Skip to Content




is yellowing of your eyes and skin. It is caused by too much bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance found in red blood cells. It is released when the body breaks down old red blood cells. Bilirubin usually leaves the body through bowel movements. Jaundice happens because your body breaks down cells correctly, but it cannot remove the bilirubin.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe abdominal pain or a fever.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded or faint.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You begin to have tea-colored urine or pale, gray bowel movements.
  • Your skin and eyes become more yellow, or other symptoms get worse.
  • You are confused, or others notice changes in your behavior.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for jaundice

may include medicine to decrease your jaundice and reduce itching. You may need one or more procedures to find or remove a blockage in your pancreas or gallbladder.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Drink more liquids as directed. Liquids help you stay hydrated and urinate more. This helps prevent harm to your kidneys. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Eat foods low in fat. Healthy low-fat foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. These foods are easier to digest and may help reduce your symptoms.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol harms your liver and may make your symptoms worse.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Ā© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotesĀ® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Jaundice (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptom checker

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.