What other symptoms might occur with jaundice?

Jaundice may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Children and adults with jaundice often have other symptoms of an underlying disease. However, newborn infants with mild jaundice often do not have any other symptoms.

In children, adolescents and adults, symptoms that may appear along with jaundice include:

Symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition

Symptoms that may occur with jaundice can be caused by life-threatening conditions, such as liver failure, portal hypertension, or esophageal varices. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of the following symptoms:

  • Ascites (buildup of fluid and swelling in the abdomen)

  • Bleeding, such as vomiting blood or major rectal bleeding

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness such as passing out

  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change such as confusion

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Muscle tremors or shakiness

  • Severe weakness

  • Sudden edema (swelling) in the legs

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your baby has any of the following symptoms, which may accompany jaundice:

  • Extreme fussiness

  • Inability to be woken easily

  • Lack of stool or urine

  • Serious feeding problems or inability to breastfeed or bottle feed

  • Unresponsiveness

  • Unusually weak, stiff or floppy body


What is jaundice?

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, and the eyes. Jaundice, or icterus, is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice occurs in both benign and life-threatening conditions. Bilirubin is a yellow-colored pigment that is produced by the breakdown of old red blood cells. Bilirubin is normally processed by the liver and mixed with a substance called bile before ... Read more about jaundiceintroduction


What causes jaundice?

Normally, the body continuously replaces older red blood cells with new ones. Hemolysis is the event where dying or diseased red blood cells release hemoglobin, which is metabolized by the liver into the yellow pigment bilirubin. Bilirubin is further processed by the liver and expelled from the body in a substance called bile, which also contains substances to help digestion. Bile flows throu... Read more about jaundicecauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation