Jaundice in Utah
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Jaundice most commonly occurs in young babies, but it is also seen in adult patients. This problem causes the whites of the eyes and skin to turn a yellow shade. This is caused by high amounts of bilirubin, a red-orange pigment in the liver. Though jaundice commonly doesn't require treatment, it is vital to meet with a board-certified GI doctor at Utah Gastroenterology if you begin noticing your eyes or skin showing a yellowish hue, as the root source could need treatment. To get additional details about therapies for jaundice in Utah, reach out to our office to arrange a consultation now.
What causes jaundice?
Jaundice can develop as a result of excessive amounts of a compound called bilirubin, a yellowish product produced as red blood cells die. The exact cause behind jaundice varies according to whether it occurs before the process, throughout production, or following the production of bilirubin.
Reasons for jaundice prior to the production of bilirubin (unconjugated jaundice) include:
- Hemolytic anemias (blood cells are broken down before the end of their standard lifespan)
- Reabsorption of a severe bruise (pooling of blood outside the blood vessel)
Factors contributing to jaundice during the production of bilirubin include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Certain medicines
- Alcohol use
- Viruses (such as Epstein-Barr)
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
The cause of jaundice after bilirubin generation may be because of obstructed bile ducts in connection with:
- Certain types of cancer
- Inflammation of the bladder
It is additionally possible to have jaundice related to liver disease. This can transpire if you have:
- Acute hepatitis A, B, or C
- Inflamed liver (or long-lasting hepatitis)
- Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin disorder)
- Joint inflammation
What are some signs of jaundice?
Jaundice doesn't always present with symptoms and is found more often than not during testing procedures for other conditions. Even so, a number of individuals may have problems that point to the root cause of jaundice. If you're visiting our Utah office and you show symptoms like chilling, fever, abdominal pain, yellow skin, dark-colored urine, clay-colored bowel movements, or flu-like symptoms, you might have jaundice due to an infection.
However, when your jaundice is not due to an infection, you may notice unplanned weight loss or itchy skin. Additionally, the most widespread symptom of jaundice related to cancer is abdominal pain.
If you're having one or more of the problems mentioned above, we invite you to request a consultation at Utah Gastroenterology so our staff may check the condition of your liver.
Diagnosis and treatment for jaundice
Jaundice is very commonly found by accident while your gastroenterologist is treating or investigating other GI conditions. Jaundice could be found by looking for evidence of liver disease. Symptoms of this often involve:
- Bruising on the skin
- Visible blood vessels
- Palmar erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips)
Urine testing and blood testing could additionally show bilirubin numbers. Also, our staff could complete a liver analysis to study the health and function of the liver.
After it's detected, your provider can start to target the root cause of jaundice. Because jaundice doesn't typically need treatment, our staff will usually focus on the symptoms associated with it. A number of the effects we treat include:
- Abdominal pain or indigestion
- Fewer than normal bowel movements
- Loose, watery stools
Treatment for symptoms of jaundice
You should speak to your GI specialist about jaundice treatment if you are feeling stomach discomfort, diarrhea or constipation, bloating, vomiting, or if your skin and eyes have taken on a yellowish color. Even though jaundice by itself commonly doesn’t warrant treatment, the root source of the problem potentially might — like gallstones, inflammation of the liver or bladder, ongoing hepatitis, and even cancer. Our board-certified gastroenterologists at Utah Gastroenterology specialize in addressing jaundice as well as numerous other liver-related problems associated with it. For more details about jaundice and ways to treat and limit the risk of it, reach out to our Utah facility to book an appointment.
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