As well as yellow skin and eyes, in some cases, jaundice symptoms include:
Jaundice can be caused by a benign (non-harmful) condition but it can also be a symptom of several serious conditions.
Jaundice occurs when your body has too much bilirubin, a yellow waste product expelled by your liver.
Some liver diseases cause high bilirubin levels and can seriously damage and scar your liver (cirrhosis). These include:
Other jaundice causes include:
If your skin or the white of your eyes look yellow, contact your GP immediately.
Your GP will also ask about any other jaundice symptoms and about your health in general and your medical history. They’ll also discuss your lifestyle, including any travel abroad, alcohol intake, diet and drug use.
Your GP will test your urine to check bilirubin levels and may do blood tests. If necessary, your GP will refer you for further investigations, perhaps a liver screening or ultrasound scan.
Depending on your results, your GP may arrange for you to see a consultant.
Jaundice in adults requires prompt diagnosis and treatment for the underlying cause.
Once the cause of your jaundice has been diagnosed, your GP or consultant will arrange treatment for your condition. This may involve medical or surgical treatment (such as gallbladder/gallstone removal) and, if required, you’ll be admitted to hospital.