Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes which mainly occurs due to improper functioning of the liver.
The liver processes and removes the bilirubin from the blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellow pigment of bile which is formed by the normal breakdown of hemoglobin.
When the liver is not efficient to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream then excess bilirubin is collected in the skin which stains other body tissues yellow and causes jaundice.
Causes of Jaundice are
- Inflammation of the bile duct
- Inflammation of the liver
- Gilbert’s syndrome
- Obstruction of the bile duct
- Hemolytic anemia
Frequent feeding increases bowel movements that help to excrete the excess bilirubin which is responsible for jaundice.
More feeding also gets more fluid into the body which makes the body easier to flush out the excess bilirubin. The other benefit is when the mother’s feed more her body is signaled to make more milk.
Babies sleep more during jaundice, so make sure to wake up your baby and feed at regular intervals.
Do not panic when your baby is having jaundice else it can interfere with your ability to produce milk and hence you may not be able to feed enough breast milk.
Phototherapy is an effective method for treating newborn babies with jaundice. Phototherapy lowers the bilirubin level in the baby’s blood through a process called photo-oxidation.
During the treatment, the baby is placed on a special bed and baby’s skin is exposed to blue spectrum light, which breaks down the bilirubin into compounds that can be easily excreted in the urine and stool.
Once the bilirubin level falls to a safe level then phototherapy should be stopped. But continuous supplemental feeding to a baby is necessary due to excess water loss through the skin.
Note: Baby’s eyes should be covered with goggles for protection.
Exposing your baby to sunlight helps to lower the bilirubin level in the blood and thus cure jaundice. The benefit of sunlight exposure to your baby is their body creates vitamin D which provides many health benefits as listed below
- Helps our body to absorb calcium which in turn strengthens our bones and teeth
- Required to have a robust nervous system right from our childhood
- Balances blood clotting by maintaining the right blood pressure and ensuring blood clots are just enough for the body
Sunlight exposure also helps to regulate the production of melatonin which can impact the sleep pattern of the newborn during their early years.
- Do not expose your baby in direct sunlight between 10 am to 4 pm
- Ensure your baby is not fully clothed and receive the slanting sun rays in the morning time between 7 am to 9 am
The wheatgrass juice increases the enzymatic action in the liver thereby enhances the liver’s ability to remove excess bilirubin from the baby’s body.
Wheatgrass juice also increases your strength, vigor your health and promote overall well-being. The chlorophyll content in grass juice plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of blood, cardiovascular system, and other organs.
This is one of the popular remedies for babies up to 1 year to get rid of jaundice.
Herbal supplements contain the substances which help in detoxifying the body. These detoxifiers help in removing the excess bilirubin from the baby’s body suffering from jaundice.
Herbal supplements include dandelion tea, comfrey leaf, catnip, agrimony, etc.
Mothers can take these herbal supplements to treat jaundice in babies at birth so that they can pass on to the baby through breast milk. However, they may take a medical opinion based on their health.
Yogurt is probiotic which improves immunity and protect your body from harmful bacteria thereby helps in bringing down the serum bilirubin levels.
Give your baby a full-fat version of yogurt from 6 months of age because a baby also needs fat for proper growth and development.
Note – Temporarily discontinue feeding if the doctor confirms that jaundice in your baby has occurred due to breast milk.
The antioxidants rich sugarcane juice helps to fight infections and boost immunity. Sugarcane helps in strengthening your liver, protecting them against infections and controlling the bilirubin levels thereby making it the most effective remedy for jaundice.
Sugarcane helps in maintaining the glucose level in your body which drops very fast during jaundice.
Sugarcane aids effective digestion and proper functioning of the liver thereby helps to recover quickly from jaundice.
Sugarcane is also an energizer which revitalizes your body from fatigue. The alkaline properties of sugarcane help in maintaining the electrolyte levels in the body and keep your body hydrated.
Radish leaves help to remove the extra bilirubin from our system thereby reversing the skin yellowing condition and helps in curing jaundice.
The compounds contained by radish leaves induce appetite and regularizes the bowel movements which helps to reduce jaundice gradually. Regular consumption of juice for 8 to 10 days ensures complete relief from jaundice.
The essential nutrients in radish leaves help in detoxifying the body by removing toxins and impurities and purifying the blood which is good for the liver.
They are also rich in dietary fiber and helps in the digestive process.
The presence of antioxidant-rich lycopene in tomato helps in reducing tissue damage in the liver thereby facilitates quick recovery from jaundice. Lycopene content also protects against fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis in the liver and lungs.
Tomato juice helps in detoxifying the body by flushing out the toxins and purifying the blood which is good for the liver. Sulfur and chlorine content of tomato helps the liver and kidneys to perform their detoxification function better.
The anti-inflammatory properties of lemon juice unblock the bile ducts and protect the liver cells from further damage thereby making it the most effective remedy for jaundice.
The citric acid in lemon helps in curing the liver of any kind of problem. The lemon is also diuretic in nature which helps in promoting urine formation through which all toxins can be easily flushed out of the body.
The diuretic qualities of barley help to remove harmful toxins and bilirubin out from the body and thereby helping in getting rid of jaundice problem.
Barley is also an excellent source of dietary fiber which keeps your digestive system healthy and contributes to healthy bowel movements.
Despite using the remedies if there is no change in the level of bilirubin or symptoms of jaundice still persists then immediately seek a doctor help.