Bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin) is a yellow colored substance that is responsible for the yellowing of the skin and sclerae. Bilirubin is a waste product that remains in the bloodstream after the iron is removed from the hemoglobin, which is released from the degradation of erythrocytes (cells that contain hemoglobin and can carry oxygen to the body). When there is an excess of bilirubin it may leak out into surrounding tissues, saturating them with this yellow substance.
Bilirubin that is circulating freely in the blood is called unconjugated bilirubin. One of the liver's functions is to filter out waste, such as bilirubin, from the blood. Once it is in the liver, other chemicals latch on to the bilirubin, creating a substance called conjugated bilirubin, which is secreted in bile (a digestive juice released by the liver) and then excreted. Bilirubin is what gives feces its brown color.
The modern English word "jaundice" is derived from the middle French word jaunisse. Jaun means "yellow" and -isse means "-ness"; hence the middle French word jaunisse, which means "yellowness".
According to MediLexicon's , jaundice is:
"A yellowish staining of the integument, sclerae, deeper tissues, and excretions with bile pigments, resulting from increased levels in the plasma."
Three main types of jaundice -
Symptoms of jaundice -
Other symptoms of jaundice include:
How can jaundice be prevented?
Treatment options for jaundice with Ayurvedic Approach-
Anemia-induced jaundice may be treated by increasing the amount of iron in the blood; either by taking iron-supplements or eating more iron-rich foods.
Hepatitis-induced jaundice may be treated with anti-viral or steroid medications.
Obstruction-induced jaundice may be treated via surgery to remove the obstruction.
Medication-induced jaundice is treated by selecting an alternative medication and by discontinuing medications that caused jaundice.