Healthy Living

Five Tips for Living with Jaundice

Jaundice

Five Tips for Living with Jaundice

Key Takeaways

• Minimize the consumption of alcohol.
• Maintain a healthy weight according to one's body mass index (BMI).
• Always get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B whenever you’re traveling.

Jaundice is a condition that causes the yellowing of human skin as well as the whites of the eyes. Its main cause is the build-up of bilirubin, which is a key component of the human blood and tissues. Since this is a medical condition, understanding the signs, symptoms, and the type of jaundice is the key to living with this disorder.

1. Know the signs of jaundice

The following are some of the common signs of jaundice:

• The yellowing of human skin, eyes, and mucous membranes 
• A pale-colored stool
• Dark-colored urine 

2. Know the types of jaundice

The following are the three types of jaundice:
  • Pre-hepatic jaundice: This type of jaundice occurs when a disruption occurs before bilirubin is transported from blood to human liver. The main cause is sickle cell anemia as well as hemolytic anemia.
  • Intra-hepatic or hepatocellular jaundice: This condition is caused by a disruption that takes place inside the liver. Conditions like Gilbert's Syndrome, cirrhosis, and liver damage are the main culprits of this condition.
  • Post-hepatic or obstructive jaundice: This condition is caused by a disruption that prevents the bile in bilirubin from being drained out of the gallbladder or into the human digestive system. Conditions like gallstones and tumors are major contributors.

3. Understand the assessment and tests to be carried out

It is advisable to immediately see your physician if you have jaundice. This will help you get the correct diagnosis, treatment, and management plans. Your doctor will ask you different questions, examine you, and prescribe the best medicines for you.

The following are some of the best tests for jaundice:

Different blood tests: blood samples are usually taken from an individual to show whether the levels of bilirubin is unconjugated/conjugated. This helps in narrowing down the occurrence of the causes of jaundice. Different blood tests can be done to measure different liver enzymes to ascertain if the liver has been irritated or is functioning well. Blood tests are also known to detect different viruses in the blood.

Urine tests: urine samples can be taken from a patient to determine if the levels of different chemicals in your blood have risen. This helps narrow down a possible occurrence of jaundice.

Ultrasound scans: liver scans are done to help identify the cause of jaundice. For instance, such scans can assist in identifying the causes of blockages to the human bile duct.

MRI scans: this imaging test is carried out for the detection of liver tumors.

Biopsy: With this test, a sample of liver tissue is taken and observed under a microscope.

You can seek more sophisticated tests if the results are in doubt.

4. Understand what you can do to prevent jaundice

Preventing all the causes of jaundice is not possible since it can occur under different circumstances. However, the following precautions can minimize the occurrence or help you live with jaundice: 

• Minimize the consumption of alcohol.
• Maintain a healthy weight according to one's body mass index (BMI).
• Always get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B whenever you’re traveling.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking triggers the occurrence of different diseases, including jaundice. You are, therefore, advised to go slow on smoking if you have been diagnosed with this condition.