Jaundice in San Antonio, TX
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What is jaundice?
Although jaundice is most commonly found in newborn babies, it can also develop in adults. This condition causes the skin and the whites of the eyes to turn a yellow color. This is the result of high levels of bilirubin, a yellow-orange pigment in the liver. While the condition commonly doesn’t have to be treated, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced GI provider at your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location if you notice that your eyes or skin developing a yellowish shade, as the underlying cause may need to be treated. To get additional information on treating jaundice in San Antonio, TX, connect with our team to request a consultation today.
What are the main causes of jaundice?
Jaundice develops if someone has abnormal levels of bilirubin, which is a yellowish substance created in the liver from the breakdown of red blood cells (RBCs). The main cause behind jaundice depends on whether it develops before production, in production, or following bilirubin production.
Causes of jaundice before the production of bilirubin (unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia) are:
- Reabsorption of a large hematoma (pooling of blood under the skin)
- Hemolytic anemias (blood cells are destroyed more quickly than their regular life cycle)
Causes of jaundice throughout bilirubin production include:
- Certain medications
- Epstein-Barr or other viruses
- Autoimmune disorders
- Hepatitis A, B, or C
- Alcohol use
Causes of jaundice after bilirubin production might be because of blocked bile ducts related to:
- Bladder inflammation
- Multiple cancers
Some patients develop jaundice in connection with liver disease. This can happen if you have any of the following conditions:
- Inflammation of the liver (or long-term hepatitis)
- Pyoderma gangrenosum (a skin disease)
- Acute hepatitis A, B, or C
- Inflammation of the joints
What are the most common symptoms of jaundice?
Jaundice is often diagnosed unintentionally — as a matter of fact, oftentimes, no symptoms are present. Even still, several individuals could exhibit symptoms that point to the root cause of jaundice. During your visit to our San Antonio, TX practice, if you are presenting symptoms like chills, fever, abdominal pain, yellow-colored skin, dark-colored urine, white-colored bowel movements, or flu-like symptoms, you may be experiencing jaundice due to an infection.
On the other hand, if your jaundice is not caused by an infection, you could notice an unintentional drop in body weight or skin that itches. The most common sign of jaundice connected with cancer is abdominal pain.
How is jaundice diagnosed and treated?
Jaundice is often discovered accidentally when addressing other problems or symptoms. Jaundice can be found when checking for signs of liver disease. Signs associated with this commonly involve:
- Palmar erythema (red color on the palms and fingertips)
- Bruising on the skin
- Varicose veins
Urine and blood tests can also show abnormal bilirubin levels. Additionally, our San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates providers could also recommend a liver exam to assess your liver health and function.
Once it has been identified, we will begin to target the root cause of jaundice. Because jaundice doesn't typically warrant treatment, we will typically focus on the signs connected to it. A few of the issues we can help treat include:
- Loose stools
- Throwing up
- Pain in the abdomen or upset stomach
Find the cause of your jaundice
If you begin to notice a yellowish hue in your skin or eyes, you’ve experienced stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, a bloated belly, or throwing up, this could be a sign of jaundice. Although jaundice by itself doesn’t normally require treatment, the root cause of the condition might — which includes gallstones, bladder or liver inflammation, chronic hepatitis, and even cancer. Our talented GI specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates are experienced in treating jaundice along with many different liver conditions. To learn more about jaundice and ways to address and prevent the chances of it, reach out to our San Antonio, TX practice to request a consultation.
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I was very pleased with the care that PA Becker gave me. She was very thorough in my examination and precise in explaining to me any questions that I had. Also very deligent in setting up my appointment for my procedure and prescribing me medications to help ease my discomfort. I would highly recommend SAGA to other people who have similar maladies as I do.
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Caring and polite my first time with her. I liked my visit with Dr. Ramirez.