Obstructive Jaundice Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Symptoms, causes, and treatment of Obstructive Jaundice, a condition in which there is blockage of the flow of bile out of the liver.

Bile contains many by-products, for example, a pigment known as bilirubin which is derived from dead red blood cells(RBCs). Due to yellowish color of bilirubin, it imparts the characteristic yellow appearance of jaundice in the skin, , and mucous membranes.

Sometimes bile from the liver or the gallbladder enters into systemic circulation which causes a yellow or greenish color of the skin, the mucous membranes, and the urine. This discoloration of the skin or other tissues is known as jaundice. It is often associated with severe itching.

The goal of the clinical evaluation is to identify the root cause of jaundice. Fortunately, in most cases, obstructive jaundice can be treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics and, if necessary, surgical removal of the obstruction.

Untreated, obstructive jaundice can lead to the serious infection that spreads to other parts of the body. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms such as high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), severe abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, and nausea with or without vomiting.

Obstructive Jaundice Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Obstructive Jaundice Symptoms

Some commonly reported symptoms of obstructive jaundice are mentioned below

  • Pale yellow color of skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Itching
  • Dark colored urine
  • Burning sensation
  • Lethargy
  • Bruising

Obstructive Jaundice Causes

Obstructive jaundice is not a pathological disease itself but it may signal the obstruction of bile duct.This obstruction may be associated with formation of gallstone in a bile duct, that causes obstruction of free flow of bile from bile duct. Some other underlying causes of jaundice may include inflammation of the bile ducts or formation of tumor of the pancreas.The resulting jaundice requires to be differentiate from jaundice caused by an inflammation of the liver substance or that caused by too rapid disintegration of the red cells In the bloodstream.

There are multiple possible underlying causes of jaundice so, the appearance of jaundice is a signal for a thorough medical examination, an X-ray of the gallbladder and other tests to determine the location and nature of the mine the location and nature of the obstruction if an obstruction is the cause of jaundice. If it is not then the underlying cause may be Lymph node enlargement, pancreatitis, parasitic infection, trauma, congenital structural defects or cholangitis (infection or inflammation of the common bile duct)

Obstructive Jaundice Treatment

Treatment of obstructive jaundice depends on upon the underlying cause.If jaundice occurred due to some infection then antibiotic therapy should be recommended.In case of blockage of bile duct due to formation of cyst or stone formation then surgery is required to remove the cyst or stone present in the bile duct causing obstruction of the bile duct.Jaundice caused by anatomical defects of bile duct also requires surgery to correct the structural deformations.If the underlying cause is then chemotherapy and radiation therapy should be followed.

About Dr. Arslan Malik

Dr. Arslan Malik
Arslan Malik is noted health blogger, public health activist, aspiring dreamer and avid reader. With doctor in pharmacy, he has worked closely with various health organizations, multinational pharmaceuticals and community health programs. Beside his professional practice, he has an avid interest in writing and teaching Physiology and Medicines. He covers variety of topics from Nutrition and Natural Care to Diseases, Treatments, Drug Interactions, Preventive Care and Clinical Research.

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