Tags: hepatitis | bilirubin | liver | jaundice | bile duct | gallbladder

What Diseases Cause Jaundice?

Saturday, 15 Mar 2014 12:18 AM

Jaundice is a medical condition where body tissues produce an excess of bilirubin. This is transferred to various organs such as the liver, bile duct, gall bladder, and duodenum via the bloodstream. It causes symptoms like yellowing of the whiter parts of the skin, eyes, and body; brown feces; and fever, vomiting, nausea, itching, and weight loss.

Bilirubin is a chemical compound formed during the breakdown of aged red blood cells in the liver. Infants, children, and adults can get jaundice due to varied underlying causes. Excessive bilirubin is produced when a person suffers from some known diseases such as hepatitis, sickle cell anemia, pancreatic cancer, cirrhosis, and gallbladder cancer.
 
Jaundice and Infection Caused by Bilirubin

Due to the breakdown of red blood cells in the liver, a chemical compound called bilirubin is produced. This is the prime agent causing jaundice or the yellowing color in the skin. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment. When produced in an excess amount, it affects red blood cell count, liver, bile duct, gallbladder, and duodenum via the conjugation of blood and the yellow chemical bilirubin. This compound is extracted in the liver, and then passes to the minor bile duct and then enters the common large bile duct, further reaching the gallbladder lying below the liver. From here, the bilirubin transfers in the conjugated bile to the duodenum. If the bile carries excess bilirubin, the feces turn brown and cause symptoms of jaundice.
 
There are many diseases affecting the liver, gallbladder, bile duct, etc. that cause jaundice. A prime cause is hepatitis. Some other such causes of jaundice are the following:

Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia are evident when red blood cells sometime see increased breakdown in the liver, producing excess bilirubin. This leads to jaundice that is caused due to a problem in the red blood cells. Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia are two such common diseases of the red blood cells.

Hepatitis causes jaundice as it affects the liver. Hepatitis is another the prime disease condition affecting a person with jaundice. Hepatitis is an inflammation and swelling of the liver caused mainly due to viral infection. Patients suffering from hepatitis have greater chances of contracting jaundice. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are the various types of hepatitis that affect the liver through overproduction of bilirubin. Therefore, hepatitis is a disease that affects the liver and in turn gives rise to symptoms of jaundice.

Primary biliary cirrhosis is a disease condition affecting the tiny bile ducts lying inside the liver and in turn restricts the flow of bile, which results in bile containing bilirubin spilling into the bloodstream and causing further complications resulting in jaundice.

Pancreatic cancer and cancer of the gallbladder are two forms of cancers affecting the common bile duct. Here, the blood flow is restricted and there is a blocking of the common bile duct.

Cirrhosis and Gilbert’s syndrome are among other conditions giving rise to overproduction of bilirubin.

These important disease conditions affecting the liver, gallbladder, and bile duct cause the symptoms of jaundice.

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When the chemical called bilirubin starts building up in the tissues, it turns the body yellow and causes various symptoms of jaundice in the affected person. The current article discusses various jaundice-causing diseases like hepatitis.
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2014-18-15
Saturday, 15 Mar 2014 12:18 AM
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