“Jaundice in newborn babies” is a common diagnosis given to parents who suspect that their baby might be suffering from a more serious medical condition. This is a serious condition that can ultimately kill the infant. If caught early enough, however, jaundice in newborns can be treated in a safe and successful manner. What is jaundice? What does it do to a newborn?
“Jaundice” is an abnormal presence of a substance called hemoglobin in the bloodstream of an infant. Usually, a normal balance of iron, sodium, and potassium is maintained in an infant’s body. However, sometimes the kidneys fail to remove a normal amount of fluid from the bloodstream. This causes a change in the color of the urine, increased bilirubin levels, and the symptoms of jaundice in newborns. Doctors may perform a blood test to detect the presence of jaundice in newborns.
How is jaundice detected? Normally, doctors will look for the signs of jaundice in newborns by performing a blood test. The color of the urine should be dark red or pale orange. The newborn may need treatment immediately if the urine shows a bright green color. A further sign of jaundice is if a dark, yellow, or greenish discoloration is present in the mouth. If the infant also seems weak, pale, sleepy or irritable, he or she may also be suffering from jaundice.
Newborns are exposed to a number of different blood types during the first few months of development. Different blood types are needed for proper nutrition, so newborns are born with one of several newborn blood types. When the newborn starts to show the first symptoms of jaundice, his blood type can be deduced from the appearance of yellowish stains on the skin.
There are a number of known causes of jaundice in newborns, including possible congenital defects. Other known causes of jaundice include low birth weight, premature birth, or having a premature birth. Premature babies have undeveloped white blood cells, which are unable to fight infections. A high bilirubin level may also be caused by a low blood count or a blood deficiency.
What are the symptoms of jaundice in newborns? Signs of jaundice in newborns can be detected because of a high bilirubin level. Babies with jaundice will have pale, dull-colored skin with red and yellowish edges. Babies with high bilirubin levels will be vomiting or losing weight. Babies that develop a yellowish discoloration of the skin or look very dry and crusty may have what is termed as “old red blood cells”.
What is mild jaundice? Mild jaundice happens on its own within 2 weeks. On the other hand, “moderate” or “severe” jaundice can go on for up to 6 months. ” Moderate” means that it occurs less than 3 times a year, while “severe” suggests that it occurs at least 3 times a week.
Newborn babies, especially those that are below the age of one, must be given extra care. Doctors always want to avoid giving too much bilirubin in the blood. If a newborn does not have enough yellow substance in his blood, he will be turned down for a transplant. Babies can be diagnosed with a “high level of bilirubin” if the doctor sees yellowed and thickened stool, too much bilirubin in the blood, jaundice, fever, dark urine, or pale, watery eyes.
Some causes of “yellowing” of stools are drugs, alcohol, strong cleaning agents, pesticides, and some foods like sushi. It is possible that newborns may contract a condition called “hepatitis”. This is an inflammation of the liver, which can lead to “lethargy”. Symptoms of “lethargy” include crying, excessive licking of the lips, failure to gain weight, and vomiting of blood. Jaundice in newborns can also be caused by a serious virus like measles, mumps, hepatitis, or chickenpox.
The causes of jaundice in babies vary. The baby can get it from one or more of its parents. The baby might inherit the condition from one or more of his/her parents. It usually occurs in the first year of life. Babies who do not receive the right amount of Vitamin D and protein (dietary supplements) are more likely to develop the disease. In rare cases, newborns with very low iron levels can also develop jaundice.
Babies whose mothers have passed away due to “pulmonary steatosis” are more likely to develop jaundice than those whose mothers have not reached this age. Babies whose mothers have received chemotherapy for any reason, or birth control pills, oral antibiotics, or steroidal hormones should also be under the watchful eye of a physician and should receive treatment for the disease if possible. Newborn babies of women who suffer from “cholestasis” are more likely to develop “lethargy”. A baby whose mother has passed away because of breast cancer should also be treated for the disease in order to minimize the possibility of jaundice occurring in the baby.