In a newborn infant the haemolysis is usually fast and therefore the rate with which bilirubin is produced in the body, is much higher than in the adults. When the baby is just a few days old, the bilirubin excretion rate is significantly lower, since glucuronyl transferase enzyme is deficient in infants. The enzyme makes bilirubin soluble by converting it into bilirubin glucoronide. As a direct consequence of the patient might develop physiological jaundice.
It is a transient jaundice and most often cured automatically. The reticulo-endothelial cells found the liver spleen etc. pickup the red blood cells from the circulating blood and degrade them. These reticulo-endothelial cells are responsible for the production of the bile pigment, bilirubin by the catabolism of hemoglobin. Thereafter the pigment is released into the bloodstream and then absorbed by the cells of the liver or the hepatocytes cells, and excreted via bile. If for any apparent reason, the blood level of bilirubin becomes abnormally high than usual, the eyes, mucous membrane and the skin of the patient show a yellowish discoloration. Urine also turns yellowish due to the presence of excess bilirubin in it. This pathological condition is known as jaundice or icterus.
Sometimes jaundice happen along with liver dysfunction, and this is of very common occurrence. Go for the best liver transplant specialist in India if you have severe abnormalities of liver function, like jaundice along with an advanced stage in cirrhosis of liver. Jaundice is mostly a gradual yellowish pigmentation of the skin. The conjunctival membranes over the sclerae or the whites of the eyes, and other mucous coverings can also get a significant change in a jaundiced person. This is caused by hyper bilirubinemia or increase levels of bilirubin in the blood. Increased levels of bilirubin in the extracellular fluid can also result in hyper bilirubinemia. As bilirubin gets concentrated in the blood plasma, more than the normal level of 1 milligram per deciliter, jaundice occurs. The term jaundice justifies the literal meaning of the French word jaune, meaning yellow.
Therefore if the concentration of bilirubin in the blood plasma is more than 1.8 milligram per deciliter jaundice is confirmed. Jaundice is not merely a disease but a sign or a symptom which can occur in many different diseases. Jaundice is the yellowish staining of the skin, and the whites in the eye, which is caused by high levels of the chemical bilirubin in blood. Generally the color of the skin as well as that of the whites in the eyes change, as the level of bilirubin fluctuates in our blood. When the level of bilirubin is mildly elevated they turn yellowish and when the bilirubin level is quite high, the they tend to get brownish.
It is quite confusing to detect jaundice from the external symptoms of a patient, and several tests needs to be done before the disease is confirmed. A great many number of pathological processes occurring at a particular point of time along with the normal physiological functioning of the body might result in jaundice.