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Jaundice (cont.)

What Are Jaundice Treatments?

Treatment depends on the cause of the underlying condition leading to jaundice and any potential complications related to it. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment can then be directed to address that particular condition, and it may or may not require hospitalization.

  • Treatment may consist of expectant management (watchful waiting) at home with rest.
  • Medical treatment with intravenous fluids, medications, antibiotics, or blood transfusions may be required.
  • If a drug/toxin is the cause, these must be discontinued.
  • In certain cases of newborn jaundice, exposing the baby to special colored lights (phototherapy) or exchange blood transfusions may be required to decrease elevated bilirubin levels.
  • Surgical treatment may be required.

Self-Care at Home

The objectives of home therapy include symptom relief and managing the medical condition causing the underlying jaundice. The various measures that may be undertaken include:

  • Maintain adequate hydration by drinking fluids, and rest as needed.
  • Take medications only as instructed and prescribed by a health care practitioner.
  • Avoid medications, herbs, or supplements which may cause detrimental side effects. Consult a health care practitioner for advice.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol until the patient has discussed it with their healthcare professional.
  • Certain dietary restrictions may be recommended by a health care practitioner.
  • In certain cases of newborn jaundice, the parents or caregivers can place the baby next to a well lit window a few times a day to decrease elevated bilirubin levels. In more severe cases, a health care practitioner may need to discharge the baby home from the hospital with home phototherapy.
  • Provide adequate milk intake for the baby in cases of breastfeeding jaundice.
  • If symptoms worsen or if any new symptoms arise, consult a health care practitioner.
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