Home » Your Health » Men's Health News » 10 Causes of Jaundice in Adults

10 Causes of Jaundice in Adults


Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, sclera (whites of the eyes), and mucous membranes by bilirubin. The word “jaundice” is derived from the French word jaune, which means yellow. Bilirubin is a yellow-orange pigment found in bile, a fluid made by the liver. Bilirubin is produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Bilirubin circulates in the blood in two forms—indirect (or unconjugated) and direct (or conjugated). Jaundice usually occurs when blood levels of bilirubin reach greater than 2.5 to 3-mg/dL. Jaundice in adults may be caused by a variety of either harmless or life-threatening disorders.

Ten causes of jaundice in adults are…

 

1. Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is concluded. The lifespan of a red blood cell is approximately 120-days. The term “anemia” usually refers to decreased numbers of red blood cells. It may also refer to low levels of hemoglobin, a protein allowing red blood cells to carry oxygen. Hemolytic anemia is characterized by increased levels of indirect bilirubin in the bloodstream.

The causes of hemolytic anemia vary and may be inherited or acquired. Inherited causes of hemolytic anemia include hereditary disorders such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency (the most common enzyme deficiency in humans), hereditary spherocytosis (a defect in red blood cell membrane proteins), and sickle cell disease (abnormal hemoglobin in red blood cells). Acquired hemolytic anemia may be caused by drugs such as acetaminophen, penicillin, and oral contraceptives; infections such as malaria; and autoimmune disorders such as lupus.

Red Blood Cells

Next »
ADVERTISEMENT

We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 8 Causes of Liver Disease and Liver Failure
    Regardless of whether it takes place over many years or a few weeks, liver failure is an absolutely devastating health development that, if left untreated, can result in the death...
    Men's Health News
  • 6 Facts About Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
    While excessive drinking can often lead to fatty deposits in the liver over time (and eventually to liver disease), there are other reasons a patient may end up with a fatty liver.
    Men's Health News
  • Man Up For These 12 Essential Screening Tests
    There are some health screening tests every man should do – because there's nothing manly about developing diseases, especially if you have risk factors based on lifestyle or...
    Men's Health News
  • The Early Warning Signs of Menopause
    Perimenopause is referred to as the final cessation of your menstrual cycle and the time in which you will start to see and feel the signs and symptoms of menopause—including...
    Men's Health News
  • 12 Natural Remedies for Painful Ovulation
    Roughly half the population is very familiar with ovulation, a key part of the menstrual cycle that involves the release of an egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube, making...
    Men's Health News
  • 15 Signs of B12 Deficiency in Women
    Did you know that a woman’s ability to absorb the vitamin B12 gradually decreases with age?
    Men's Health News
  • 12 Cancer Screening Tests Every Woman Should Get
    Cancer doesn't pick favorites, but there are certain types that are particular to men or women to look out for.
    Men's Health News
  • 14 Early Signs of Cancer Women Shouldn't Ignore
    Cancer can present itself with many symptoms, and having 1-of the symptoms we're about to list doesn't mean it's cancer – only a doctor can confirm that.
    Men's Health News
  • 10 Vital Health Tests for Men
    Many men are reluctant to visit their health care professionals on a regular basis. Why? It varies, though many men seem to believe that a visit to the doctor will only bring bad...
    Men's Health News
  • 25 Health and Fitness-Infused Mother's Day Gift Ideas
    Mom's the BEST! That's why a bouquet of last minute flowers or a handmade photo frame with a picture of the two of you just won't do (and it's only charming if you're under age...
    Men's Health News
  • 8 Healing Herbs Just for the Ladies
    From menstrual cramps to hormonal fluctuations that disrupt energy and sleep—women deal with routine monthly and even weekly health woes that can be fixed naturally with natural...
    Men's Health News
  • Annual Pelvic Exams Unnecessary for Health Women, Report Says
    For many busy women, getting to a doctor for an annual pelvic exam can be a hassle. Now, there's good news: a new report finds that the vast majority of healthy women can skip that...
    Men's Health News
  • 10 Fast Facts About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
    The month of September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, awareness month. This common hormonal condition that causes the overproduction of androgens (or male hormones) in...
    Men's Health News
  • Researchers Make Important Discovery in Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer
    Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, believe they have identified the first steps in the development of pancreatic cancer.
    Men's Health News
  • Pros and Cons of Using a Menstrual Cup
    You've probably heard about the newly popular alternative for handling your period through the use of menstrual cups.
    Men's Health News