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Jaundice

Jaundice is a very common condition in newborns, and is especially common in premature babies.

Jaundice can occur

in people of all ages, including infants, children and adults. It can be a sign of various underlying medical conditions, and the causes of jaundice can vary. Here are some possible causes of jaundice:

  • Physiological jaundice in infants: This is common and is caused by an increase in bilirubin production and an immature liver function in newborns. Physiological jaundice usually goes away on its own within a few weeks.

  • Hemolytic anemia: If red blood cells are broken down at a faster rate than normal, it may increase bilirubin levels in the blood. This can be due to diseases such as hereditary spherocytosis or diseases that increase the destruction of red blood cells.

  • Liver diseases: Liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or cirrhosis can affect the liver ability to process and eliminate bilirubin, leading to jaundice.

  • Gallstone diseases: If gallstones block the bile ducts, this can prevent bile from flowing normally, which can cause Jaundice.

  • Infections: Certain infections, such as measles or malaria, can affect red blood cells and increase bilirubin production.

  • Medications or toxins: Certain medications or exposure to toxic substances can damage the liver and cause jaundice.

  • Liver cancer: Liver cancer can affect liver function and lead to jaundice.

The treatment of jaundice depends on the underlying cause. For babies with physiologic jaundice, sometimes increasing the amount of breast milk or formula the baby receives can be enough, as it helps eliminate bilirubin.

Symptoms Jaundice:

Jaundice is relatively common in newborns and is usually harmless. It may be normal in the first few days or weeks of a newborn's life due to a temporary excess of bilirubin, which is a substance formed when red blood cells break down. To assess whether jaundice is normal or requires medical attention, it is important to recognize the early symptoms of jaundice in newborns. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Yellowish skin and the whites of the eyes: The most obvious symptom of jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes (sclera). This is due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the body's tissues. The discoloration usually starts on the face and then spreads down the body.

  • Darker urine: The urine of a child with jaundice may be darker than normal due to of the presence of bilirubin.

  • Lighter stools: The child's stools may be lighter than normal due to problems with bile flow due to high bilirubin levels.

  • Decreased appetite or lethargy: Some newborns with jaundice may be more tired and have less appetite than normal.

  • Irritability or difficulty waking: Some newborns with high bilirubin levels may be irritable, difficult to wake, or difficult to comfort.

  • Severe jaundice: In rare cases, jaundice can become more severe and cause other symptoms, such as muscle stiffness or difficulty eating.

It is important to note that jaundice is common in newborns and often occurs in the first days or weeks of life. Many times jaundice is mild and does not require specific treatment.