Bilirubin is a yellow-colored substance that is responsible for the yellowing of the skin and sclerae in jaundice.
Bilirubin is a waste product that remains in the bloodstream after iron is removed from hemoglobin in red blood cells. When there is an excess of bilirubin, it can leak out into surrounding tissues, saturating them with this yellow substance.
Once bilirubin is in the liver, other chemicals are latched on to it, creating a substance called conjugated bilirubin, which is secreted in bile (a digestive juice released by the liver) and then excreted. A product of bilirubin is what gives feces its brown color.
Causes of jaundice
Jaundice most often occurs as a result of an underlying disorder that either causes overproduction of bilirubin or prevents the liver from disposing of it, both of which result in bilirubin being deposited in tissues.
- Acute inflammation of the liver – may impair the ability of the liver to conjugate and secrete bilirubin, resulting in a buildup.
- Inflammation of the bile duct – may prevent the secretion of bile and removal of bilirubin, causing jaundice.
- Obstruction of the bile duct – prevents the liver from disposing of bilirubin.
- Hemolytic anemia – production of bilirubin increases when large quantities of red blood cells are broken down.
- Gilbert’s syndrome – an inherited condition that impairs the ability of enzymes to process the excretion of bile.
- Cholestasis – a condition where the flow of bile from the liver is interrupted. The bile containing conjugated bilirubin remains in the liver instead of being excreted.
Symptoms of jaundice
Symptoms of jaundice include:
- Yellow tinge to the skin and the whites of the eyes, normally starting at the head and spreading down the body
- Pruritis (itchiness)
- Abdominal pain – typically indicates a blockage of the bile duct
- Weight loss
- Paler than usual stools
- Dark urine
3 Effective Home Remedies to Treat Jaundice:
Fresh radish leaves are very beneficial in treating jaundice. Eating fresh radish leaves not only removes harmful toxins from the body, but they also help to keep bilirubin levels under check. Eating radish leaves can also boost oxygen levels in the body. Boosting oxygen levels of the body will help to remove the distinctive yellowish tinge of the skin.Mash a bunch of fresh radish leaves. Squeeze the radish leaves to extract their juice. Now drink one cup of this highly beneficial juice two to three times a day. Drink the radish juice regularly for ten days to recover from jaundice quickly.
This highly versatile herb is used to treat a variety of liver conditions including jaundice. Turmeric also stimulates the flow of bile (which in turn prevents accumulation of bile in the system). The potent compound curcumin which is present in turmeric helps to remove harmful toxins which can cause irreversible damage to the liver.
Heat a glass of low fat milk. Add a quarter teaspoon of organic turmeric powder to the warm milk. Drink the turmeric infused milk two to three times a day to recover faster from the ill effects of jaundice.
Drinking a tall glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice is one of the best natural antidotes for jaundice. Lemon juice is renowned for its liver healing properties. Furthermore, undiluted lemon juice acts as a natural diuretic. The natural diuretic properties of lemon juice helps in removing excess fluids and toxins from the body (including toxins which can harm the liver). The high pectin content in lemon juice also stimulates the production of bile.
Squeeze out the juice of half a lemon. Dilute the lemon juice in a tall glass of water. Drink the lemon water three to four times a day (preferably on an empty stomach) for a couple of weeks to cure jaundice.