Naturally, the count of bilirubin increases, resulting in the increasing possibility of Jaundice. If in any case, the red blood cells start breaking down, it increases the possibility of Jaundice.
Types of Jaundice
There are mainly three types of Jaundice. They are Pre- Hepatic Jaundice, Hepatic Jaundice and post-hepatic Jaundice. There is also another kind of Jaundice, called Neonatal Jaundice. Let us have a quick look at the types of Jaundice, their causes and their effects.
Pre- Hepatic Jaundice is caused for the red blood cells that have broken down. This breaking down of the red blood cells is known as hemolysis. Tropical nations are the worst victims of pre-hepatic Jaundice. Mere malaria results in this kind of Jaundice in those countries. There are some particular genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia that cause the breakdown of red blood cells. These diseases automatically cause pre-hepatic Jaundice.
Hepatic Jaundice is caused by hepatotoxicity, liver diseases due to excessive consumption of alcohol, and, most importantly, Hepatitis. Almost all of these diseases cut down the liver’s ability to metabolize. The bilirubin is not excreted from the liver. Therefore chances of Jaundice increases. This type of Jaundice is found to have affected nearly five percent of the world’s population.
Post- hepatic Jaundice, also referred to as cholestasis, is caused if the drainage of the bile in the biliary system gets interrupted badly. If there are gallstones in the common bile duct, the chances of post-hepatic Jaundice are high. Pancreatic cancer also causes post hepatic Jaundice.
The other form of Jaundice is Neonatal Jaundice. It is harmless in normal cases. It generally happens to newborn babies. It starts affecting the child’s body on the second day of its birth and stays till the eighth day. In case of the prematurely born babies, the Jaundice may continue till the 14th day.
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