Jaundice: Causes, Types, Prevention, and common mistakes

Prevalence of Jaundice in India and subcontinent increases in March and continue to August.

Because of the hot and humid condition in this season.

By definition Jaundice is:

” Yellowish pigmentation of the skin, tissues, and body fluids caused by the deposition of bile pigments”

Jaundice is not a disease it is a manifestation of diseases.

Types and Causes:

Grossly jaundice can be divided into two types- Infective and non-infective.

Infective jaundice:

It generally caused by infective organisms. Like Viruses, Bacteria, and protozoa.

Viruses are the most common pathogen. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and Hepatitis E. viruses are responsible for almost all type of hepatitis.

Infection caused bacteria or protozoa are less likely common. It can be caused by secondary to a Liver abscess.

Pancreatitis is also can cause jaundice. Due to blocking the common bile duct opening

Non-infective jaundice

It has more variables than infective. The causes are-

>> Obstruction of common bile duct

>> Gallbladder cancer

>> Liver cancer

>> Cancer in the pancreas

>> Genetic metabolic disorders

>> Severe anemia

>> Drugs, like Itraconazole, Methotrexate, Isotretinoin

>> Poisoning

Many scholars prefer to categories jaundice in basic three terms:

1: Pre hepatic

When the cause of jaundice is originated before bile entering into the liver. Eg. Congenital metabolic disorders, anemia, etc.

2: Hepatic or Intrinsic.

Its origin is liver itself. It may be due to toxic damage by any drugs and poisoning or any other liver parenchymal diseases.

Classical examples are all types of  Hepatitis viruses, poisoning, drug-induced, and alcoholic liver disease.

3: Post hepatic or surgical.

It typically occurs due to obstructions in common bile duct.

It may be due to slippage of gallbladder stone into the duct or any other cause.

The commonest type of Viral Hepatitis caused by the Hepatitis A virus. And it is mostly transmitted through contaminated water and foods.

Commonly uncooked Street foods like cut fruits, Sugarcane juice, sarbat, etc. Hepatitis E also transmitted by the same route. But it is less common.
We can easily prevent this type of Jaundice just by avoiding such contaminated foods and water.

We also discussed some common mistakes. When someone affected by it.

Hepatitis B, C, and D commonly transmitted by blood transfusion, used needles and improperly sterilized surgical instruments.

Sexual transmission is also common from infected partners.

Sign and symptoms of Viral Hepatitis:

>> Excessive weakness

>> Low-grade fever

>> Low-grade fever

>> Nausea

>> Loss of appetite

>> Vomiting

>> Nausea from the smell of food

>> Pain right side of the upper abdomen

>> Dark yellow urine

>> Light colored stool

>> The yellow color of eyes

>> Vertigo

But one may not experience all the symptoms. It is subjective. Some symptoms may appear in the early stage of the disease. And some of them can appear later on stage.

Moreover, it also depends on the severity and immune power of the patients.

5 common mistakes we do in Jaundice:

Wrong management can be dangerous, even some of them can be life-threatening.

But more or less we Indian and subcontinent’s people make some of these mistakes

1: Intake of sugarcane juice:

Even before the diagnosis, most of the people start taking sugarcane juice.

It is one of the dangerous things people do.

Because generally sugarcane juice extracted on the roadside food stall in an unhygienic process.

It is one of the most contaminated drink we consume.

This unhygienic Sugarcane juice itself can cause several diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid and including jaundice.

In Jaundice immunity power reduce. Because of liver function impairment.

In this situation, unhygienic, contaminated food can increase the risk of secondary infection.

That can create complications.

So if you are thinking the sugarcane juice is helpful in Jaundice, think twice.

2: Too much food restrictions:

Yes, some kind of food should be avoided during Jaundice.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop everything.

Most people and their families stop almost everything. Is there any science behind it?

Only glucose and a few types of low calories food cannot fulfill the requirements.

It will make the patient weaker and decrease the healing power of the body.

That can lead to further complications.

Even after recovery, the patient feels weakness for a long time.

But the fact is that oily and fat-rich diet should be avoided.

Which we ignore that is, cleanliness of the food. We should focus on it.

Because unhygienic food can aggravate the disease.

So, please don’t restrict everything except oily, fat content and unhygienic foods.

3: Home remedies:

Whenever anyone affected by Jaundice people around the patient becomes crazy.

Different people advise different remedies.

Some of them will arrange the handmade necklace made with a “special” type of twig.

Some of them will arrange a different type of drinks made with different types of root and bark.

But the problem with these type of remedies. All are prepared in an unhygienic way. Which can be harmful rather than any cure.

Yes, plant base necklace might not have a harmful effect. It has a placebo effect.

4: Physical activity:

Absolute bed rest is one of the most important factors of Jaundice.

If the patient is not taking rest it can be fatal.

Physical activity will increase energy consumption which is already compromised by the affected liver.

Physical activity also injures the liver directly. Because in the case of Jaundice liver size increases significantly, and it becomes tender.

That can increase further by pressure or rubbing during physical activity.

Exposure to the sun in Jaundice will increase the chance of sunstroke.

So, physical activity is an absolute no-no.

5: Avoiding doctor visit:

Most of the patient or patient’s family member thinks home remedies and food restrictions can cure Jaundice.

Yes, Jaundice can be cured without medication. Only if it is Hepatitis A. It’s relatively less frightening.

And you don’t know what is the reason of yours.

So, consult with a doctor and let him decide what to do.

Of course, your family and friends are your well-wishers, but they are not a doctor.

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis E.

Your doctor may advise doing some investigations like the Liver Function Test (LFT), HbsAg, HCV, etc.

Sometimes may need Ultrasonography (USG) of the abdomen.

Other than Hepatitis A, The other causes need extensive medical intervention.

Sometimes a simple Viral Hepatitis can be fatal due to associated diseases. Like, Diabetes, renal impairment, hypertension and many more.

So, let your doctor decide what to do and what not to do.

Just a single visit to your doctor or health center can save you a lot.

Here is the quick summary:

>> Avoid sugarcane juice

>> Jaundice can be fatal

>> Avoid home remedies

>> Consult with your doctor

>> Take the medicine only if your doctor prescribes

>> Take purified or boiled water

>> Consume hygienic food only

>> Intake more liquid or semi-solid diet

>> Avoid oily and fatty foods

>> Take more carbohydrate containing food if you are not diabetic

>> Take absolute rest

>> Don’t seek to advise other than a healthcare professional

If you have any comments and suggestions please write in the comment box.

Please share this article if you think it can help anyone.

1 Comment

  1. K. IslamApril 18, 2019

    Taking contaminated sugarcane juice is common remedy in India.
    Thanks for highlighting this point.


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