Hepatic Jaundice: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Hepatic jaundice is a type of jaundice that occurs when the liver is damaged and unable to process bilirubin efficiently. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced when red blood cells are broken down. Normally, the liver filters bilirubin from the bloodstream and excretes it into the intestines to be eliminated from the body. In hepatic jaundice, the liver is unable to perform this function, leading to the accumulation of bilirubin in the body, causing yellowing of the skin and eyes. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hepatic jaundice.

Causes of Hepatic Jaundice

Hepatic jaundice can be caused by various factors that damage the liver, such as:

  1. Viral hepatitis: Hepatitis viruses, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, can cause inflammation and damage to the liver, leading to hepatic jaundice.
  2. Alcoholic liver disease: Alcohol abuse can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver, which can impair its ability to filter bilirubin from the bloodstream.
  3. Cirrhosis: This is a condition in which the liver becomes scarred and damaged, impairing its ability to function properly.
  4. Drug-induced liver injury: Some medications can cause liver damage, leading to hepatic jaundice. Common culprits include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and certain antibiotics.
  5. Autoimmune hepatitis: This is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the liver, leading to inflammation and damage.

Symptoms of Hepatic Jaundice

The main symptom of hepatic jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes, which is caused by the accumulation of bilirubin in the body. Other symptoms may include:

  1. Dark urine: Bilirubin can cause urine to become dark in color.
  2. Pale stools: Bilirubin can also cause stools to become pale in color.
  3. Abdominal pain: In some cases, hepatic jaundice can cause abdominal pain, especially if it is caused by gallstones or other blockages.
  4. Fatigue: Liver damage can cause fatigue, weakness, and general malaise.
  5. Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms may occur if liver damage impairs the body’s ability to process toxins.

Treatment of Hepatic Jaundice

The treatment of hepatic jaundice depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, the goal of treatment is to manage the underlying condition and support liver function. Treatment options may include:

  1. Medications: Medications may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause of hepatic jaundice, such as antiviral drugs for hepatitis B or C or immunosuppressive drugs for autoimmune hepatitis.
  2. Lifestyle changes: If hepatic jaundice is caused by alcohol abuse, quitting alcohol is crucial to prevent further liver damage.
  3. Nutritional support: A healthy diet and nutritional supplements may be recommended to support liver function and promote healing.
  4. Liver transplant: In severe cases of liver damage, a liver transplant may be necessary to replace the damaged liver with a healthy one.

Prevention of Hepatic Jaundice

Hepatic jaundice can often be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding activities that can damage the liver, such as excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse. Vaccinations can also prevent viral hepatitis infections. Regular checkups with a healthcare provider can help detect liver damage early and prevent the progression of hepatic jaundice

  1. Prehepatic jaundice
  2. Post-hepatic jaundice
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