1. Is jaundice a disease?
No, it is a symptom of some underlying disease which causes yellowing of the skin and white portion of the eye. Bilirubin is a chemical in our body, and many diseases affect the levels of bilirubin, thereby leading to jaundice. Other symptoms that are experienced with jaundice include fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea or constipation.
2. Can a newborn have jaundice?
A newborn can have jaundice and jaundice in infants is called infant jaundice. It is common in babies born before nine months and occurs as the liver in babies is unable to process bilirubin. However, babies born at the end of the term do not require any treatment, and the treatment is easy in case of preterm babies.
3. What causes jaundice?
Jaundice can be caused due to problems of liver, pancreas, gall bladder and red blood cells. It can be a symptom of blocked bile ducts, hepatitis, Gilbert syndrome, liver cirrhosis and sickle cell anaemia. Jaundice may also occur due to some rare syndromes like Rotor syndrome or due to some medicines.
4. What are the signs to know I have jaundice?
The signs of jaundice vary based on the cause and underlying condition. Therefore, some individuals do not experience any signs, whereas some observe yellowing of skin colour and urine, fever and chills.
5. How do I come to know the reason for jaundice?
If you experience any of the common signs of jaundice such as yellowing of the skin, report to the doctor. Doctor will perform a physical evaluation and look for liver tenderness and other common signs and can then recommend lab tests such as blood tests, CT scan or ultrasound imaging to confirm the diagnosis.