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What is Jaundice?

Description of the disease

Jaundice is a condition in which the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes become yellowish due to elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is formed when red blood cells break down and should be excreted from the body through the liver. Jaundice can be both a standalone disease and a symptom of other conditions.


  • Hemolytic jaundice
  • Hepatic jaundice
  • Obstructive (mechanical) jaundice


  • Yellowish tint to the skin and whites of the eyes
  • General weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stool


Causes of jaundice can vary, including viral infections, alcohol-induced liver damage, tumors, hepatitis, and other liver diseases.


Diagnosis of jaundice includes a complete blood count, blood biochemistry, ultrasound examination of the liver, and other methods of investigation depending on the presumed cause of the disease.


Treatment of jaundice aims to address the underlying condition. Intensive therapy may be necessary to eliminate bilirubin from the body, if needed.


Prevention of jaundice includes proper nutrition, avoiding harmful habits, vaccination against viral hepatitis, and seeking medical attention promptly when symptoms of the disease appear.


Jaundice is treated by a gastroenterologist or hepatologist.

Note: This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.