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What Are Symptoms and Signs of Jaundice?
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Jaundice is a sign of an underlying disease process. .
Common signs and symptoms seen in individuals with jaundice include:
The underlying disease process may result in additional signs and symptoms. These may include:
In newborns, as the bilirubin level rises, jaundice will typically progress from the head to the trunk, and then to the hands and feet. Additional signs and symptoms that may be seen in the newborn include:
When to Seek Medical Care for Jaundice
Call a health care practitioner if you or your baby develops jaundice. Jaundice may be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition.
If you are unable to reach and be seen by your health care practitioner in a timely manner, go to the emergency department for further evaluation.
Questions to Ask the Doctor About Jaundice
Exams and Tests for Jaundice
The health care pracitioner will need to take a detailed history of the patient's illness, and he or she will also be examined to see if there are any findings that indicate the cause of the patient's jaundice. However, additional testing is usually required to clearly determine the underlying cause of jaundice. The following tests and imaging studies may be obtained:
These may initially include a complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests (including a bilirubin level), lipase/amylase level to detect inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), and an electrolytes panel. In women, a pregnancy test may be obtained. Additional blood tests may be required depending upon the initial results and the history provided to the practitioner.
Urinalysis is an analysis of the urine and is a very useful test in the diagnosis of screening many diseases.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2016
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