A very familiar condition known as jaundice is characterized by yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes; dark colored urine and pale colored stools. Jaundice occurs due to excessive levels or accumulation of bilirubin in blood, a condition termed as hyperbilirubinemia.
Bilirubin is a waste product which is produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. This bilirubin has to be eliminated from body but due to any underlying pathology such as biliary duct obstruction or liver inflammation, this bilirubin gets accumulated in the blood and imparts yellow color to the skin and whites of the eyes. Jaundice is said to be a symptom as it indicates an underlying disease.
R.B.Cs are broken down in the liver and the useful materials such as iron is recycled whereas the useless part, the bilirubin, is passed though the bile duct and further for the purpose of its excretion. Hence, based upon the pathology of different physiological mechanisms, jaundice has been categorized as pre-hepatic jaundice, that is, any problem that occurs prior to liver; hepatic jaundice, that is, any problem that occurs in liver; post hepatic jaundice, which refers to any problem that lies post to the liver.
Treatment and management of jaundice depends upon its underlying cause. The causes of pre-hepatic jaundice include malaria, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, Gilbert’s syndrome and Crigler-Najjar syndrome. Hepatic jaundice can be caused due to hepatitis A, B, C; drug misuse and liver cancer. The causes of post hepatic jaundice include gall stone, pancreatic cancer, gall bladder cancer, biliary duct cancer and pancreatitis.
Some of the treatments for jaundice according to their causes are given as follows.
Pre-hepatic jaundice mainly occurs when there is a rapid breakdown of red blood cells leading to excessive amounts of release of bilirubin. For genetic causes of jaundice such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, blood transfusions generally help.
Malaria is an infectious disease that involves the breakdown of R.B.Cs and thus causes jaundice. Jaundice is rather a serious symptom of this disease. Hence, to cure malaria regarding the treatments for jaundice, medications can help. There are certain drugs available that are used to treat malaria.
P. falciparum, a parasite that is responsible to cause severe forms of malaria, can be treated by using quinine drugs. In severe cases, quinine medicines are injected through IV. Whereas in mild forms of P. falciparum malaria, quinine tablets may be prescribed along with some other drug such as doxycycline for adults, clindamycin for mostly children and pregnant women, etc.
In cases of serious complications such as liver failure, liver transplantation may be carried out.
Surgery may also be carried out for clearing the obstructed bile duct. If the cause of jaundice is liver cancer, then this is dealt separately by the means of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Jaundice is also a common condition in the newborns. Treatments for jaundice regarding the newborns include phototherapy and blood transfusion.
Besides medical treatments, there are available some home remedies that can help cure jaundice too.
One of such remedies is the juice of green leaves of radish. Crush the leaves, extract the juice, and have a glass twice every day. The juice is good for bowel system but should be taken by an adult patient only.
Add a stick of turmeric to a bowl of curd and have it every day. It is useful in treating the diseased liver.
A fresh glass of tomato juice with a pinch of pepper and salt, taken early in the morning can also be a useful remedy to cure jaundice.
Another useful home remedy for the treatment of jaundice could be lemon juice. The jaundice patient must drink lemon juice many times a day.
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