Yellowing of the Skin/Eyes

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Yellowing of the skin and eyes is described as when the skin, and whites around the eyes, turn a yellowish hue. In adults, the cause can be because of liver dysfunction, bile duct obstruction, or cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder). It is a result of high levels of bilirubin (the red-orange compound made during the breakdown of red blood cells) in the blood. It is also commonly seen in infants when the liver is immature and can't take up enough bilirubin. For more information on what causes yellowing of the skin and eyes and why it happens, schedule a visit with the gastrointestinal specialists at GI Alliance.

While it is commonly a problem noted because of liver dysfunction, this symptom can be a result of an inherited blood disorder called thalassemia where the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Yellowing of the skin and eyes can also be a result of the following conditions:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis E
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Hepatitis D, Hepatitis A
  • Gallstones
  • Cirrhosis
  • Bile duct obstruction
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Infection

If yellowing of the skin and eyes is caused by an infection, you may also experience, fever, chills, abdominal pain, flu-like symptoms, dark-colored urine, and clay-colored stool. If it is determined that the yellowing is not because of an infection, you may experience weight loss or itchy skin (pruritus). The physicians at GI Alliance can identify the root cause of this symptom and help you get the proper care you need to address the yellowing of the skin or eyes.

The yellowing of the skin and eyes is a sign of an underlying health problem. It can be a sign of a problem in the liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. You should seek care for this condition as soon as it is noticed. It is important to get prompt care so the correct treatment can be started. The treatment for yellowing of the skin and eyes will depend on the underlying cause. For example, if you have acute viral hepatitis, the yellow hue will resolve on its own as the liver starts to heal. But, if a blocked bile duct is to blame, surgery may be suggested. To learn about the symptoms and treatments for yellowing of the skin and eyes in-depth, please speak with a gastroenterologist at GI Alliance. They will walk you through each treatment and explain what is best for you.

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If you've experienced yellowing of the skin or eyes, it is important to have the coloring evaluated as soon as possible. It is commonly a sign of an underlying health issue that needs evaluation. Contact the experienced gastrointestinal physicians at GI Alliance to schedule an appointment to get the proper treatment.

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