How many times does jaundice occur in a life time?

There is no real limit to the number of times one can develop jaundice. It is only with a disease that is caused by an infection that such a rule applies. For example, a person can contract chicken pox only once in his or her lifetime. This is because after the first time a person contracts the disease, his or her body develops antibodies that fight the bacteria or virus that caused the disease. These antibodies remain in the body for a lifetime, and as a result, the person has life long immunity to that particular bacteria or virus. Jaundice, on the other hand, is not an infection - it is only a symptom of some other infection or medical condition. It is not a disease in itself, although in colloquial use of the term, it is treated as such. The term jaundice really only means yellow discoloration of the skin and membranes. This discoloration can be due to a variety of reasons, ranging from malaria to genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia, and from alcoholic liver disease to obstruction of the bile duct due to gallstones. Obviously, it is possible for one human being to suffer from several of these diseases and conditions in the course of his or her lifetime, and it is also possible that more than one of them could be severe enough to result in jaundice. In theory therefore, one person can develop jaundice innumerable times in a life time.

However, if someone is frequently sick enough to develop jaundice, the state of their health is probably extremely bad, and it is quite likely that the condition will eventually be fatal. It is therefore essential in such a situation to find out what is the ultimate reason due to which jaundice keeps recurring. You have not provided any information as to the reasons behind your question. If you or someone you know has repeatedly developed jaundice in the recent past, drastic action is necessary. If the current doctor is unable to figure out the causes or suggest an effective course of action, you should consult a specialist.

It is possible that the cause is simply a recurrent gall stone problem. On the other hand, several more serious conditions could be responsible. Pancreatic cancer sometimes causes jaundice, and as with any cancer, it is important that it is detected and treated early. The same goes for severe damage to the liver or kidneys.

answered by G M

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