Jaundice in Washington
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What is jaundice?
Although jaundice is most commonly detected in newborns, it can also occur in adults. This problem makes the skin and the whites of the eyes turn a shade of yellow. This is due to excessive bilirubin levels, a red-orange bile pigment in the liver. While jaundice usually doesn’t need to be treated, it’s a good idea to speak with a skilled GI provider at Washington Gastroenterology if you notice your eyes or skin showing a yellow shade since the root source could warrant treatment. To hear additional specifics about treatment for jaundice in Washington, contact a local practice to request a consultation today.
What causes jaundice?
Jaundice develops when someone has abnormal amounts of bilirubin. This is an orange-yellow waste product created in the liver during the destruction of red blood cells (RBCs). The exact cause of jaundice is based on whether it arises before production, throughout the process, or following bilirubin production.
Causes of jaundice before bilirubin production (unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia) include:
- Reabsorption of a severe bruise (pooling of blood under the skin)
- Hemolytic anemias (red blood cells are broken down faster than their regular life cycle)
Causes of jaundice during the production of bilirubin are:
- Alcohol use
- Specific medications
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
- Epstein-Barr or other viruses
- Autoimmune diseases
Reasons for jaundice following bilirubin generation could be the result of blocked bile ducts related to:
- A few different types of cancer
- Bladder inflammation
Some patients also deal with jaundice connected to diseases of the liver. This could result if you experience:
- Joint conditions like arthritis
- Acute hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C
- Inflamed liver (or long-lasting hepatitis)
- Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin condition)
What are the signs of jaundice?
Jaundice is often discovered accidentally — as a matter of fact, most of the time, there aren’t even symptoms present. Nonetheless, several people will have problems that point to the root source of jaundice. During your visit to our Washington facility, if you show issues such as fever, chills, abdominal pain, yellow skin, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, or flu-like symptoms, you might be dealing with jaundice due to an infection.
However, if an infection does not cause your jaundice, you might notice an unintended drop in body weight or skin that itches. Additionally, stomach pain is the most frequent symptom of cancer-related jaundice.
If you are dealing with any of the above-listed problems, we welcome you to request an appointment at a local Washington Gastroenterology so our team can check the health and wellness of the liver.
How is jaundice diagnosed and treated?
Jaundice is often discovered accidentally when addressing different issues or symptoms. Jaundice may be found by checking for indicators of liver disease. Signs related to this typically encompass:
- Varicose veins
- Bruising on the skin
- Palmar erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips)
Urinalysis and blood tests can additionally show bilirubin numbers. Also, we could complete a liver exam to study your liver health and tenderness.
Once diagnosed, your gastroenterologist can start to address the root cause of jaundice. Since jaundice doesn’t require treatment, we will often manage the associated symptoms. A few of the symptoms we treat are:
- Loose bowel movements
- Throwing up
- Being bloated
- Abdominal pain or indigestion
Care for jaundice-related symptoms
If you have noticed a yellowish hue in your eyes or skin, experienced stomach discomfort, constipation or diarrhea, a bloated stomach, or vomiting, it might indicate jaundice. While jaundice often doesn’t need to be treated, the root cause still might — including gallstones, inflammation of the liver or bladder, chronic hepatitis, or even cancer. The skilled GI providers at Washington Gastroenterology specialize in treating jaundice and the numerous liver issues connected to it. For more details regarding jaundice and methods to treat and prevent it, contact a nearby Washington location to request a consultation.
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