Prevalence of Jaundice in India and subcontinent starts from March and continue to August.
But it can happen anytime throughout the year.
By definition Jaundice is:
” Yellowish pigmentation of the skin, tissues, and body fluids caused by the deposition of bile pigments”
Jaundice is not a disease it is a manifestation of diseases.
The most common cause of seasonal Jaundice is viral Hepatitis.
And the commonest type of Viral Hepatitis caused by Hepatitis A virus. It is mostly transmitted through contaminated water and foods.
We can easily prevent this type of Jaundice just by avoiding such contaminated foods and water.
Other than Hepatitis A there are many reasons for Jaundice, which we discussed later.
This article is only for seasonal Jaundice and about its misconceptions
Because this harmless disease increases mortality rate due to some mistake and improper management.
Before the start, we should know the common sign and symptoms of seasonal Viral Hepatitis or Jaundice.
Because early diagnosis not only prevent the severity of the disease, it also quickens the recovery time.
Sign and symptoms:
- Excessive weakness
- Low-grade fever
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea from the smell of foods
- Pain right side of the upper abdomen
- Derk yellow urine
- Light coloured stool
- The yellow colour of eyes
One may not experience all the symptoms, it is subjective. Some symptoms may appear in the early stage of disease and some of them can appear later on stage. It also depends on severity and immunity power of the patients.
Let discuss the five common mistakes we do in Jaundice or viral Hepatitis that can be dangerous, even some of them can be life-threatening:
1: Intake of sugarcane juice:
Even before the diagnosis, most of the people start taking sugarcane juice.
It is one of the dangerous things people do.
Because generally sugarcane juice extracted on the roadside food stall in an unhygienic process.
It is one of the most contaminated drink we consume.
This unhygienic Sugarcane juice itself can cause several diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid and including jaundice.
In Jaundice immunity power reduce. Because of liver function impairment.
In this situation, unhygienic, contaminated food can increase the risk of secondary infection.
That can create complications.
So if you are thinking the sugarcane juice is helpful in Jaundice, think twice.
2: Too much food restrictions:
Yes, some kind of food should be avoided during Jaundice.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stop everything.
Most people and their families stop almost everything. Is there any science behind it?
Only glucose and few types of low calories food cannot fulfil the requirements.
It will make the patient weaker and decrease healing power of the body.
That can lead further complications.
Even after recovery, the patient feels weakness for a long time.
But the fact is that oily and fat reach diet should be avoided.
Which we ignore that is, cleanliness of the food. We should focus on it.
Because unhygienic food can aggravate the disease.
So, please don’t restrict everything except oily, fat content and unhygienic foods.
3: Home remedies
Whenever anyone affected by Jaundice people around the patient becomes crazy.
Different people advise different remedies.
Some of them will arrange the handmade necklace made with “special” type of twig.
Some of them will arrange a different type of drinks made with different types of the root and bark.
But the problem with these type of remedies. All are prepared in an unhygienic way. Which can be harmful rather than any cure.
Yes, plant base necklace might not have a harmful effect. It has a placebo effect.
4: Physical activity:
Absolute bed rest is one of the most important factors of Jaundice.
If the patient is not taking rest it can be fatal.
Physical activity will increase energy consumption which is already compromised by the affected liver.
Physical activity also injures liver directly. Because in case of Jaundice liver size increases significantly, and it becomes tender.
Which can increase further by pressure or rubbing during physical activity.
Exposure to the sun in Jaundice will increase the chance of sunstroke.
So, physical activity is an absolute no-no.
5: Avoiding doctor visit:
Most of the patient or patient’s family member thinks home remedies and food restrictions can cure Jaundice.
Yes, Jaundice can be cured without medication. But it doesn’t mean you don’t need to consult with a doctor.
Because the cause of Jaundice is not always same.
There are various reasons like:
- Pre-hepatic Jaundice
- Viral Hepatitis
- Biliary obstruction
- Drug-induced Hepatitis
- liver cirrhosis
- Alcoholic liver disease
- Gallbladder stone
- Liver cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Excessive breakdown of haemoglobin.
And Viral Hepatitis also has different types:
Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis E.
But most common seasonal Jaundice is caused by Hepatitis A virus.
And it is relatively less frightening. And can be cured without medication.
But you need to visit your doctor because you don’t know what is the cause of your Jaundice and what is the severity.
Your doctor can advice to do some investigations like Liver Function Test (LFT), HbsAg, HCV etc.
Sometimes your doctor may advise Ultrasonography (USG) of the abdomen.
Othe than Hepatitis A The other causes need extensive medical intervention.
Sometimes a simple Viral Hepatitis can be fatal due to associated diseases. Like, Diabetes, renal impairment, hypertension and many more.
So, let your doctor decide what to do and what not to do.
A single visit to your doctor or health centre can save you a lot.
Things to be remembered:
- Avoid sugarcane juice
- Jaundice can be fatal
- Avoid home remedies
- Consult with your doctor
- Take medicine only if you doctor prescribe
- Take purified or boiled water
- Consume hygienic food only
- Intake more liquid or semi-solid diet
- Avoid oily and fatty foods
- Take more carbohydrate containing food if you are not diabetic
- Take absolute rest
- Don’t seek to advise other than a health care professional
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