Jaundice affects millions of people around the world each year, so it is crucial to have a better understanding of the preventative measures, symptoms, and treatment for this condition.
Jaundice is a condition associated with the liver or the gall bladder. It is characterized by the build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is the yellow pigment released during the breakdown of red blood cells. When the liver is unable to produce new red blood cells as they break down, bilirubin piles up in the body making your skin and eyes appear yellow. Symptoms depend upon the stage of the disease.
Prevention & Remedies for Jaundice
Preventive measures include avoiding alcohol and caffeine, losing weight, lowering stress levels, and having a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
One of the best ways to prevent jaundice is to prevent the underlying infections and conditions that can lead to this severe symptom. While some of the causes of jaundice are not diseases that can be vaccinated against, your liver will be in much better shape and will be better protected if you have gone through a proper round of vaccinations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Say No to Alcohol
The organ affected most notably by the consumption of alcohol is the liver. While moderate amounts of drinking, such as a glass of wine each day or a cocktail once or twice a week, will not do permanent damage to your liver, and may increase health in certain ways (e.g., tannins and resveratrol in red wine), excessive consumption may increase your risk of liver diseases. If you go on a particularly big bender with alcohol, the yellowing of your skin and eyes can already be seen, as the liver is working overtime to try and detoxify the blood, and bilirubin begins to build up in the tissues.
No Illicit Drugs
In a similar vein to alcohol consumption, drugs and other illicit substances must also be processed by the liver and can have extreme effects on the body. While there aren’t extensive studies done on the direct links between specific drugs and liver failure, people who regularly consume drugs tend to have weaker immune systems, poor metabolisms and are more prone to chronic illness, such as those associated with jaundice.
Obesity is another common factor that can be seen in those who suffer from various liver conditions and diseases. Consuming fatty foods can also increase your likelihood of developing gallstones, which can contribute to bile blockage and post-hepatic jaundice. A faster metabolism, which can be achieved through regular exercise, can also help increase the detoxifying speed and efficiency of the liver, making it less susceptible to stress, overwork, and compromise.
Lower Stress Levels
One of the most deadly forces for human beings is often generated in their mind – stress. Anxiety can flood the body with stress hormones and other compounds that can alter body metabolism, wear out organ systems, weaken the immune system, and generally put your health in jeopardy. By reducing mental and physical stress, you can protect your organ systems, including the liver, making it less likely that you will contract a jaundice-causing condition.
Include high fiber foods like whole wheat flour and products, certain fruits and vegetables gradually in the diet. Cut down on fried and fatty foods completely in the diet routine. Adopt cooking methods like steaming, pressure cooking, roasting as it minimizes oil consumption and also helps retain the nutrients.
Avoid Packaged Foods
Avoid packaged, canned, or smoked foods as they contain high amounts of salt and preservatives which impacts the body’s metabolism and digestion thereby putting stress on the liver.
Avoid Refined Food Products
Avoid consuming any refined products like bread, pasta, baked goods as they are high in sugar which can impair the liver functioning thereby not helping in recovery.
Foods such as brown rice and rice are rich in nutrition and can be cooked without using oil. They are easy to digest. Brown rice is especially preferred for re-optimizing the body and the metabolism to counter the effects and symptoms of jaundice. According to a study, oats which are a rich source of beta-glucan helped improve the liver function after 12 weeks of function.
Oregano is an herb that is rich in antioxidants and hepato-protective elements and may help protect the liver against infections and diseases that can further lead to jaundice.
One of the most valuable herbal remedies in the world is turmeric, which is chock full of antioxidants and valuable minerals that the body needs to strengthen the immune system and keep the metabolism running normally. This can be an effective preventative measure against jaundice, as it can help improve the underlying condition causing it.
Once you have determined that you have jaundice, it is important to regulate your diet to account for this. Gradually, your bilirubin levels will decrease, and you can start your normal diet with lighter foods, such as yogurt, which are good for gastrointestinal health and can protect the immune system by rebalancing the bacteria in your gut.
As with rice, fish is a hugely nutritious food, but it should only be boiled or steamed, not fried or grilled. You want to avoid oil, which can have unhealthy fats that can lead to obesity and increased obstruction to your bilirubin metabolizing. However, fish also contains healthy fats that the body needs to stay healthy during this time of recovery.
Juices & Soups
Fresh fruit juices, coconut water, soups, and broths can be comforting for the body during times of illness especially during jaundice as these foods are flavorful and yet easy on the stomach.
Fruits are naturally digested by the body very easily and is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Drinking fruit juice is an excellent way to access many of those nutrients without the fibrous material, which can be difficult to digest, for certain people. The vitamins and antioxidants in fruit juice can get your immune system back to normal and help protect the liver.
Opting for clear vegetable soups or bottle gourd carrot soup once a day may help increase the detoxification ability of the liver.
Sugar cane juice may also help regulate the bilirubin levels thereby helping the liver recover in a better way in jaundice. Pharmacological studies also support the consumption of sugar cane juice in patients with jaundice due to its hepatoprotective effects. However, consult a doctor in case of diabetes or other issues before adding sugarcane to the diet.
Drinking water and liquids will also help in flushing out of toxins from the body and help speed up the recovery process.
Final Word of Warning
Always consult a doctor if you begin to show signs of this condition. It can be indicative of more serious health problems that should be addressed immediately. Any remedies and preventative measures should be first discussed with the doctor before trying.