How to Care for a Mother With Jaundice

Anyone who has been tasked to care for a sick parent knows the challenges that can come along with the situation. If you have had to learn how to care for a mother with jaundice, though, you not only have to oversee the jaundice condition but also have to be mindful of the underlying condition that is causing the jaundice in order to appropriately treat it.


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    Understand what is happening with the jaundice symptoms in your mother's body.
    • Your mother's skin, eyes and/or mucous membranes will turn a yellow color from bilirubin, which is a yellow-pigmented substance in the body. The yellow color usually starts in the face and makes its way outward.
    • If your mother's liver can't process red blood cells like normal, bilirubin will accumulate in her body and will produce jaundice.
    • Other symptoms can include fever, fatigue or weight loss. Your mother may also have darkened stool or urine, and severe itching to the point of sleep disruption has also been described.
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    Know what diseases can cause jaundice in your mother's body. Being aware of the conditions that lead to jaundice can help you treat the bigger picture of underlying issues.
    • Cirrhosis is one condition that can have jaundice affiliated with it, particularly, cirrhosis from an alcohol-related cause.
    • Jaundice can be caused by autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis or hemolytic anemia.
    • Other causes of jaundice can include malaria or pancreatic cancer.
    • Two additional types of jaundice are ischemic hepatocellular jaundice, which is caused by an oxygen deficiency in the blood, and intrahepatic cholestasis, which is a jaundice condition that occurs during pregnancy.
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    Work with your mother to have an accurate diagnosis made, and then help her stick with doctor's recommended treatment plan.
    • See that your mother's physician runs the appropriate tests to ensure the correct diagnosis. These can include, but are not limited to, blood tests, CT or CAT scans, Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (an xray/endoscope combination), liver biopsy, MRI, ultrasound or endoscopic ultrasound.
    • Make sure that your mother takes her medication.
    • Schedule any necessary surgery to attack the underlying cause of the jaundice.
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    Identify and treat your mother's underlying condition so that you can work with your mother to improve the jaundice.
    • Jaundice from anemia is usually treated with iron supplements or consumption of foods that are iron-rich.
    • Anti-virals or steroid drugs are used to treat hepatitis.
    • While cirrhosis is not curable, your doctor can treat the disease to help it from progressing further.
    • Your mother's doctor may perform surgery if there is an obstruction or blockage of the liver.
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    Alert your doctor if the underlying condition causes any symptoms of major concern or if the jaundice gets worse.


  • Keeping your mother calm and comfortable will help pass the time until the appropriate treatment can run its course. Keep an eye daily on your mother's progress, and report any major setbacks to her doctor.

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Categories: Disability Issues