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Jaundice causes

  • Definition
    • Jaundice is a yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow color comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jaundice is a sign of other diseases.

      This article discusses the possible causes of jaundice in children and adults. Newborn jaundice occurs in very young infants.

  • Alternative Names
    • Causes of jaundice; Cholestasis

  • Information
    • Jaundice is often a sign of a problem with the liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Jaundice can occur when too much bilirubin builds up in the body. This may happen when:

      • There are too many red blood cells dying or breaking down and going to the liver.
      • The liver is overloaded or damaged.
      • The bilirubin from the liver is unable to properly move into the digestive tract.

      Conditions that can cause jaundice include:

      • Infections of the liver from a virus (hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E) or a parasite
      • Use of certain drugs (such as an overdose of acetaminophen) or exposure to poisons
      • Birth defects or disorders present since birth that makes it hard for the body to breakdown bilirubin (such as Gilbert syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor syndrome, or Crigler-Najjar syndrome)
      • Liver damage
      • Gallstones or gallbladder disorders
      • Blood disorders
      • Cancer of the pancreas
      • Bile build-up in the gallbladder because of pressure in the belly area during pregnancy (jaundice of pregnancy)
  • References
    • Berk PD, Korenblat KM. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman' sCecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 147.

      Lidofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 21.