Jaundice refers to having yellowish skin and whites of the eyes. Also, fluids and the body could be yellowish. Our skin and whites of the eye depending on the bilirubin found in the blood. Also, bilirubin has an orange-yellow color that forms when part of red blood cells breaks down. Therefore, jaundice can occur at any age. So, it does not only happen to babies but in adults too. The term used for yellowish babies is neonatal jaundice.
1. Yellowish skin and whites of the eyes
The yellow in the skin starts from the head to the neck and chest. Jaundice babies are common. In most cases, their color will turn back to normal after three weeks. In extreme cases, it could go down it the toes.
Furthermore, do not be confused with the term whites of the eye. It is supposed to be white, but due to jaundice, it becomes yellowish.
2. Pale stools
Bile makes our stool brown. However, liver problems might not cause the bile to reach the stool, making it pale.
3. Dark-colored urine
Moreover, dark yellow or brown urine is a jaundice symptom.
The infection causes the body to react with fever and chills. Likewise, flu-like symptoms like vomiting might also occur.
Jaundice is also a symptom itself. If an infection causes it, the chances for you to experience tiredness is high. Also, in rare cases, jaundice babies can also be hard to feed, less active, and sensitive.
6. Weight loss and itchiness
If a virus does not cause jaundice, weight loss and itchy skin occur.
7. Pain in the abdomen
It can be caused by cancers like pancreatic and bile duct cancers. Hence, it can cause abdominal pain. There is a test you can do at home to know if a baby has this illness. Apply gentle pressure to the nose or forehead. After releasing the pressure, the color might turn yellow. If that situation happens, call a doctor. However, if the baby has dark skin, check the color of their whites of the eye or gums.
8. Excess yellow fluid from the Liver
Bilirubin, orange-yellow, is the main color in bile. Also, it is the fluid produced by our livers.
A jaundiced baby has a slow liver in processing or a body that is making too much bilirubin.
Moreover, some viruses can cause infection in the liver. For instance, the infection is Hepatitis A, B, and C. Therefore, viruses can be passed on by the virus’s intake, blood contact, or during pregnancy.
Drinking alcohol for a long time can damage the liver. As a result, the liver cannot take away the bilirubin in the blood. This condition will result in jaundice.
- Reabsorbing huge collection of clotted blood under the skin
- Destroyed blood cells are removed from the bloodstream even if their normal life span is not yet over.
- Additionally, it will cause a blockage of bile ducts.
These blockage of bile ducts are either from gallstones and swelling of the gallbladder. Gallbladder cancer and a pancreatic tumor can also obstruct the bile ducts.
Risk in Babies
- They are born prematurely. Hence, premature babies are not yet ready to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream.
- The baby does drink enough breast milk. Also, there are cases when the mother’s milk isn’t ready yet, or the baby finds it hard to drink the breastfeed milk.
- They are breastfed. Breast milk slows the liver from removing the yellowish bile in the blood.
- The mother and the baby have a different blood type.
- They have genetic defects. Some genetic problem makes the red blood cells break down fast.
- The baby is born with excessive red blood cells.
- The baby has a large bruise on the head.
It is hard to identify a severe case for neonatal jaundice. The best option is to have your jaundice baby undergo a blood test. It is not a disease itself. However, a sign of a health concern. The good thing is that it can be diagnosed, managed, and treated.