Jaundice in Adults (cont.)
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In this Article
- Jaundice definition
- Jaundice in adults
- What causes jaundice in adults?
- Pre-hepatic causes
- Hepatic causes
- Post-hepatic causes
- What are the symptoms of jaundice in adults?
- What are the risk factors for jaundice in adults?
- How is jaundice in adults diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for jaundice in adults?
- What are the complications of jaundice in adults?
- Can jaundice in adults be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of jaundice in adults?
What are the complications of jaundice in adults?
The type of complication and the severity of complications vary with the underlying cause leading to jaundice. Certain individuals will not suffer any long-term after effects and will have a full recovery, while for others the appearance of jaundice will be the first indication of a life-threatening condition. A few of the potential complications include:
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Chronic hepatitis
- Liver failure
- Kidney failure
- Hepatic encephalopathy (brain dysfunction)
Can jaundice in adults be prevented?
Certain conditions leading to jaundice can be prevented, whereas others may be less preventable. However, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to decrease the risk of developing jaundice.
- Take medications as instructed in order to prevent potential liver damage or unintentional overdose. Individuals with certain medical conditions (for example, G6PD deficiency or cirrhosis) should avoid certain medications altogether. Discuss medications with your health care professional.
- Avoid high-risk behaviors such as unprotected intercourse or intravenous drug use, and implement universal precautions when working with blood products and needles. This can decrease your risk of developing hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
- Consider being vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is currently no available vaccine against hepatitis C.
- Avoid potentially contaminated food products or unsanitary water, as this may decrease your risk of developing hepatitis A.
- When travelling to areas where malaria is endemic, take the recommended precautions and prophylactic medications in order to prevent the development of malaria.
- Consume alcohol responsibly and only in moderation. This can prevent alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis and pancreatitis, among other conditions. Certain individuals will need to avoid alcohol altogether.
- Avoid smoking, as it is a risk factor for the development of pancreatic cancer, as well as many other malignancies.
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