Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated

Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated

Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated; What is jaundice?

Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated

Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated

This is a condition with symptoms of yellow color of skin and white of the eyes, as a result of excess bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is not an illness, but a medical condition due to high blood bilirubin . Jaundice is common in the newborn and could occur in the adult if there is any liver disease or bile duct blockage, e.g, gall bladder stone. Bilirubin is the product of breakdown of red blood cells (RBC) and which is metabolized to bile in the liver. Jaundice is common in infant compare to the adult due to some reasons discussed below;

  • Newborn have high RBC turnover, therefore infant make more bilirubin.

  • Newborn liver is still developing; may have inadequate bilirubin metabolism.

  • More bilirubin is reabsorbed in the intestine before being excreted in the stool.

Jaundice bilirubin Elucidated; Types of Jaundice

  1. Physiological Jaundice: occurs mostly in the newborn, due to immature baby liver , symptoms is usually visible 2-4days after birth

  2. Jaundice in premature babies

  3. Breastfeeding Jaundice: When babies don’t get enough breast milk

  4. Breast milk jaundice; when substances in the mother milk could enhance bilirubin elevation. This type of jaundice is visible with 3-5 days after birth to 3-12 weeks after birth.

  5. Blood group incompatibility (Rh problem); when mother produces antibodies that destroys the red blood cells of the baby, and

  6. Obstructive jaundice

Risk factors of jaundice

  1. Infection; viral infection such as hepatitis.

  2. Premature birth

  3. Thyroid problem

  4. Liver damage (in adult)

  5. Malaria (malaria parasites lives in red blood cells and decrease red blood cells lifespan, therefore there is high red blood cell turn over during malaria infection)

  6. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

  7. Drug; some drugs increase red blood cells breakdown, e.g dapsone

  8. Alcohol abuse

  9. Haemochromatosis

  10. Alpha-1-anti trypsin deficiency

  11. Biliary cirrhosis

  12. Gall stones (obstructive jaundice)

  13. Tumor, cancer of the bile duct and pancreas

Symptoms of jaundice
  1. Yellowish skin and eyes

  2. Anemia- anemia associated with jaundice

  3. Tiredness-tiredness associated with jaundice

  4. Pain; gall stone associated

  5. Weight lost: cancer associated

  6. Dark urine and pale stool; bile duct blockage

  7. Itching; obstructive jaundice

How to confirm jaundice

  1. Blood bilirubin measurement

  2. Ultrasound

  3. CT scanning

complications associated with jaundice

Bilirubin concentration greater than 25mg can cause;

  • Deafness

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Other form of brain damage

  • Kernicterus

Treatments for jaundice
  • Phototherapy; bili light, UV light

  • Increase feeding (breast milk and formula), to help excretion of bilirubin in the stool

  • Blood transfusion, in the rare cases.

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