When a person is unwell, there is a common expression heard “you look jaundiced!”. It’s to imply the paleness or yellowness that accompanies certain kind of illness. But that is not necessarily Jaundice itself. Jaundice, also called icterus, causes your skin and the whites of your eyes to turn yellow. The condition is caused by too much bilirubin, a yellow chemical in hemoglobin (the substance that carries oxygen in your red blood cells). As red blood cells break down, the body builds new cells to replace them. The old ones are processed by the liver, but if the liver cannot handle the blood cells as they break down, bilirubin builds up in the body.
About 60 percent of all infants born in the United States have jaundice. However, jaundice can happen to people of all ages and is normally the result of an underlying condition that include:
Acute inflammation of liver: This may impair the ability of the liver to conjugate and secrete bilirubin, resulting in a buildup.
Inflammation of bile duct: This can prevent the secretion of bile and removal of bilirubin, causing jaundice.
Obstruction of bile duct: This prevents the liver from disposing of bilirubin.
Hemolytic anemia: The production of bilirubin increases when large quantities of red blood cells are broken down.
Gilbert’s syndrome: This is an inherited condition that impairs the ability of enzymes to process the excretion of bile.
Cholestasis: This interrupts the flow of bile from the liver. The bile containing conjugated bilirubin remains in the liver instead of being excreted.
Rarer conditions that may cause jaundice include:
Crigler-Najjar syndrome: This is an inherited condition that impairs the specific enzyme responsible for processing bilirubin.
Dubin-Johnson syndrome: This is an inherited form of chronic jaundice that prevents conjugated bilirubin from being secreted from of the cells of the liver.
Pseudojaundice: This is a harmless form of jaundice. The yellowing of the skin results from an excess of beta-carotene, not from an excess of bilirubin. Pseudojaundice usually arises from eating large quantities of carrot, pumpkin, or melon.
Therefore, it is best to be careful about adopting health fad diets – some of which can be harmful. To check if a person is suffering from jaundice, a physical examination of the abdominal area to check for possibly liver swelling is conducted. To then check for severity, the doctor may recommend specific liver function tests to determine how well the liver is working.
Some common symptoms of jaundice include vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pains and headaches, swelling of legs and abdomen, and weakness. All of these have been experienced by people suffering from Covid-19 as well. The itching that accompanies jaundice can sometimes be so intense that patients have been known to scratch their skin raw, experience insomnia, or, in extreme cases, even entertain thoughts of suicide.
When complications happen, this is usually because of the underlying problem, not the jaundice itself. For example, if an obstructed bile duct leads to jaundice, uncontrolled bleeding may result. This is because the blockage leads a shortage of vitamins needed for clotting.
The following treatments are used to treat jaundice:
Anemia-induced jaundice may be treated by boosting the amount of iron in the blood by either taking iron supplements or eating more iron-rich foods.
Hepatitis-induced jaundice requires antiviral or steroid medications.
Doctors can treat obstruction-induced jaundice by surgically removing the obstruction.
If the jaundice has been caused by use of a medication, treatment for involves changing to an alternative medication.
While aggressive medication could be needed in some complicated cases, many natural home remedies can help in quicker healing from jaundice. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Natural sunlight: When infants are diagnosed with Jaundice, apart from phototherapy, doctors recommend exposing them to sunlight.
2. Sugarcane juice: Sugarcane juice helps in strengthening the liver and aids in its proper functioning. Have a glass daily till your jaundice improves.
3. Goat’s milk: At par with cow’s milk regarding nutrients, goat’s milk is easy to digest and is suitable for infants and adults alike. Goat’s milk also has useful antibodies that help in curing jaundice.
4. Green grape’s juice: Juice of green grapes helps in improving the liver functioning. It balances the serum bilirubin levels and cures jaundice.
5. Ginger: Ginger has excellent antioxidative properties. It is also hypolipidemic so it helps the liver. Have in the form of ginger-tea for best results.
6. Garlic: Garlic is a powerful antioxidant. This helps with liver detoxification and thus contributes to curing jaundice.
7. Lemon: Lemon juice helps in unblocking the bile ducts as it has antioxidant properties. Also, it enhances immunity and stops further damage to the liver.
8. Yogurt: The probiotics in yogurt help improve immunity. It brings down levels of serum bilirubin and offers protection against harmful bacteria. Have a bowl of curd daily to cure your jaundice.
9. Tomatoes: Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, is a potent antioxidant. This helps with detoxification of the liver and curing of jaundice. Make a juice of boiled tomatoes and have a glass daily.
10. Amla: Amla is rich in vitamin C and other essential nutrients that help in combating jaundice. It improves liver functioning and helps balance the serum bilirubin levels. Boil amlas, make a paste and mix this with water and honey and have daily.
11. Tulsi: Tulsi or holy basil is perfect for the liver as it has hepatoprotective properties. It improves immunity and fights off infections. Boil Tulsi leaves in water and have this daily.
12. Papaya leaves: Papaya leaves are rich in papain enzymes that support digestion and improve liver health. Grind the leaves and strain to get the juice. Have a tablespoon daily. It is normal for a baby to be suffering from jaundice when he is born.
There are several modes of treatment that you can try to treat jaundice in newborns. Below is a list of remedies that you can try to treat jaundice in newborns.
Breastfeeding: If your newborn baby has jaundice, feed him frequently. Breastfeeding your little one frequently will help eliminate the bilirubin from his bloodstream and flush it out through stool and urine. Babies with jaundice sleep a lot; if your baby has jaundice, he or she might sleep a lot, too.
Wake the baby up at regular intervals to feed him. Also, mothers must consume a healthy diet when breastfeeding their newborns. Freshly prepared, nutritious, balanced meals can ensure that.
Therefore, include green leafy vegetables, a small portion of seafood with low-mercury levels per week, foods with healthy fats, seeds, nuts, fruits, well-cooked meat, and a healthy dose of fiber-rich starches.
Sun-bathing: If your baby has jaundice, keep him in the sunlight for 1-2 hours daily. However, see to it that the baby receives the slanting rays of the sun before 8 o’clock in the morning. The rays of the sun will help reduce the bilirubin content in the blood and cure jaundice.
Massage: A study revealed that soothing oil massages in morning sunlight every day could improve the frequency of bowel movement in babies and aid the elimination of bilirubin by reducing enterohepatic circulation.
Pressure points for treating Jaundice (serum bilirubin, SGPT / SGOT raised):
Both IF 3 / 4 LHM – 4, 5 ↓, 3, 6 ↑
Lt IF 5 / 6 LHM – 4, 5 ↓, 3, 6 ↑
Lt RF 5 / 6 LHM – 2, 4 ↑, 3, 6 ↓
Paste white side of the Byol magnet touching the tape where the white dot is shown and yellow side of Byol magnet where black dot is given.
(The Free Press Journal along with the Lions Club of Mumbai ACTION would like to guide people on how to treat self through non-invasive, therapies like Sujok, Ayurvedic Acupressure and Mudra Yoga. This is complementary and will not override the treatment given by doctor. Please share your problems by writing to us at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share the problem on WhatsApp at 9323178565.)