Jaundice in Illinois
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What is jaundice?
Although jaundice is mostly seen in newborn babies, it may occur in adults as well. This condition makes the whites of the eyes and skin turn a yellowish color. This is due to an excess of bilirubin, a yellow-orange compound in the liver. Though jaundice doesn’t usually need to be treated, it’s important to talk to a skilled GI provider at GI Alliance of Illinois if you start to notice your skin or eyes turning a yellowish color, as the root cause may need to be treated. To get additional information on treating jaundice in Illinois, connect with our team to request a consultation today.
What causes jaundice?
Jaundice occurs when a person has abnormal levels of bilirubin, which is a yellow-orange bile compound formed in the liver during the breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs). The precise reason behind jaundice varies depending to whether it appears before production, throughout the process, or after bilirubin production.
Reasons for jaundice before the production of bilirubin (unconjugated jaundice) are:
- Reabsorption of a severe bruise (pooling of blood under the skin)
- Hemolytic anemias (RBCs are broken down more quickly than their normal life cycle)
Factors contributing to jaundice throughout bilirubin production are:
- Epstein-Barr or other viruses
- Alcohol use
- Some drugs
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
- Autoimmune disorders
Reasons for jaundice following bilirubin generation could be because of blocked bile ducts in connection with:
- A few different cancers
- Bladder inflammation
Some patients also deal with jaundice associated with liver problems. This might occur with:
- Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin condition)
- Inflammation of the liver (or chronic hepatitis)
- Acute hepatitis A, B, or C
- Joint inflammation
What are some of the most common symptoms of jaundice?
Jaundice is commonly found incidentally — actually, in most cases, there aren’t any symptoms present. However, some patients may present with symptoms depending on the underlying cause of jaundice. During your visit to our Illinois facility, if you present symptoms like chilling, fever, abdominal pain, yellow-colored skin, dark-colored urine, clay-colored stool, or symptoms of the flu, you may have jaundice because of an infection.
On the other hand, when your jaundice is not caused by any type of infection, it's possible to have an unintended drop in body weight or skin that itches. Pain in the abdomen is the most common sign of cancer-related jaundice.
How is jaundice diagnosed and treated?
Jaundice is often found unintentionally when treating different symptoms or conditions. Jaundice could be found when checking for symptoms of liver disease. Symptoms associated with this frequently include:
- Red color on the palms and fingertips (palmar erythema)
- Bruises on the skin
- Visible blood vessels
Urine testing and blood tests could also show bilirubin levels. Additionally, our GI Alliance of Illinois team could also order a complete liver function test to measure your liver health and functionality.
After it's detected, we can begin to treat the root cause of jaundice. Since jaundice itself doesn’t often need treatment, we will often concentrate on the symptoms related to it. Some of the symptoms we treat are:
- Fewer than normal bowel movements
- Being bloated
- Loose stools
- Abdominal pain or upset stomach
- Throwing up
Advanced care for jaundice-related symptoms
If you have observed a yellow color to your skin or eyes, you’ve suffered from stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, or throwing up, it could be a sign of jaundice. While jaundice alone often doesn’t warrant treatment, the root cause of the problem might — including gallstones, bladder or liver inflammation, chronic hepatitis, and even cancer. The talented GI providers at GI Alliance of Illinois specialize in treating jaundice along with a variety of other liver conditions in connection with it. To receive more information on jaundice and ways to address and prevent it, reach out to our Illinois practice to request a consultation.
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