ABSTRACT – Jaundice is an indication of high amount of bilirubin in the blood which makes white color of...
Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes caused by increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood. It is a sign of an underlying disease process.
Bilirubin is a by-product of the daily natural breakdown and destruction of red blood cells in the body.
The hemoglobin molecule that is released into the blood by this process is split, with the heme portion undergoing a chemical conversion to bilirubin.
Normally, the liver metabolizes and excretes the bilirubin in the form of bile.
However, if there is a disruption in this normal metabolism and/or production of bilirubin, jaundice may result.
It may be caused by several different disease processes. It is helpful to understand the different causes of jaundice by identifying the problems that disrupt the normal bilirubin metabolism and/or excretion.
Signs & Symptoms:
It is a sign of an underlying disease process.
Common signs and symptoms seen in individuals with jaundice include:
yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes,
dark-colored urine, and
itching of the skin.
The underlying disease process may result in additional signs and symptoms. These may include:
nausea and vomiting,
loss of appetite,
swelling of the legs and abdomen, and
In newborns, as the bilirubin level rises, jaundice will typically progress from the head to the trunk, and then to the hands and feet. Additional signs and symptoms that may be seen in the newborn include:
changes in muscle tone,
high-pitched crying, and