Jaundice in St. Louis, MO
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What is jaundice?
Although jaundice is often found in babies, it can develop in adults as well. This condition makes the whites of the eyes and skin turn a shade of yellow. This is due to excess amounts of bilirubin, a yellow-orange bile pigment in the liver. Although jaundice usually doesn’t have to be treated, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced gastroenterologist at your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location if you start noticing your eyes or skin showing a yellow tint, as the underlying cause might require treatment. To hear additional information about treatments for jaundice in St. Louis, MO, call our team to request a consultation today.
What causes jaundice?
Jaundice develops if a person has high levels of bilirubin, which is a yellowish pigment that accumulates in the liver during the breakdown of RBCs (red blood cells). The specific cause behind jaundice is based on whether it arises before production, in the process, or following bilirubin production.
Causes of jaundice before the production of bilirubin (unconjugated jaundice) are:
- Reabsorption of a blood suffusion (pooling of blood under the skin)
- Hemolytic anemias (red blood cells are broken down faster than the end of their normal life cycle)
Causes of jaundice throughout bilirubin production include:
- Specific medications
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
- Alcohol use
- Epstein-Barr or other viruses
- Autoimmune diseases
Reasons for jaundice after bilirubin production could be because of blocked bile ducts in connection with:
- Multiple types of cancer
- Inflammation of the bladder
Some patients also have jaundice connected to liver conditions. This can occur in the event of:
- Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin disorder)
- Acute hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C
- Joint conditions like arthritis
- Inflamed liver (or long-term hepatitis)
What are some symptoms of jaundice?
Jaundice is often detected incidentally — in fact, oftentimes, no symptoms are even present. Even so, some patients could present with symptoms based on the underlying source of jaundice. During your visit to one of our St. Louis, MO locations, if you show signs like fever, chilling, abdominal aches, yellow skin, dark urine, clay-colored stool, or symptoms of the flu, you might be experiencing jaundice caused by an infection.
On the other hand, when your jaundice is not caused by any type of infection, you might experience an unintended drop in body weight or itchy skin. If your jaundice is related to cancer, the most common symptom is abdominal pain.
How is jaundice diagnosed and treated?
Jaundice is often discovered unintentionally when addressing other symptoms or issues. Jaundice can be found when checking for signs of liver disease. Symptoms related to this frequently include:
- Palmar erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips)
- Visible veins
- Bruises on the skin
Urinalysis and blood tests could additionally display bilirubin amounts. Additionally, your Specialists in Gastroenterology provider can carry out a liver test to assess your liver health and function.
Once identified, your gastroenterologist will begin to treat the root cause of jaundice. Since jaundice itself doesn’t require treatment, our St. Louis, MO team will usually treat the symptoms associated with it. Several of the symptoms we treat include:
- Being bloated
- Fewer than normal bowel movements
- Loose, watery stools
- Pain in the abdomen or stomach discomfort
Personalized treatment for jaundice-related symptoms
If you have noticed a yellowish tone in your eyes or skin, you’ve dealt with stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, stomach bloating, or vomiting, it could be a sign of jaundice. Even though jaundice itself normally doesn’t require intervention, the underlying source of the issue still might — which includes gallstones, bladder or liver inflammation, ongoing hepatitis, and cancer. Our board-certified GI providers at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community specialize in addressing jaundice along with many different types of liver conditions associated with it. To learn more about jaundice and methods to address and limit the chances of it, get in touch with one of our St. Louis, MO locations to request a consultation.
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