Jaundice ( Peelia) – Symptoms Causes Treatment


Jaundice (peelia)- It’s yellowness of eyes and skin due to disturbance in metabolism of bilirubin.

Liver produces bile and then put it into intestine through a tract called biliary tract.

Any disturbance from making of bile and obstruction to its outflow will cause jaundice.

If one has this idea then one can really negate the myths prevalent in society about jaundice.

Myths and facts

  1. Jaundice will subside on its own.  Majority of jaundice do subside on its own as majority are due to infection but it’s for doctor to decide by testing as which type will subside on its own and which type require further treatment.
  2. We should not eat turmeric in jaundice.  It’s untrue. Turmeric does not do any harm to liver and does not increase jaundice.
  3. We should not eat certain foodstuffs in jaundice. – Untrue . One can eat all types of foodstuffs during jaundice. One should have good healthy diet during an episode of jaundice.
  4. Jaundice can be cured some spiritual leader by some herbal medicine. Majority of jaundice are self limiting so will cure even if you don’t take any medicine. So these types of jaundice get cured by any means and credit goes to spiritual leader.
  5. Jaundice can be transmitted from one person to another. Some type viral infection can be transmitted by sexual contact or sharing needle with infected person as seen with AIDS while another can spread by consuming food contaminated by infected person so infected person should maintain good hygiene to prevent further spread to its family members and friends.
  6. How can one prevent jaundice ?
    • Maintain good hygiene and have well cooked food.
    • Drink clean water.
    • Do not have unsafe sex.
    • Do not share syringes or needle.

What is treatment for jaundice?

Treatment of jaundice depends upon type of jaundice. For treatment purposes jaundice is divided into

  1. Medical jaundice- this type is primarily treated with medicines
  2. Surgical jaundice- It requires surgical intervention for its cure.

Medical jaundice arises usually due damage to cells of liver while surgical jaundice is caused by obstruction to flow of bile from liver to intestine. Liver function tests, Ultrasound abdomen, MRCP helps in classifying the jaundice. Your general physician/gastroenterologist/gastrosurgeon can help in diagnosing the type of jaundice based on these tests.

Causes of medical jaundice –

  1. Hepatitis – infectious or toxic
  2. Drug toxicity
  3. Damage to liver by abnormal deposition
  4. Defect in bilirubin metabolism
  5. Alcohol hepatitis
  6. Autoimmune hepatitis

Causes of surgical jaundice

  1. Stone in bile duct
  2. Gall bladder stone
  3. Tumor of gall bladder or bile duct
  4. Tumor of liver
  5. Liver cysts
  6. Liver abscesses

Except for stone in bile duct that is treated with ERCP, all other causes of surgical jaundice require surgical treatment. These cases are best treated by surgeon with knowledge and expertise in liver and biliary tract surgery.

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