What is the cause of yellowing of the body

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Wednesday, April 21, 2021 3:49 AM

Yellowing of the body

Yellowing of the body, abu-yolk, jaundice, yellowing, yellowing of the skin, yellowness, or yellowness which is a medical term describing the change in the color of the skin, mucous membranes and the white part of the eye due to extremely high levels of bilirubin in the blood and its accumulation With what is known as hyperbilirubinemia. It is a brownish-yellow compound that forms when old or damaged red blood cells break down, as bilirubin is usually chemically processed in the liver to be excreted afterwards through urine and feces at a normal rate, and either if the red blood cells degrade at an abnormally high rate or if If the liver is not functioning as it should, hyper bilirubin may occur, and this condition may be an indication of an underlying condition. [1] [2]

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Causes of yellowing of the body in adults and its types

As we mentioned, jaundice results from the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood and body tissues, and accordingly, everything that may disrupt the movement of bilirubin from the blood to the liver and then outside the body can cause jaundice, and the causes of yellowing of the body in adults are divided based on the factors affecting the exit of bilirubin from the body and its locations As follows - and will be explained later in detail -: [3]

  • Jaundice before the liver: or jaundice before hepatic occurs when exposure to the case of infection or lead to accelerate the decomposition of red blood cells, which leads to high levels of bilirubin in the blood and the appearance of symptoms of jaundice.
  • Hepatic jaundice: and occurs as a result of disrupting the ability of the liver to process bilirubin due to exposure to damage, either due to infection or exposure to a harmful substance.
  • Post-hepatic jaundice : or post-hepatic jaundice, which occurs due to the inability of the gallbladder to move the bile in the digestive system as a result of damage, inflammation or blockage of the bile system.

Pre-liver jaundice

Causes of pre-liver jaundice include the following: [4]

  • False jaundice: It is a harmless form of jaundice that usually occurs when eating large amounts of carrots, pumpkin, or melon. The skin turns yellow as a result of an excess of beta-carotene rather than an excess of bilirubin.
  • Hemolytic anemia: , where production increases bilirubin by the decomposition of large amounts of red blood cells as in hemolytic anemia .
  • Malaria represents malaria infection is transmitted by mosquitoes to reach the blood stream, and spread in the tropical regions of the world. [5]
  • Sickle cell anemia: affects sickle cell anemia with dark skin in the Caribbean, Africa and Britain are common, and represents a genetic condition that leads to the red blood cells grow abnormally. [5]
  • Thalassemia: Thalassemia represents a genetic condition similar to sickle cell anemia in terms of its effect on the production of red blood cells. It is common among the inhabitants of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, especially those of South Asian origin. [5]
  • Gilbert 's syndrome: , a genetic common condition is the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood , which is attributed to the slow transfer of bilirubin from the blood to the liver more than it should. [5]
  • Krieglr- Najjar syndrome: , a rare genetic case is the absence of one important enzymes that play a role in helping to eject bilirubin from the blood to the liver. [5]
  • The large number of red blood cells spherical genetic: , a condition not uncommon genetic lead to make the life of red blood cells is much shorter than usual. [5]

Hepatic jaundice

Hepatic jaundice occurs if the liver is damaged, and the most prominent causes are: [4] [6]

  • Acute: Hepatitis which may lead to the accumulation of the liver because of its ability to weaken the coupling and excretion of bilirubin.
  • Infectious viral hepatitis: such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
  • Liver disease , alcohol: where damage the liver as a result of alcohol consumption.
  • Leptospirosis: It is a bacterial infection spread by animals, especially mice, and it is common in tropical regions of the world.
  • Glandular fever: or mononucleosis, which is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
  • Misuse of medicines: Among the main causes of it is the abuse of narcotic substances that give a feeling of high or the use of painkillers, especially paracetamol in large doses.
  • Exposure to substances harmful to the liver: such as phenol; It is a compound used in the manufacture of plastics, carbon tetrachloride; It is a compound that was used in the past in several processes such as cooling and is now under strict control to reduce its use.
  • Hepatitis self - immune: is hepatitis immune rare condition in which the liver attack by the immune system; It is the body's natural defense against infection and disease.
  • Inflammation of the bile ducts sclerosing initial: , a rare type of liver disease causes chronic hepatitis.
  • Dubin-Johnson syndrome: , a condition can not be a rare hereditary liver where the coupling of bilirubin with bile in preparation to put out the liver.
  • Cirrhosis of the initial bitterness: , a condition rare and poorly understood largely lead to liver damage gradually.
  • Liver cancer: , a cancer rare develops within the liver and is incurable.

