Jaundice

Etiology: A condition characterized by yellowness of skin and whites of eyes, mucous membranes, and body fluids due to deposition of bile pigment resulting from excess bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinanemia).

CAUSES: It may be caused by obstruction of bile passageways, excess destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis), or disturbances in functioning of liver cells.

Jaundice is a symptom that may be the indicator of a benign and curable disease, such as a gallstone blocking the common duct. It may be a sign of any one of several blood or liver disorders, such as pernicious anemia, hepatitis, or neonatal jaundice. It may be due to carcinoma of the head of the pancreas involving the opening of the bile duct into the duodenum. It is therefore important to make the correct diagnosis. See the doctor. Sometimes diagnosis can be made only after exploratory surgical procedures.

SYMPTOMS: Yellow skin; whites of the eyes turn yellow; bitter taste in the mouth; constipation, dark urine, slight fever, headache, dizziness, and itching of the skin.

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