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Dietary precautions during initial stages of jaundice

My child is 12+ I have recently seen yellowish colour in his eyes his stool is also white in colour. Is it Jaundice? Please advice on precautions?
(October 13, 2010)

Jaundice occurs due to high levels bilirubin levels in the body. Excess bilirubin is processed in the liver and excreted in the bile. This bile is then used to digest the fats in the body. When there is an obstruction in the liver or the liver cannot remove this excess bilirubin, jaundice occurs. There are many causes of jaundice – these include malaria, certain diseases of the blood, leptospirosis, and liver diseases and so on.

The most common cause of jaundice is viral hepatitis. This is when the liver gets infected due to certain viruses. Hepatitis A or Hepatitis E are two forms of jaundice that are caused by contaminated food or water. This can occur if either the food or the water is contaminated with sewage water. This kind of jaundice occurs more frequently during the monsoons when there can be several outbreaks of this. Jaundice can also spread through contaminated or infected needles, syringes or during a blood transfusion. This kind of jaundice is known as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.  Hepatitis B can also be spread through sexual encounters or from a mother to her baby during the delivery. Jaundice can also occur in new born babies. This is because new born babies produce bilirubin faster than their bodies can eliminate it.

Jaundice precautions for the above mentioned kinds of jaundice are given below:-

• Vaccinate all family members against Hepatitis B.
• If you have contracted Hepatitis B, jaundice precautions for you include covering any cuts or wounds that you have. If you happen to cut yourself badly, ensure that strong bleach is used to clean up the spill.
• Intakes of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, is also good as a deficiency of these cause nervous disorders. These nervous disorders lead to spasmic movements in the bile duct and contribute to the development of jaundice.
• Patients who are suffer from the Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus should not be allowed to donate blood, organs or semen.
• Jaundice precautions for those persons who suffer from either Hepatitis A or Hepatitis E include good personal hygiene. It is important to keep clean and in particular wash hands regularly. Entire families can avoid getting either type of jaundice if these precautions during jaundice are followed.
• Do not eat unhygienic food or food not cooked properly.
• Studies have shown that a deficiency in Vitamin E contributes to an attack of jaundice. Nuts and leafy vegetables which are good sources of Vitamin E should be consumed regularly.
• Beet leaves also help to improve your liver function. Drink a juice of beet leaves twice a day.
• Ensure that only disposal syringes and needles are used, as and when required.
• Boil and filter all drinking water.
• Jaundice precautions also include taking adequate rest, and avoiding any kind of stress – emotional, psychological or physical.

Vitamin C if taken in large doses is believed to reduce jaundice duration. Remember that the treatment chosen will depend on the cause of jaundice.

Submitted by C N on October 13, 2010 at 02:13


Icterus or jaundice is the discoloration (yellow) of the skin, the whites of the eyes and the mucous membranes. It is caused due to high levels of bilirubin in the blood, which occurs when the liver is unable to clean the blood of the excess bilirubin effectively. The liver basically converts the unconjugated bilirubin into a water soluble conjugated bilirubin. The conjugated bilirubin gets filtered into the bile, passes onto the gall bladder, and is finally expelled from the body through the intestines. It is important to treat jaundice as an excess of bilirubin levels can damage the brain and the nervous system. Jaundice by itself cannot be called a disease but rather is the name used to describe the symptom of yellow discoloration that appears due to the disorder. The symptoms you have described for your son (the yellow discoloration of the eyes and the pale stool) match the symptoms associated with jaundice, but it is advisable that you consult a doctor to find out if your son is actually suffering from jaundice.

Among the treatment options available you can consider using something called 'blue band light' treatment or the use of antibiotics or anti viral drugs. Consultation with your doctor will help decide which the most effective treatment; if any is needed. The treatment chosen will depend on the cause of the jaundice. Meanwhile there are some dietary precautions that you should take during the initial stages of jaundice. These include the consumption of soybean for iron and vitamin B. The consumption of green cabbage and pulses, which help increase folate levels, and the consumption of oats and unsweetened muesli, in order to increase the levels of fiber, are advised until recovery is complete. All these factors combined helps the body fight off the jaundice better and effectively reduces the duration of the jaundice and its symptoms. Another very important precautionary measure is to cut down your son’s intake of spicy or oily foods. In order to make sure it is jaundice a bilirubin test is important. You should also consider putting your son on a diet that contains good quantities of eggs, milk and pulses. Boiled potatoes and bread will provide a good source of carbohydrates and is helpful. Have your son consume fresh lemon juice, coconut water and fresh vegetables as it is helpful in fighting off the jaundice. Vitamin C taken in large doses can also help reduce the duration of the disorder.

Submitted by M S on July 28, 2008 at 04:51


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