What are the jaundice treatments available? 

No. Jaundice by itself cannot be spread from one person to another. It is not a communicable disease. However, the certain underlying conditions or causes of jaundice can spread from person to person. 

Jaundice is not a condition on its own, but rather a sign of another underlying problem. Treatment will be aimed at the disease that is causing the buildup of bilirubin in the blood.  Anaemia-induced jaundice can be treated by enhancing the level of iron in the blood, through iron supplements or having iron-rich foods. Hepatitis-induced jaundice requires the intervention of antiviral or steroid medications. If it is caused by the use of a certain medication, treatment will be switching to an alternative medication. To add to the healing process, one must consume at least eight glasses of fluids, and opt for fruits like mango and papaya. 

What are the causes of jaundice?

People with jaundice may experience yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eye due to bilirubin not being processed properly. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is created as a result of the breaking down of haemoglobin. It serves as a waste product. The underlying condition that causes jaundice, may result in excess production of bilirubin, or prevent the liver from getting rid of it. 

The causes of Jaundice are the underlying conditions which include: 

  • Acute inflammation of the liver: The secretion and conjugation of bilirubin are impaired, which may result in a buildup.
  • Inflammation of the bile duct: The secretion of bile and removal of bilirubin is prevented, causing jaundice. 
  • Hemolytic anaemia: When large quantities of red blood cells are broken down, the production of bilirubin is more. 
  • Gilbert’s syndrome: This inherited condition impairs the digestive enzymes from processing the excretion of bile

Adding to these there are some rarer conditions that can lead to jaundice.

What are the 3 types of jaundice?

Bilirubin gets delivered from the bloodstream to the liver, from where it passes through bile ducts after conjugating with bile. This bile is carried to the small intestine and is passed out of the body through urine or stool. The yellow colour of urine, and brown of stool, is due to bilirubin. The types of jaundice are based on where they happen amidst the process of the liver taking in and filtering out bilirubin: 

  • Pre-hepatic: Before the liver takes in Bilirubin
  • Hepatic: In the liver
  • Post-hepatic: After the liver filters it out 

Prevention of jaundice

As we know jaundice can have many potential causes, it is challenging to provide specific prevention strategies. However, one can use these four main precautions to prevent the illness:

  1. Make sure you limit your alcohol consumption to the recommended limits
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight in relation to your height and build
  3. As some places across the world have a higher chance of getting the infections Hepatitis A or B, depending on where you travel to/stay, getting vaccinated against these would be recommended. 
  4. Managing cholesterol levels is also important

What is the fastest way to cure jaundice?

For the majority of the severe cases of jaundice, seek immediate medical assistance by visiting the doctor. Along with this, following the right diet and measures to heal is also important. Having soups and broths can help provide adequate nutrients. Fruits like papayas, apples, oranges have healthy digestive enzymes and provide vital vitamins like K, C and B. Vegetables like broccoli, carrots benefit the person by increasing the detoxification power of the liver.  

Increasing water intake will help to flush out the toxicity from the body. Having a protein-rich diet helps in the healing of damaged organs and the production of new cells. Adding fat-soluble fibre to the diet helps in removing toxins and improves the overall functioning of the liver. High-fibre foods like almonds, oatmeal and berries can aid the healing process. 

Above all, having a fortified immune system u  can take you a long way in staving off this sickness. 

How long does jaundice usually last?

The duration of jaundice depends on the viral type. The symptoms may take two weeks to a month to subside. Sometimes longer. During this period, the liver function will eventually become normal and excess bilirubin will get cleared from the body.

Once the symptoms are resolved, if the infection is found to persist, the doctor may prescribe chronic medications to either reduce the risk of complications or ideally to cure the disease itself, as with hepatitis C.

In the case of breastfed babies, it is common for jaundice to last 1 month or longer. In formula-fed babies, most jaundice goes away by 2 weeks. If jaundice persists for more than 3 weeks, consult with your baby’s doctor. 

Conclusion

Thus, jaundice is a condition that is caused by the buildup of bilirubin, due to some underlying condition. The condition by itself isn’t communicable, however, the causes of it can be transmissible. The symptoms include yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyes. The underlying condition causes either the excess production of bilirubin of prevents the liver from getting rid of it. 

The main causes of jaundice are – Acute inflammation of the liver, inflammation of the bile duct, hemolytic anaemia, and Gilbert’s syndrome. These lead to the buildup of bilirubin either before it reaches the liver, in the liver, or after bilirubin is filtered out. The latter make up the three types of jaundice based on where the process occurs. 

This condition normally lasts for about two weeks to a month. During this period, excess bilirubin gets flushed out, and the liver function gets back to normal. Chronic medication might be prescribed to treat the disease, as with Hepatitis C. In breastfed babies, jaundice can last for about a month. 

“Prevention is better than cure’’ is true in every sense. Preventive measures include – consuming limited quantities of alcohol as per recommendations, managing cholesterol levels, and vaccinating against Hepatitis A or B, if appropriate. Nature-based remedies would greatly aid the healing process along with following the guidelines of medical professionals.