Jaundice in Adults

Welcome to the Decision Guide for Jaundice.

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes that results from accumulation of an intensely yellow natural substance, bilirubin. Bilirubin is contained inside red blood cells, and it is cleared out of the body in the digestive substance "bile," which drains from the liver and gallbladder. People who get jaundice usually also have dark yellow or brown urine from extra bilirubin.

If you have jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), this guide can help you to understand some of the most common causes that might explain your symptoms.

Jaundice needs to be evaluated by a doctor in every case, because it usually indicates a serious medical problem. You should contact your doctor so that you can arrange an urgent evaluation. If your healthcare provider is not able to see you today, he or she may recommend that you visit an emergency department for an immediate evaluation. This guide is intended only as an introduction to the topic of jaundice. It is not a substitute for a doctor's evaluation.

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Your recent activity and possible exposure to infections could be an important clue to the cause of your jaundice.

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