Jaundice: We all know that liver is the most important organ in our body. Without the liver, all chemical processes in the body stop. Jaundice is one of the diseases that affect the liver. Jaundice is not a disease. It is only a ‘symptom’ that a problem has arisen in the body, especially with regard to the liver. In very rare cases, jaundice can become severe and even lead to death. Yellowing of the eyes and skin is called ‘jaundice’.
The bile produced by the liver contains a substance called ‘bilirubin’. This substance is the reason why bile is yellow-green in color. If the amount of this substance (bilirubin) in the blood increases, the eyes turn green. Also the sensitive skin in different parts of the body turns green.
The yellow-green color in the eyes and skin is initially somewhat pale and difficult to detect. Later this color gradually becomes darker. Also, this green is easier to spot in sunlight than under lights. The disease we hear about the most is jaundice, which is caused by a virus called Hepatitis-A. Apart from this there are some other viruses that can damage the liver. They are:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis – C
- Hepatitis – d
- Hepatitis – E
- Hepatitis – F
- Hepatitis – G
Among these, hepatitis-A virus is the most common cause of jaundice in developing countries. Eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water can spread the virus. Jaundice is common in summer and monsoon. In big cities, fresh water pipes and sewage pipes are located side by side. When they burst for any reason, the water from the fresh water pipe can become contaminated with drainage pipes and drinking them unboiled can lead to jaundice.
Why Are Eyes And Skin Green?
The lifespan of red blood cells in our body is 120 days. They are then broken down into a substance called ‘heme’ and released into the blood. Some special cells in the body convert this ‘heme’ into the green pigment ‘bilirubin’. This substance reaches the liver with the help of albumin present in the blood. The liver converts it into a water-soluble substance and passes it through the bile duct to the small intestine. From there it goes out through the stool. It is a continuous process in our body.
Normally ‘Bilirubin’ should be less than 1 mg in our body but whenever, wherever, there is any defect in this continuous process, the amount of ‘Bilirubin’ in the blood increases. The increased bilirubin in the blood spreads throughout the body and accumulates there. As it accumulates in the eyes and sensitive skin parts of the body, they appear green to us. If this change is seen in the eyes and skin, it means that the ‘bilirubin’ in the blood has increased four to five times than it should.
Types Of Jaundice
When diseases like malaria and hemolytic anemia occur, a large number of red blood cells in our body burst. As a result, high amount of ‘bilirubin’ is formed in the blood. Reducing the amount of ‘bilirubin’ in excess makes the liver work harder. In that case, ‘bilirubin’ increases in the blood and causes jaundice. This is called hemolytic jaundice.
Hepatocellular Jaundice :
Viral infections like hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and excessive alcohol intake can damage the liver. When the liver is damaged it receives ‘bilirubin’ from the blood but does not perform a good job of excreting it. Then the level of bilirubin in the blood in the body increases. This is called “hepatocellular jaundice”.
Bilirubin excreted in the liver must pass through the bile duct to the intestines. But this passage can sometimes become blocked due to cancerous tumors or stone formation in the duct. Then the ‘bilirubin’ excretion process is damaged and its quantity in the blood increases and ‘jaundice’ occurs. This is called ‘instructive jaundice’.
Symptoms of the hepatitis virus usually subside within one to two weeks after entering the body. These symptoms vary from person to person.
- In the first stage the patient has no appetite and may also vomit.
- Dullness, tiredness
- Arthritis, joint pain, headache
- Cough starts with labor symptoms in some.
- No taste.
- Smokers are apathetic to smoke.
- Low grade fever with 100 – 101°F.
- Urine is dark yellow.
- Stool may be white.
- The white part of the eyes turns yellowish green. As the jaundice progresses, the eyes also turn green.
- An enlarged liver causes pain in the upper right side of the abdomen.
- As long as there is jaundice, it remains weak and continues to lose weight.
All these symptoms appear in the days before the onset of jaundice and do not appear when the jaundice begins.
- Jaundice is mostly caused by viral hepatitis. It usually subsides with measures such as resting for two months and eating a good diet rich in vitamins. This is possible because the liver is a very quick healing organ.
- Some people infected with hepatitis B and C can develop a chronic disease called cirrhosis. Such people can be prevented if antiviral treatment is taken at the right time. New drugs are available for hepatitis ‘B’.
- Falcipiform malaria is very dangerous. Along with jaundice, there are symptoms like chills, fever, drowsiness etc. This is confirmed by ‘Plasmodia falciparum antigen test’. If this disease is neglected, kidney damage, anemia, swelling of the brain, water entering the lungs and other problems will arise. For this reason jaundice with chills and fever should not be neglected.
- If jaundice occurs due to stone blockage in the bile duct, stones are removed without the need for surgery through an endoscopic procedure called ERCP. Then the jaundice subsides.
- If cancerous tumors grow in the bile duct or non-pancreas and obstruct the passage, it can be relieved by placing a small, sensitive tube (synthetic or metallic stent) in the area. Cancer should also be treated immediately.
- ‘Pure jaundice’ in children usually clears up on its own within a few months without any treatment. But it is necessary to consult a doctor.
- Medicines for pain, fever and cold should not be used when jaundice occurs. They will soon disappear. Taking drugs like Crocin, Metacin, Paracetamol (Crocin, Metacin, Paracetamol) to relieve such pains puts an additional burden on jaundiced patients.
- Generally, all viral diseases also work in the body for a few weeks and then subside.
- For jaundice, many herbalists take leaf extracts. It is not good to take it like this. Such drugs can further tax the liver.
- Complete rest is required in the early stages of jaundice. The stage of the disease should be known from time to time under the supervision of doctors through various blood tests.
Precautions In Food
Diet plays a very prominent role in jaundice. An important precaution to be taken by these patients is to avoid eating fatty and oily foods.
- Since the liver is the only organ used to digest fat in our body, the patient should ensure that his diet is free of fat and high in carbohydrates (carbohydrates) and sugar.
- Juices like orange and beetroot should be taken well. Sugar or glucose can be added to those juices if required.
- Many people think that drinking sugarcane juice is good. It is not true that impure glasses are contaminated with sugarcane juice sold on the roadside in the bazaar. It is better to buy sugarcane and chew it. Or make sugarcane juice at home.
- Oily substances can be taken slowly when the jaundice subsides and the blood returns to normal.
- You should not eat roadside food as contaminated food and water can cause jaundice. Especially during jaundiced days, food should not be eaten in hotels and restaurants.
- Drink boiled and filtered water only.
- Fruits with skin should be taken during journeys. At such times boiled and filtered water is not available so it is better to drink mineral water or cold drinks on the way. If they are not available hot coffee or this can be taken.
- When someone in the family has jaundice, wash hands with soap and plenty of water after going to the toilet to avoid spreading it to other members. He should also keep his clothes and utensils different until the jaundice subsides.
- Do not defecate in public places.
- Wash hands with soap before eating.
- Do not grow nails.
- Do not eat stored food items.
- Do not eat food contaminated with flies.