Jaundice - outlook and prevention
What is the outlook for jaundice?
Jaundice typically resolves when the underlying cause is treated. In most instances, mild cases of the condition clear up on their own. Signs for severe underlying causes should always be monitored and appropriately treated by a medical professional to prevent serious complications.
Babies will typically come right within a week or two when their little livers mature and function more efficiently. It can happen, however, that jaundice persists. If a little one still has jaundice into his or her first 6 weeks of life, seek medical attention right away (don’t wait it out). A doctor will want to determine whether a possible illness is the cause and prescribe adequate treatment as soon as possible.
Is there a way to prevent jaundice?
In adults, it is possible to prevent jaundice. As a symptom of some conditions, as well as in the case of new-borns, however, it may not be possible to prevent.
As an adult, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. These include:
- Avoiding high-risk behaviours: Intravenous drug use, unprotected sex or working with blood products and needles can place you at higher risk of infections such as hepatitis (B or C). You can also take care to avoid food products which are at high risk of contamination or unsanitary water. This will decrease your risk for hepatitis A. If you enjoy alcohol, it is best to take care to consume it responsibly and not develop excessive habits. Smoking also places you at higher risk for diseases such as pancreatic cancer, and a variety of other malignancies.
- Getting necessary vaccinations: If you are at high risk, vaccinations for hepatitis A and B are available.
- Taking medications as instructed: Common side-effects of medication use can be attributed to unintentional overdose. This can cause damage to the liver. If you have a known issue with your liver, you should not take anything that isn’t directly prescribed by your doctor. If you intend to travel to a high-risk malaria area, it is advisable to get a prescription for antimalarial medications well ahead of time and take as directed.
- Keep your diet and cholesterol levels in check: A healthy body is a healthy you. Ensure that your fitness levels are good and that your diet is nutritious.