What Is Jaundice?

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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Jaundice is a relatively common condition that causes the patient to take on a noticeable yellow tinge. The yellow color is often more noticeable in the eyes and in parts where the skin is thin. While the yellow appearance can be quite startling, jaundice is not something that is necessarily dangerous in itself.

Although not usually dangerous, jaundice is often a sign of a potentially serious underlying problem so treatment should be sought. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can be straightforward, while sometimes the cause can be a lot more difficult to deal with. Here’s a closer look at what jaundice is and what causes it.

1. Bilirubin

Our red blood cells have a life span of approximately 4 months when they are in our body. When they have come to the end of their lives, they are broken down by our livers, and fresh blood cells will take their place. When blood cells are broken down in this way, a substance known as bilirubin is formed, and this bilirubin is used to help make bile. If there was something wrong with the liver then the bilirubin would not be processed normally. This can mean that bilirubin is found flowing through the blood and, considering bilirubins yellow color, the patient will take on a yellow color themselves.


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