Jaundice in babies is one of the most common ailments seen in children. More than 60% of the newborns develop jaundice. Physiological jaundice is quite common in babies. However in many cases it can also lead to other serious problems that needs medical intervention.
Causes for jaundice in babies: You can find the yellow coloration in the skin of your child. This can be caused due to physiological jaundice. Children and the new born have immature liver. This is the main cause of physiological jaundice in babies. Moreover babies do not have bacteria in their gut that helps in digestion. This also can lead to jaundice is babies. Do not worry! These are most common in babies. The red blood cells are also in excess in new born babies. These red cells are broken down in the spleen forming bilirubin. Excess bilirubin the body can also cause jaundice in babies. You can even notice jaundice in your baby within 48 hours of delivery. This kind of physiological jaundice reach the peak within 4 to 5 days. Many babies also suffer from jaundice who are prematurely born.
Malformation of the bile duct or neonatal hepatitis can also lead to jaundice in babies. Hypothyroidism, infection, metabolic abnormalities, defects in red cell formation are also some of the common causes for jaundice in children. Rhesus disease can also cause jaundice in babies. However this is a very rare condition when the blood group of the mother and the baby is not compatible with each other. However it is one of the most fatal conditions. Jaundice can also develop in children from the breast milk of the mother. This is commonly termed as the `breast milk jaundice`.
Common symptoms of jaundice in babies: Lack of appetite is the most common symptom of jaundice in babies. Increased muscle tone and excessive crying are also common symptoms for jaundice in babies. Too much drowsiness is also associated with jaundice in babies. Dark urine with yellow coloration of the skin is the most common symptom of jaundice in both children and adult. The white part of the eyes also turn yellow in severe jaundice.
Treatment for jaundice in babies: Phototherapy is commonly performed for jaundice treatment in babies. No treatments are required for jaundice in babies which have developed for physiological etiology. Jaundice developed due to galactosemia can be treated by eliminating lactose and galactose from the baby`s diet. Breast feeding is to be avoided during this time. Haemolytic anemia can also lead to jaundice in babies. This is treated according to the cause of the disease. If your child is suffering from jaundice due to biliary atresia then a small surgical intervention is necessary. By this surgery a connection is made between the small intestine as well as the liver.
If you find any of the symptoms of jaundice in your child consult your pediatrician immediately to confirm jaundice and do the required treatments.
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