Are you experiencing an abnormal discoloration of the skin? Jaundice can make your skin and eyes start turning into yellow. It is a condition that can affect your self-esteem and lower your confidence if not addressed in time. In most cases, this condition comes from a disorder that affects the functioning of the liver. Though most of us associate jaundice with infants, it can also occur in adults.
Doctors reveal that jaundice can be caused by other conditions that may affect your spleen or the blood. This happens to adults when the body has a lot of bilirubin which is a yellow-like substance that is located in the red blood cells. Today, we will focus on adults that get jaundice as we discuss why it happens, as well as how you can cope with this condition. Read on!
What causes jaundice?
The liver is responsible for processing your foods and drinks. It allows your body to absorb nutrients and convert them into energy. It also eliminates damaged cells from your body. The foods that you take have an impact on the functioning of the liver.
The body produces red blood cells and sustains them for about three months. These cells die after this time paving the way for new ones to be formed. Since bilirubin occurs in these cells, the liver takes them up from your blood when the red blood cells die.
An unhealthy liver struggles to keep up with the accumulation of this substance, thus making the skin appear yellow. Some conditions can trigger this disease in adults such as liver disease, hepatitis, pancreatic cancer and taking some medicines.
Hepatitis comes from a virus that can affect the liver. Ones the liver is damaged, and bilirubin builds up, it causes jaundice. In other cases, the bile ducts may be blocked by substances such as gallstones. Bile ducts are tubes which are responsible for the transportation of body fluids to the small intestines from the gallbladder. A block in the tubes can lead to jaundice.
People who have cancer of the pancreas are also prone to suffering from jaundice. This disease can also be triggered by taking certain medications. For instance, hydrocodone addiction can cause jaundice. Other drugs such as contraceptives, steroids, and penicillin are also possible causes.
How can you cope with jaundice?
Identify the cause
We have seen that the condition has more than one cause. Therefore, the first thing you should do is try to figure out your cause. In a hospital, you can take a bilirubin test to determine how much of this substance is present in your body. You can also undergo physical exams to evaluate the condition of your liver. Imaging tests can help the doctor determine its cause.
Consider treatment options
Ones the cause is known, there are different treatment options that you should take. It could be taking prescription drugs if the cause is liver failure or surgery in a case of a blocked bile duct. You can take antiviral drugs if the cause is hepatitis. Those who have jaundice caused by cancer are advised to seek radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Ensure that you take these options seriously. If the doctor prescribes medication, take the right dosage at appropriate times. Get someone to help you with errands if you have to undergo surgery.
Get medicinal lotions
You can also get medicinal creams if you have itchy or painful skin. The damage of the liver may lead to abdominal pain and irritating skin. Lotions such as the calamine cream is an effective remedy for managing an itchy skin caused by jaundice. Watch out for side effects such as vomiting, weakness, constipation and low appetite.
Check your diet
Dietary changes are vital in treating jaundice. Look for a dietician who understands the condition to recommend an appropriate diet for you. You can start by making changes such as reducing your salt intake as well as proteins. Replace salt with fresh herbs since salt can cause liver damage to progress.
Enhance the health of your liver by taking a lot of carbohydrates. Avoid taking processed foods since they contain a lot of sodium which is unhealthy for your body. When you go shopping, go through the labels from packaged foods to determine if the all the components are healthy to use.
A person with cancer and jaundice requires dietary supplements for them to get sufficient nutrients to boost their immunity. Enzyme supplements, for instance, are useful in enhancing the digestion process in such patients. You can also get digestive enzymes from fruits like mango and papaya.
Take snacks, smoothies or small meal portions during low appetite. Ensure that you are taking enough fruits and vegetables in different textures. Probiotics in the form of supplements or yogurt can also help.
Experiments on new meals that enhance your appetite make it easy to receive enough nutrients from foods. Ensure that you take enough fluids such as herbal tea and water. Try herbs like milk thistle. Stay away from foods such as grapefruits since they interfere with medicines and render them ineffective.
Stick to your normal schedule
Do not let the color of your skin keep you in isolation. Continue going to work if you can and associate with friends and family. This will boost your confidence and prevent you from feeling different from others. Take it as a temporary situation and maintain a positive mindset for a quick recovery.
Avoid taking alcohol and drugs
Taking too much alcohol can cause liver disease. Damaging the liver exposes you to cirrhosis and hepatitis. These two conditions can aggravate jaundice. Quitting from using drugs and alcohol is your best option. Get a rehabilitation center or a counselor to help you with drug problems.
Our discussion today teaches us that jaundice is not only a condition for newborns. Improper diets, drugs, and medical conditions are all factors that can cause the disease. Start adjusting your diet today and eat foods that favor your condition. Visit the doctor often and inform them of any progress as you work towards recovery.