Jaundice is caused by bilirubin which is a yellow colored substance responsible for the yellow color of the skin and sclerae.
Bilirubin is a waste product which remains in the bloodstream after iron is removed from hemoglobin in red blood cells. When the bilirubin increases in the body, it can leak out into adjacent tissues, saturating them with this yellow substance. Bilirubin that is circulating freely in the blood is called unconjugated bilirubin. It also affects the liver. The working of the liver is to remove the waste including bilirubin from the blood.
The symptoms of jaundice can be seen with naked eyes. Symptoms of jaundice are as given below
As per the above mentioned symptoms, people can see jaundice in a person whose skin and white of eyes becomes yellow due to increased amount of Bilirubin in the blood. The majority of the bilirubin comes from breakdown of heme from the expired red blood cells. It travels to the liver through the blood stream because it is not soluble. Normally the liver metabolizes and excretes the bilirubin in the form of bile. However, if there is a disruption in this normal metabolism and/or production of bilirubin, jaundice may result.
Jaundice in newborn babies is the yellowing of baby’s skin and eyes. Jaundice in a newborn is very common and can occur when babies have a high level of bilirubin. In most cases it disappears within two to three weeks.