Ways to Prevent Jaundice
What Is Jaundice?
Also known as icterus, jaundice is a medical term used to describe a yellowish tinge to the skin and the white part of the eye. Too much bilirubin (a yellow chemical in hemoglobin) causes this medical condition.
Jaundice is not exactly a disease. It is the indicator of an underlying disease. Dr Pradip Shah, Physician, Fortis Hospital in Mumbai says there are two types of jaundice: hepatitis A and hepatitis E, which is mainly caused by contaminated water or food.
Symptoms of Jaundice
Tiredness, lack of physical strength, fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, nausea, colored urine, yellowing of skin and yellowing of eyes are some common symptoms of this medical condition.
Because of a wide range of potential causes of jaundice, it is indeed a challenge to prevent this medical condition. However, here are some tips that help you to prevent jaundice to a certain extent.
Are you taking adequate measures to prevent jaundice?
Ways to Prevent Jaundice
Here are effective ways to prevent jaundice.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption
Excessive consumption of alcohol over an extended period of time can cause jaundice. Avoiding alcohol consumption is an effective way to prevent jaundice in adults. Alcohol has a huge negative impact on the normal functioning of the liver. It is also known to cause liver damage.
Excessive alcohol consumption damages the liver in three stages: fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis and the dreaded liver cirrhosis. Fatty liver is an indication that the liver is not metabolizing fats. It has to be taken as a warning signal.
Doctors diagnose fatty liver by testing liver function. This test measures the amount of non-metabolized fat in the blood. Jaundice is not seen at this stage of liver disease. Mild fatty liver is not harmful, but if the person does not reduce alcohol consumption, the may result in further damage to liver.
The link between jaundice and alcohol becomes visible in the second stage of alcohol liver problem, alcoholic hepatitis. At this stage, the liver becomes inflamed. This is because; alcohol prevents liver from metabolizing fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
This results in a buildup of toxins in the blood stream. Bilirubin also increases in the blood stream. There is hope at this stage. If at this stage, the person stops consuming alcohol, damage caused to the liver can be repaired.
This has proved to be effective in treating jaundice!
If the person continues to consume alcohol, it leads to liver cirrhosis. The liver hardens due to buildup of scar tissue. The capacity of the liver to perform its various functions decreases further.
Unfortunately damage caused to the liver due to cirrhosis is not reversible. Most often it is fatal. Liver transplant is usually recommended by doctors in some cases. It definitely makes sense to stop consuming alcohol during the second stage mentioned above. By doing this the person can prevent liver cirrhosis.
For pregnant women
Prevent Jaundice in Baby
Jaundice can develop in newborn babies within the first two to four days. In order to prevent jaundice in newborn baby, the person should take blood tests during pregnancy. It is advisable to reduce the risk of pre-term birth.
The would-be mother should refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol. She should avoid street drugs. She should stay calm. Stress is one of the main reasons of early birth. It is advisable to begin breastfeeding early (within the first few hours of childbirth).
It is advisable to feed the baby frequently. Steady supply of milk increases the baby’s weight and promotes healthy development of the liver. A normal newborn baby should be fed at least eight to twelve times during the day.
It is important to expose the baby to light. Light changes bilirubin into a form that need not pass through the liver in order to be expelled. This reduces the risk of jaundice. Expose the naked baby to sunlight for a few minutes, not exceeding five minutes at a time.
Get Yourself Vaccinated Against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Infection
Hepatitis is the medical term for inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is an acute infections disease of the liver that is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis B is an infectious inflammatory medical condition of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are common in many parts of the world. It is advisable to consult your doctor and to get yourself vaccinated if your doctor recommends. If you are traveling to a location where these medical conditions are common, it is advisable to get yourself vaccinated before traveling.
If you have suffered from hepatitis A and received adequate medical treatment and recovered, you will not have a relapse of jaundice. However, hepatitis E is more persistent and can strike again after 15-20 days.
As of now, there is no vaccination for hepatitis E. However, you can get vaccinated for hepatits A. For students and working professionals, it is a must mainly because if you have jaundice, you will need rest for at least a week before you fully recover.
Develop Hygiene Habits
Wash your hands before eating or drinking. Keep your feet and hands clean always.
Avoid consuming contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A and hepatitis E spread through contaminated water. To completely reduce the risk jaundice, avoid road side food and eating outside as far as possible.
These basic good habits that are taught in school go a long way in minimizing the risk of jaundice. During monsoons, you are more vulnerable to infection. So stick to home cooked foods during the rainy season.
While cooking, clean your vegetables and fruits thoroughly under running water. Cook your vegetables well to keep yourself safe from any contaminants.
Reduce the Risk of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is an infections medical condition that affects the liver. As of now, there is no known vaccine for hepatitis C. It is advisable to minimize the risk of this medical condition by avoiding injecting illegal drugs.
Avoid Exposure to Industrial Chemicals
When red blood cells break down naturally in a 120 day cycle, bilirubin is produced as a waste by-product. Some organic industrial chemicals attack the membranes of the red blood cells. This will impact bilirubin levels in the body. If your work involved exposure to harmful organic industrial chemicals, it is advisable to take appropriate precautions.
Avoid Weight Gain
Obesity can be a cause of jaundice. It is important to maintain appropriate weight for your height and build. Ensure that your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Use a BMI calculator, which is available online.
Obesity can be prevented easily by adhering to a healthy lifestyle. It is advisable to have a diet plan. Have a tentative balance of energy in and energy out. It is a good idea to keep your calorie needs in mind.
Keep a watch on your portion size. You need to be careful while eating out in fast food joints and restaurants. That is where people tend to overeat. It is easier to adhere to your plan when you are at home.
It is important to stay active. Involve people in your family in activities that you all enjoy. For instance you all may play an outdoor game. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, running and swimming are other options.
Practicing yoga asanas (postures), under the guidance of an expert, is an effective way to keep your liver healthy and strong. Pawanamukthasana and Ardha Matsyendrasana are very good for the liver.
Avoid activities like sitting in front of the TV watching soaps, browsing the internet without any purpose, watching movies continuously and playing video games continuously. These activities eat into your time and add weight to your body. You should not spend more than two hours in a day involving yourself in these activities.
Keep track of your BMI, weight, and waist circumference. Awareness is the key in weight management. Awareness enables you to take appropriate action based on your current status.
Boost Your Immune System
Adhere to a high fibre diet. Avoid processed foods. Include superfoods like yogurt, ginger, turmeric and fresh fruits in your diet. Avoid cold salads and stick to cooked food to stay on the safer side during monsoon months.
Foods That Prevent Jaundice
Dark green leafy vegetables
Health and Happiness
- Jaundice is also known as icterus.
- Bilirubin buildup in the blood stream causes jaundice.
- Excessive alcohol consumption over an extended period of time may cause jaundice.
- Jaundice can develop in newborn babies within the first two to four days.
- Obesity can cause jaundice.
- Carambola juice or starfruit juice is known to prevent jaundice.
I dropped about 20 pounds in the blink of an eye. And then when you see it in the mirror, when all of a sudden you pull your eyes down, and the bottom of your eyes go yellow and jaundice sets in - then you know something's wrong.— Patrick Swayze