Thursday, February 28, 2008


· Fatty and sugary foods.

· Shellfish that may have been exposed to polluted water.
· Unpeeled fruits and vegetables that may be contaminated by human waste.
· Foods that are sold or prepared in unsanitary conditions.
· All alcoholic beverages.

A yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes is the hallmark of jaundice. This condition typically occurs when bilirubin, a pigmented component of bile, builds up in the blood. It is mixed with bile, a digestive juice that is made by the liver, and is eventually excreted from the body in the urine or stool. Jaundice develops if the bilirubin is allowed to accumulate in the body.

There are three general of jaundice: the most common is due to hepatitis or some other liver disorder; another, known as obstructive jaundice, usually results from gallstones or another gallbladder disease; and the least common involves some sort of abnormality in bilirubin metabolism.

In addition to jaundice, symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. The urine may be dark in color due to increased bilirubin content, and the stools may be light, clay-colored, or whitish, and indication that bilirubin is not being excreted from the intestinal tract. In a few cases, hepatitis may be serious enough to result in liver failure, coma, and death.

Jaundice may also be due to Gilbert’s syndrome ( a disorder of bilirubin metabolism), which affects 3 to 5 percent of the population and may be misdiagnosed as hepatitis. In Gilbert’s syndrome, chronic jaundice is the only abnormality and does not signify liver disease. Several other rate forms of jaundice are inherited disorders.

It is not uncommon for a baby to develop jaundice during the first few days after birth, especially if the infant is premature. This is known as physiological jaundice, and is usually caused by a liver that is not fully functional.

Feeding the infant soon after birth and continuing with frequent feedings helps to reduce the risk of jaundice by stimulating the intestinal tract to produce frequent stools, which increases the excretion of bilirubin . In a few cases the newborn may be reacting to the mother’s milk, and breast-feeding must be discontinued for a day or two in favor of a formula. After this resolves the problems, the mother may resume breast-feeding safely.

Any modification of the diet depends on the underlying cause of the jaundice. With a nutritious, well- balanced diet and rest, viral hepatitis resolves itself- although it may take several weeks. Many individuals report that their appetite decreases and nausea increases as the day progresses, suggesting that breakfast may be the best tolerated meal.

If the appetite is poor, intersperse several small meals a day with a nutritious snack (such as a milk shake or an enriched liquid drink.) Fried and very fatty foods, which are difficult to digest, should be avoided; a small amount of fat is acceptable, however, to provide needed calories and add flavor. In general, the fats in dairy products and eggs are easier to digest than those in fatty meats and fried foods.

Avoid sweets and alcohol
Because they may squelch the appetite for more nutritious foods, it is best to avoid sweets. Alcohol should not be consumed, because it places added stress on an already sick liver. It may be tolerated after recovery, but some liver disorders mandate total abstinence from alcohol for life. There is some evidence that herbal preparations based on milk thistle may help treat liver dysfunction.

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