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Jaundice

Jaundice is a yellowy tinge to the skin and the whites of the eyes. It is caused by a build-up of the chemical bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is made when red-blood cells are broken down. The body is usually able to get rid of it easily unless there is something wrong with your liver or biliary system (this releases bile to help with digestion).

Neonatal jaundice often affects newborn babies during the first few weeks of life. This is because their livers take a while to get working properly. Jaundice in adults and older children is not related to neonatal jaundice; it is usually the sign of a health problem.

There are three types of jaundice in adults and older children: haemolytic jaundice, hepatocellular jaundice and obstructive jaundice. Hepatocellular jaundice is the most common. It is usually caused by a problem with the liver.