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Baby Health > Related Conditions > Jaundice
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Congratulations on your newborn! We're here to help you welcome your baby into the world with some helpful tips on a range of health topics including proper nutrition, hygiene, and immunization.
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Jaundice



In this condition factsheet:


Diagnosing Jaundice

Your doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. Your doctor will ask how suddenly the jaundice came on, what other symptoms accompanied it, and how the stool and urine look. A blood sample will also be taken and checked for hepatitis virus antibodies, abnormal red blood cells, bilirubin levels, and various other substances that give clues about liver function. Your doctor may also order other tests such as an ultrasound or biopsy to determine the cause of jaundice.

Treating and Preventing Jaundice

There's no treatment for jaundice as such, since it's not a disease but a sign of a medical problem. The approach is to treat the underlying cause, if possible. Some of the medical problems that cause jaundice are curable, like malaria. Others, like thalassemia, are treatable. Many, like hepatitis A, newborn jaundice, or cholestasis of pregnancy, aren't curable but go away on their own. Usually treatment is unnecessary. Conditions like cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis are lifelong problems that may cause permanent or recurring jaundice. Some types of cancer can cause jaundice and should be investigated by a physician as early as possible, since early detection and treatment can improve survival.

Many of these diseases are inherited or autoimmune conditions that we don't know how to prevent. People can, however, do something about the two most common causes of jaundice - viral hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease. There are vaccines against hepatitis A and B (although, unfortunately, not against type C). The hepatitis B vaccine can protect you against lifelong complications of this disease. People suffering from alcoholism can help reduce their risk of alcoholic liver disease by seeking treatment for their condition.

References



 

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