Amar Tu
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A yellowish discolouration of the skin is referred to as Jaundice. If a person gets affected with Jaundice, the colour of the white area of his/ her eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow. This is caused due to elevated levels of the chemical called bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is not a disease but an obvious symptom of an underlying disease process.Dysfunction of metabolism or excretion of bilirubin causes Jaundice. This dysfunction or excretion may occur at different stages, hence it is important to know the main cause of Jaundice.The causes of Jaundice are classified into three categories, pre-hepatic, hepatic and post-hepatic. While pre-hepatic problem arises before secretion to the liver, hepatic arises within the liver and post-hepatic are the problem that arises after bilirubin is excreted from the liver. The pre-hepatic phase of Jaundice is caused due to excessive destruction of red blood cells. This increases bilirubin level in blood and conditions responsible for the pre-hepatic phase are malaria, sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, autoimmune disorders, drugs and other toxins. A few factors that are responsible for causing Jaundice during the hepatic phase are Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E (either acute or chronic), liver cancer, cirrhosis, drugs or other toxins, autoimmune disorders and Gilbert’s syndrome.Post-hepatic causes of Jaundice include gallstones, cholangitis, strictures of the bile duct and Cancer (gallbladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and bile duct cancer). The post-hepatic cause of Jaundice mainly arises due to disruption in normal drainage or excretion of bilirubin from the liver to the intestine.Doctors often consider a patient's history and physical examination to diagnose Jaundice. The severity of the case is judged by different tests. If the cause of Jaundice is not identified, then blood tests are recommended. The blood test analyses bilirubin levels and composition of the blood.

Last update on January 8, 7:44 am by Amar Tu.