Why Jaundice is Caused?


Jaundice, also known as icterus, is a medical condition characterized by the yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It occurs when there is an excess of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells, in the bloodstream. Jaundice can be a sign of an underlying medical issue involving the liver, gallbladder, or other parts of the digestive system. There are several potential causes of jaundice:

  • Excessive Breakdown of Red Blood Cells: When red blood cells break down, they release hemoglobin, which is then converted into bilirubin. If there is an unusually high rate of red blood cell breakdown, such as in hemolytic anemias, it can lead to an excess of bilirubin in the blood.
  • Liver Diseases: Liver conditions that impair the liver’s ability to process and excrete bilirubin can lead to jaundice. These conditions include hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver tissue), and alcoholic liver disease.
  • Gallbladder Issues: Obstruction of the bile ducts or gallbladder can prevent the flow of bile, which contains bilirubin, from the liver to the intestines. This can result in a buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream and lead to jaundice. Gallstones and tumors are examples of conditions that can cause such obstructions.
  • Bile Duct Disorders: Conditions that affect the bile ducts, such as primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, can interfere with the normal flow of bile and lead to jaundice.
  • Infections: Infections that affect the liver, such as viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, or C), can lead to liver inflammation and jaundice.
  • Medications: Certain medications can affect the liver’s ability to process bilirubin and lead to jaundice. These medications include some antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and certain pain relievers.
  • Genetic Disorders: Genetic conditions that affect the metabolism of bilirubin, such as Gilbert’s syndrome, can result in mild, intermittent jaundice.
  • Newborn Jaundice: It is common for newborn infants to develop jaundice shortly after birth due to the immature liver’s inability to efficiently process bilirubin. This type of jaundice is usually temporary and typically resolves on its own.

It’s important to note that jaundice is a symptom of an underlying medical condition rather than a diagnosis in itself. If you or someone you know is experiencing jaundice, it’s crucial to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

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