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- Patient Comments: Jaundice in Adults - Experience
- Patient Comments: Jaundice in Adults - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Jaundice in Adults - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Jaundice in Adults - Complications
- Jaundice definition and facts
- What causes jaundice in adults?
- What are pre-hepatic (liver) causes of jaundice?
- What are hepatic (liver) causes of jaundice?
- What are post-hepatic (liver) causes of jaundice?
- What are the signs and symptoms of jaundice in adults?
- What are the risk factors for jaundice in adults?
- What exams and tests diagnose jaundice in adults?
- What is the treatment for jaundice in adults?
- What are the complications of jaundice in adults?
- Can jaundice in adults be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for an adult with jaundice?
Can jaundice in adults be prevented?
Certain conditions leading to jaundice can be prevented, whereas others may be less preventable. However, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to decrease the risk of developing jaundice.
- Take medications as instructed in order to prevent potential liver damage or unintentional overdose. Individuals with certain medical conditions (for example, G6PD deficiency or cirrhosis) should avoid certain medications altogether. Discuss medications with your health care professional.
- Avoid high-risk behaviors such as unprotected intercourse or intravenous drug use, and implement universal precautions when working with blood products and needles. This can decrease your risk of developing hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
- Consider being vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There is currently no available vaccine against hepatitis C.
- Avoid potentially contaminated food products or unsanitary water, as this may decrease your risk of developing hepatitis A.
- When travelling to areas where malaria is endemic, take the recommended precautions and prophylactic medications in order to prevent the development of malaria.
- Consume alcohol responsibly and only in moderation. This can prevent alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis and pancreatitis, among other conditions. Certain individuals will need to avoid alcohol altogether.
- Avoid smoking, as it is a risk factor for the development of pancreatic cancer, as well as many other malignancies.
What is the prognosis for an adult with jaundice?
The prognosis for individuals with jaundice depends on the underlying cause of the condition. There are certain conditions that carry an excellent prognosis with individuals making a full recovery. However, more serious causes of jaundice can sometimes be fatal despite medical or surgical intervention. The development and severity of complications will also determine an individual's prognosis, as will a patient's underlying health and comorbidities (presence of other diseases). Therefore, a case-by-case assessment by your health care professional is necessary in order to determine a more accurate prognosis.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Roche SP, Kobos R. Jaundice in the Adult Patient." American Family Physician. 2004Jan15;69(2):299-304.