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Jaundice: Causes, Signs, Symptoms and treatment of jaundiceBY: Deena David | Category: Health and Fitness | Post Date: 2009-08-19
Jaundice is one of the most common liver problems that occur in human beings. There are thousands of cases of jaundice that are diagnosed around the world. The most common cause of jaundice is the obstruction of the bile duct or the loss of function of the bile producing liver cells. Several forms of jaundice are present. Almost all of these are marked by a yellow discoloration of the skin and the white part of the eyes. This article talks in detail of the various causes, signs, symptoms and the treatment for jaundice.
Liver: Location and function:
The liver which is located under the diaphragm is present just above the stomach. The liver does all the major functions of the body that include metabolism. It is like a mini laboratory in the body. The liver helps to inactivate hormones that are no longer necessary for the body function. It also synthesizes many amino acids. The liver also helps to break the protein that is taken from the food into sugar and also helps to store the extra sugar as fat that can be used for energy when ever necessary. It also produces substances like lecithin, cholesterol, bile and blood albumin. Liver also stores the various vitamins and minerals.
Extreme weakness, headache, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue severe constipation and nausea are some of the most common complications of a person suffering from jaundice. The other important feature is that the person suffering from jaundice has yellow discoloration of the eyes, tongue, skin and urine. In people who are having severe jaundice, there may be a dull pain in the region of the liver.
Causes of jaundice:
Jaundice occurs when there is malfunctioning of the liver. The malfunction may occur if there is an obstruction in the bile ducts. These bile ducts actually discharge the bile salts and the various pigments into the intestine. When there is an obstruction present in jaundice, the bile that has to get into the intestine gets mixed with the blood. This causes yellow discoloration of the skin and various other structures.
The obstruction in the bile duct could be due to the presence of gall stones or also due to inflammation of the liver. The inflammation of the liver is usually termed as hepatitis. This inflammation of the liver is usually caused by a virus. This viral cause of jaundice that is called hepatitis can be infectious, especially in overcrowded places. Dirty surroundings, improper hygiene and contamination of food and water can also lead to hepatitis and its spread.
There are certain other causes of jaundice that include pernicious anaemia, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever and tuberculosis. These conditions may not cause jaundice always, but at certain levels, jaundice can occur in these diseases.
Treatment of jaundice:
Simple forms of jaundice can be cured rapidly because there may be no associated problems. Diet therapy is very important as liver is the metabolizing organ. Recovery will be slow in very serious cases because of the destruction of liver cells that can occur. Rest in acute jaundice is very important. The patient should take in only fruit juices initially. Fat in the diet should be avoided for two weeks at least.
There is no real medical treatment for liver problems because any medications will cause more liver toxicity and dysfunction.
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