Although not a disease in itself Jaundice is a symptom of liver disorder. It is easily recognisable, as the sufferer will develop a yellowish tinge to the whites of the eyes and skin.
The yellowish tinge of Jaundice is due to an accumulation of bilirubin levels in the blood. During the breakdown of 'old' red blood cells by the spleen, bilirubin is formed as a byproduct. The bilirubin is then passed to the liver, where it undergoes a further process in order for it to be dissolved into bile and then excreted from the body.
A number of liver disorders causing Jaundice can prevent the excretion of the bilirubin including; hepatitis, over indulgence in alcohol or alcoholic cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatocelluloar damage due to ingestion of toxic substances (e.g. poisons or overdose of prescribed medications). It is very important to identify the cause of the jaundice in order to begin the correct treatment, if necessary or available, for the liver disorder.
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