Post-hepatic jaundice

In fact, jaundice may be caused by a blockage or narrowing of the common bile duct, causing bile containing bilirubin to leak into the bloodstream in a condition known as obstructive jaundice or post-hepatic jaundice. Here, it must be noted that the bile from all the small, bile ducts in the liver drains into another channel, which is the common bile duct. The following are the most prominent cases that lead to the occurrence of this type of jaundice: [7]

  • Gallstones : Gallstones are usually of a liquid nature, but stones may form in them sometimes, and usually most stones form inside the gallbladder and do not cause any problems, but if stones come out of the gallstones, they may get stuck in the common bile duct. It blocks the ability of the juice to pass from the duct toward the intestine and thus seeps into the bloodstream causing jaundice. However, this is not common.
  • Inflammation of the biliary tract: This can prevent the secretion of bile and get rid of bilirubin, which causes jaundice. [4]
  • Cholestasis: Cholestasis is a condition in which the flow of bile from the liver is cut off, so that this juice that contains bilirubin remains in the liver instead of being excreted. [4]
  • Inflammation of the pancreas: where it can cause inflammation of the pancreas swelling of the pancreas , which could lead to prevent the flow of bile. [7]
  • Biliary atresia: It is an unexplained condition in which all or part of the bile duct is inflamed, which then leads to scarring or fibrosis of the bile ducts in addition to its narrowing and blockage. [7]
  • Gallbladder cancer : Cancer of the gallbladder gallbladder cancer may grow and cause the common bile duct to close. [7]
  • Pancreatic cancer: may occur pancreatic cancer in the head of the pancreas may prevent the flow of bile. [7]

Causes of yellowing of the body in children

Jaundice in children can be a sign of a blockage in the bile ducts, or it may be due to conditions that prevent the liver from properly processing bilirubin, and it is necessary to see a doctor if the child shows any sign of jaundice, who will recommend the necessary tests to discover the underlying cause That, and conditions that may lead to jaundice in children can be addressed as follows: [8] [9]

  • Gallstones (Cholelithiasis); They are crystals that build up in the gallbladder and block the bile duct.
  • Having a bacterial or viral infection that causes damage to liver cells, such as hepatitis A; Most commonly, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
  • Autoimmune hepatitis; It is an immune system disorder that causes immune cells to attack liver cells as if they were an infection.
  • Wilson 's disease ; It is a genetic condition characterized by the accumulation of copper from foods in the liver.
  • Cirrhosis It is a late stage of chronic liver disease in which scar tissue replaces soft and healthy liver tissue.
  • Urinary tract infection .
  • Underactive thyroid gland .
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Drug toxicity.
  • Infectious diseases that can cause jaundice; Such as Typhoid and malaria.

Causes of yellowing of the body in newborns

As we mentioned, jaundice is caused by the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood, and causes yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eye, and jaundice is a common condition in newborns, as it is medically called neonatal jaundice, and the reason for its commonness is that they have large numbers of red blood cells in their blood, which break down and are done Replace it frequently, and the liver of a newborn baby is not fully developed, so it is less effective in removing bilirubin from the blood, and here it must be noted that the placenta takes over the task of eliminating bilirubin from the blood of the fetus during pregnancy, and when it is born the liver takes over this task, And jaundice often resolves spontaneously without causing any harm when the newborn reaches about two weeks of age because his liver is more effective in treating bilirubin, and the causes of high bilirubin in newborns can be indicated as follows: [10] [11]

  • Physiological jaundice: This type of jaundice is considered normal. It occurs as a reaction to a reduced ability of a newborn to remove bilirubin; A newborn cannot get rid of bilirubin during the first few days of birth, and it is often difficult at first to tell whether jaundice is caused by another problem.
  • Jaundice associated with failure of breastfeeding: Some babies who do not breastfeed well may suffer from dehydration due to malnutrition, as this causes a decrease in the newborn's urination, which leads to the accumulation of bilirubin in the body, causing jaundice.
  • Mother's milk jaundice: It affects newborns during the first week and reaches its peak in the second week of the child's life, and it can last from three weeks to 12 weeks, and the cause of this jaundice may be due to the presence of a substance in the mother's milk that may increase the amount of bilirubin that the child's body can re-absorb This type is not considered dangerous, but it does require testing for other, potentially serious problems.
  • Rhesus disease: , a hemolytic disease that may affect newborns due to the difference in their blood type from the mother's blood type.


  1. "Jaundice In Adults: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment" , www.netmeds.com , 20-3-2020, Retrieved 17-8-2020. Edited.
  2. Charles Daniel (4-18-2020), "Overview of Hyperbilirubinemia" , www.verywellhealth.com , Retrieved 7-7-2020. Edited.
  3. "Jaundice" , www.your.md , Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  4. ^ A b t w "Everything You Need To Know About Jaundice" , www.medicalnewstoday.com The , 31-10-2017, Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  5. ^ A b t w c h "Jaundice" , Www.twistwest.org , Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  6. "Jaundice" , www.hse.ie , Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  7. ^ A b t w c , Colin Tidy (23-5-2018), "Jaundice" , Www.patient.info , Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  8. "Jaundice" , www.childrenshospital.org , Retrieved 7-18-2020. Edited.
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  10. "Newborn jaundice" , www.nhs.uk , 4-9-2018, Retrieved 18-7-2020. Edited.
  11. "Hyperbilirubinemia in the Newborn" , www.cedars-sinai.org , Retrieved 7-18-2020. Edited.