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Jaundice (Hyperbilirubinemia) - Overview



Jaundice
Jaundice is a term used to describe the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
It's caused by a build-up of a substance called bilirubin in the blood and body's tissues.
The most common signs of jaundice are:
  • Yellowing of the skin, eyes and the lining of the inside of parts of the body, such as the mouth and nose (mucus membrane)
  • Pale-coloured stools
  • Dark-coloured urine

There are three types of jaundice depending on what's disrupting the normal removal of bilirubin from the body. They are pre-hepatic jaundice, hepatic jaundice, post-hepatic jaundice.
You'll probably have a urine test and liver function and blood tests. If intra-hepatic jaundice or post-hepatic jaundice is suspected, it's often possible to confirm the diagnosis using imaging tests to check for abnormalities in the liver or bile duct systems.

Treatment for jaundice in adults and older children depends on what's causing it. This may involve treating the underlying condition, a blood transfusion or surgery.

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