Common Conditions That Cause Jaundice


There are many forms of diseases which are quite common among the people, and even among the newborns. Jaundice is one such disease, and it is caused due to the overproduction of a yellowish pigment called Bilirubin. This pigment is produced in the liver through the breakdown of RBCs (red blood cells). The pigment formed is excreted in bile. When the level of bilirubin in our body becomes high, it leads to the yellowing of the eyes and skin. This is the reason why people suffering from jaundice often have the yellowish tone of their skin and eyes.

In the case of newborns, jaundice remains as a common condition. So, what is the reason behind? Well, when a baby is born, his/her body goes through a phase in which the red blood cells of his/her body rapidly breaks down. This happens right after the birth. This is the reason why a lot of newly born babies suffer from jaundice. However, jaundice is usually mild and the symptoms go away on its own. Plus, you will not see any long-lasting effects. Nevertheless, in some cases, babies suffer from the severe form of jaundice, and hyperbilirubinemia is the name of this condition.

Various reasons that cause jaundice

In the case of newborns, following are some of the causes of jaundice-

  • Premature birth
  • A lot of bruising at birth
  • Lack of feeding
  • Incompatibility of blood group of the mother with her baby

Now, let us check out the causes of jaundice among the adults

Hemolytic Anemia

The red blood cells we have in our body comes with a certain lifespan. In hemolytic anemia condition, the RBCs get destroyed and even discarded from the bloodstream before they could finish their natural life. The natural life or the lifespan of an RBC is around 120 days. So, a person when suffering from anemia, the number of red blood cells in his/her body gets decreased. When this happens, the level of hemoglobin also comes down, which in turn increases the level of bilirubin in the blood. As a result, the person starts suffering from jaundice.


It is a condition in which the liver gets inflamed. There are many reasons that could lead to hepatitis, such as viral infections, autoimmune disorders, extreme consumption of alcohol, etc. When a person suffers from hepatitis, the level of bilirubin in his/her body increases. The increase in the level of bilirubin might happen in one or both forms. When a person consumes contaminated water/food then the chances of suffering from hepatitis A and E increase. On the other hand, a person suffers from Hepatitis B, C, and D generally when he/she gets in contact with the body fluids of another infected person.

Gilbert Syndrome

This syndrome is not considered as a very dangerous liver condition. Being a hereditary disorder, a lot of people suffer from this syndrome. People who suffer from this syndrome inherit an odd gene. This odd gene leads to irregular episodes of an increased level of indirect bilirubin in the blood. The irregular episodes of hyperbilirubinemia lead to issues like dehydration, illness, lack of sleep, menstruation, etc.


We all know that gallstones have become quite common nowadays. Formation of hardened deposits in the gallbladder is also one of the reasons behind jaundice. Like we know, the gallbladder is located right under the liver. The purpose of the gallbladder is to store bile juice, which in turn is produced by the liver. Gallstones are formed usually when the gallbladder is emptied in an incorrect way; they are also formed as a result of bile comprising of too much of bilirubin or cholesterol. So, when gallstones are formed in the gallbladder, it leads to the blockage of bile juice, which in turn might lead to jaundice.


It is a condition in which the pancreas gets inflamed. Situated right behind our stomach, the pancreas secretes enzymes that play a major role in the process of digestion. Plus, it also produces the hormones like insulin. When a person suffers from pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes turn out to be active right when they are inside the pancreas. As a result, it causes inflammation and irritation in the gland. Eventually, it leads to blockage in the case of the bile duct, which in turn leads to jaundice.

So, those were some of the reasons or causes of jaundice. In addition to them, there are other causes too, such as Crigler Najjar syndrome, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, rotor syndrome, and many more. Hemolytic anemia is one of the major causes among them. In case a person is suffering from jaundice due to this particular case, he or she should immediately find doctors who are best in this field. Timely and proper treatment is quite necessary in this regard.

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