Jaundice in Little Rock, AR

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Jaundice is a condition that causes the whites of the eyes and skin to turn yellow. It results from high levels of bilirubin accumulation, a yellow-orange substance in the liver. While jaundice is most commonly seen in newborn babies, it can affect adult patients as well. Jaundice usually doesn’t need to be treated. It is important, however, to consult a GI provider at GastroArkansas if your skin or eyes begin to take on a yellow color, as the underlying cause of the condition might require treatment. To meet with a provider who offers care for jaundice in Little Rock, AR, contact our practice today and request an appointment.

Jaundice develops when an individual has an excess amount of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a bile waste product created in the liver from the normal destruction of red blood cells (RBCs). The precise cause of jaundice varies according to whether it appears before, during, or after the production of bilirubin.

Reasons for jaundice prior to the production of bilirubin (called unconjugated jaundice) include:

  • Reabsorption of a severe bruise (clotted blood beneath the skin)
  • Hemolytic anemias (red blood cells are destroyed before the end of their standard lifespan)

Causes of jaundice throughout bilirubin production are:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Epstein-Barr or other viruses
  • Hepatitis A, B, or C
  • Drinking alcohol

Reasons for jaundice after bilirubin production could result from bile duct obstruction due to:

  • Inflammation of the bladder
  • Gallstones
  • Certain cancers

Some patients additionally have jaundice resulting from diseases of the liver. This can transpire if you experience:

  • Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin disease)
  • Arthritis
  • Acute hepatitis A, B, or C
  • Liver inflammation (or long-term hepatitis)

Oftentimes, jaundice is detected incidentally. In fact, there may not even be any symptoms present. However, jaundice symptoms can be dependent upon the root cause of the condition. Should you have a fever, chills, abdominal aches, dark-colored urine, clay-colored bowel movements, flu-like symptoms, or yellowing of the skin, you could be experiencing jaundice resulting from an infection.

However, if your jaundice is not due to any type of infection, you might experience symptoms like an unintentional drop in body weight or itchy skin. In addition, the most common indication of jaundice due to cancer is abdominal pain.

If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms mentioned here, we invite you to book a consultation at GastroArkansas so we can evaluate the health and condition of your liver.

Jaundice is often discovered when evaluating other ailments or health concerns. It can also be detected when screening for signs of liver disease. Symptoms associated with this can involve:

  • Varicose veins
  • Palmar erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips)
  • Skin bruising

Urinalysis and blood tests can also provide information regarding bilirubin levels. We may recommend a liver function test to investigate the size, health, and any discomfort associated with your liver.

Once identified, we can begin treating the root source of jaundice. Given that therapy isn't usually required for jaundice, our Little Rock, AR team will usually treat the side effects connected to it. Common jaundice side effects we can treat include:

  • Trouble having a bowel movement
  • Pain in the abdomen or indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools
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Should you develop a yellow hue in your skin or eyes or have diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, vomiting, or bloating, you may be experiencing jaundice. Though jaundice by itself usually doesn’t need intervention, the underlying source of the condition still may — which can include gallstones, bladder or liver inflammation, long-term hepatitis, or potentially cancer. The GI doctors at GastroArkansas specialize in treating jaundice and several of the liver problems associated with it. To learn more about jaundice and how to treat and reduce its risk, contact our Little Rock, AR gastroenterology team to request a consultation.

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