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Jaundice is the yellow discolouration of your skin and the whites of your eye.

Jaundice is the yellow discolouration of your skin and the whites of your eye.
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Jaundice in adults

Jaundice is the yellow discolouration of your skin and the whites of your eyes. If you have jaundice, it's important to visit your doctor for an immediate check.

What is jaundice?

Jaundice is the yellow discolouration of your skin and the whites of your eyes.

Jaundice is not a disease by itself, but it is a sign of a health problem. It may be a sign of a problem in the liver, or sometimes in the gallbladder or pancreas. Occasionally, problems with your blood can cause jaundice.

Jaundice causes

Jaundice is common in babies for many different reasons. If you're looking for information on jaundice in babies, go to the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby website.

When an adult becomes jaundiced, it can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Jaundice is caused by the build-up of a substance called bilirubin in your blood.

Because bilirubin is processed in the liver, jaundice is usually a symptom of liver disease caused by:

Jaundice can also result from a blockage beyond the liver, caused by:

Jaundice diagnosis

Your doctor will talk to you, examine your abdomen for painful areas and ask about your symptoms. With jaundice you may have:

Your doctor may order blood and urine tests to check your level of bilirubin. They may also order an ultrasound scan to check for obstructions or signs of liver and pancreatic disease. In some cases, your doctor may request a liver biopsy to confirm liver disease.

Jaundice treatment

There are many different treatments. It depends on the cause. Talk to your doctor or call healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

Last reviewed: October 2015

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Jaundice in babies

Trusted information on jaundice in babies including what it is, causes, symptoms, tests, treatment and prevention, plus links to trusted resources.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Jaundice in newborns | Raising Children Network

Mild jaundice in newborns is quite common and usually harmless. Symptoms include yellow skin and eyes. Newborn jaundice usually goes away after 1-2 weeks.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Jaundice in babies

Two or three days after birth you may notice that your baby's skin has a yellow colour - this is called jaundice. Jaundice often develops in normal healthy babies in the first week or so of life.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Jaundice - Lab Tests Online AU

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes, and body fluids. It is caused by an increase in the amount of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is produced from the breakdown of haem, mostly from haemoglobin in red blood cells (RBCs). It is transported by the blood to the liver, where it is linked with a sugar by an enzyme (conjugated) so that it can be excreted in bile, eventually reaching the small intestine. Jaundice may arise from a problem at any point in the pathway and is usually a sign that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Pregnancy - Pregnancy Topics - Why is my baby yellow? - neonatal jaundice.

Two or three days after birth you may notice that your baby's skin has a yellow colour - this is called jaundice. Jaundice often develops in normal healthy babies in the first week or so of life.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Jaundice in newborn babies | The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Gilbert's Syndrome | myVMC

Gilbert's syndrome is a harmless, inherited disorder which may cause mild jaundice and abnormal blood test results.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Haptoglobin - Lab Tests Online AU

If you have signs of anaemia such as weakness, paleness or jaundice that the doctor suspects may be due to red blood cell destruction (haemolytic anaemia).

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase - Lab Tests Online AU

If a child experienced persistent jaundice as a newborn that was not due to another identified cause; when you have had one or more intermittent bouts of haemolytic anaemia that appear to be due to an oxidative stress

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

ALT - Lab Tests Online AU

ALT is an enzyme found mostly in the liver; smaller amounts are also found in the kidneys, heart and muscles. Under normal conditions, ALT levels in the blood are low. When the liver is damaged, ALT is released into the blood stream, usually before more obvious symptoms of liver damage occur, such as jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin).

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

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