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Jaundice  Symptoms And Diet Treatment


Jaundice is a fairly well known condition and is known to affect almost anybody at anytime of their lives. When a person suffers from jaundice, his or her skin and eyes turn yellow. This is due to bilirubin, a pigment produced in the liver and excreted in the bile. In healthy individuals this bilirubin is thrown out by the bile that mixes with “waste products” in the intestines and is excreted. However, when bilirubin levels in the body shoot up, this normal excretion of bilirubin is not possible which in turn stays in the body and leads to jaundice.
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Jaundice and liver problems go hand in hand as the bilirubin is produced by the liver. Jaundice may be a sign that a person is suffering from a liver problem. Jaundice and liver cancer are also linked. This is because a person suffering from this type of cancer is most likely to suffer from jaundice especially during the last stage of the cancer.

Jaundice and liver disease is also common. This is because it is possible to contract this disease through viruses such as the Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is one of the common causes of infective jaundice and it is transmitted through food and water. The hepatitis E virus can also cause this disease and this is also transmitted through water. The Hepatitis B and the Hepatitis C viruses are most dangerous of all viruses. They are mainly transmitted through blood and spread very rapidly. These deadly viruses can end up causing chronic liver diseases and liver cirrhosis. Jaundice is also the first sign of a liver disease.

Jaundice and liver failure are also correlated. People with very severe liver failure are known to be affected by jaundice. The liver assists digestion in a big way, helps the body get rid of toxins, builds important proteins and sustains the energy-making compound levels in the blood. Liver failure affects most of these important functions. It can be a result of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, due to infections such as Hepatitis virus infections, cancer and sometimes even genetic factors. If this is left untreated or is mistreated it can even lead to death.

A blockage in the bile duct or bile pathways, stones and growths or liver damage is can also lead to jaundice. Jaundice and liver damage are signs that must not be ignored. A liver damage can ultimately lead to a liver failure which can be life threatening. Liver cirrhosis is one type of liver damage wherein the healthy liver tissues are replaced by fibrosis or non-functioning fibrous tissue. Due to this, the blood flow in the liver is disrupted ultimately leading to a total loss of liver function.

Liver function tests are a group of tests that help examine the liver’s overall health. These tests check if liver infections exist, measure the degree of a liver disease and they can also help analyze how a particular liver disease is progressing. These tests check the level of certain enzymes and proteins in the blood. One such test also checks the bilirubin levels and therefore jaundice and liver function tests are also closely related.

Is jaundice contagious? No jaundice per say is not a contagious disease. Sometimes jaundice is a sign of an underlying condition which may be contagious such as in the case of some Hepatitis viruses. Jaundice can be easy to treat. However the treatment needs to focus on the main cause of jaundice. In infants and children jaundice can disappear without treatment, but in adults it may not be that easy. Diet during jaundice must necessarily be free of fats. The patient should be given a lot of fruit juices and vegetables. Oil, spices, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are a strict no-no.

 

 

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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