All you need to know about Jaundice


Deepika Rathod

Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes and white of the eyes caused by elevated levels of the chemical bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia). Jaundice is typically seen when the level of bilirubin in the blood exceeds 2.5 to 3 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Jaundice in adults is caused by various medical conditions that affect the normal metabolism or excretion of bilirubin. Bilirubin can be described as the yellowish-brown substance found in bile, which is produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. It is eliminated from the body in the form of faeces and it is the substance that gives stool its normal colour. There are certain factors that can cause bilirubin in the body to increase, these are: alcohol, spices, certain medication and acidic foods. A high level of bilirubin in the body is accompanied by yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. An excess of bilirubin in the body can lead to jaundice. Jaundice is not a disease but a sign of an underlying disease. Alcoholic liver disorder and viral hepatitis are the two most common diseases that result in jaundice. If you get jaundice regularly, speak to your doctor in order to gauge the exact reason.

A correct diagnosis of the underlying cause is viital so as to take remedial measures. Although medication is necessary for serious cases, it is rather easier to cure the simple forms of jaundice by proper diet management. However, certain foods alleviate symptoms and help improve liver functioning. Below are effective tips that relieve one of jaundice.

Food’s to avoid

Spicy and fried foods.

Junk foods and carbohydrate rich foods as the liver needs to produce more bile to digest these foods and it may aggravate the condition.

Alcohol, coffee and tea. Drink boiled water and avoid non-pasteurised milk.

Legumes and sprouts become difficult to digest. They also have a tendency to ferment or putrefy in the lower intestines.

Food’s to eat

Those suffering from jaundice need to follow a liquid diet for a few days in order to reduce the load on the liver. One should have water, lemon water, vegetable juice and soup, barley water, butter milk etc.

Properties in sugarcane aid digestion and proper liver functioning.

Make a paste of 10 to 15 basil leaves and add half a glass of freshly prepared radish juice to it. Drink this daily for about two to three weeks for better results. Basil and radish reduce bilirubin deposition.

Boil a cup of barley water in about three litres of water and allow it to simmer for three hours. Drink this water as frequently as possible throughout the day. This helps eliminate toxins in the liver.

The anti-inflammatory property in lemon helps treat jaundice. Lemon also unblocks bile ducts, thereby making it the most effective home remedy for jaundice. It makes the body alkaline and detoxifies the liver.

A hot water enema should be taken daily during this period to ensure regular bowel elimination.

All fats like clarified butter, butter, cream and oils must be avoided for at least two weeks, after which coconut and olive oil may be included in the diet but their consumption should be kept to a minimum.

Patients should have plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. Dandelion leaves, radish, carrots, bitter gourd, etc, should be added to one’s daily vegetable salad. Raw apples and pears are especially beneficial.

Wheatgrass triggers the liver to secrete more enzymes that help flush out excess bilirubin from the body. Babies suffering from jaundice should be given a few drops of wheat grass juice.

Jaundice that is caused by alcohol related liver disorder or viral hepatitis can be prevented. People suffering from alcoholism can prevent or reduce the risk of jaundice by avoiding alcohol. Jaundice caused by hepatitis A and B can be prevented by taking vaccination (hepatitis C has no vaccination as yet). A recurrence of liver trouble can be prevented with reasonable care in diet and life style, with regular or moderate exercise and frequent exposure to sunshine, fresh air and adequate rest.


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