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Pilia – causes, side effects and treatments at

Tuesday, June 05, 2018 by

Pilia, or jaundice, refers to the yellowish tinge of a patient’s skin and sclerae (the whites of the eye). Their body fluids may also be yellow.

The color of an individual’s skin and sclerae will vary depending on their bilirubin levels. Bilirubin is a waste material in the blood.

At least 60 percent of all infants born in the U.S. develop pilia. People of all ages can develop the condition, and it is often caused by an underlying condition. Pilia usually indicates a problem with a patient’s liver or bile duct.

Pilia is the Ayurvedic term for jaundice. It is also called icterus.

Known side effects of pilia

The side effects of pilia usually include:

  • Aches and cramps in the body
  • Constipation
  • Dark urine and pale stool
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain near the liver
  • Tiredness
  • Yellow-tinged sclerae, skin, and tongue

Risk factors include underlying conditions that may cause pilia like:

  • Acute inflammation of the liver — This can prevent the liver from conjugating and secreting bilirubin, causing a buildup.
  • Cholestasis — May interrupt the flow of bile from the liver.
  • Gilbert’s syndrome — An inherited condition that impairs the ability of enzymes to process bile excretion.
  • Hemolytic anemia — Bilirubin production increases when large quantities of red blood cells are broken down.
  • Inflammation of the bile duct — This may prevent bile secretion and the removal of bilirubin.
  • Obstruction of the bile duct — This will prevent the liver from disposing bilirubin.

Body systems harmed by pilia

Pilia may cause the following complications:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding
  • Cancer
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Death
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Hepatic encephalopathy/brain dysfunction
  • Infection/sepsis
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure

Food items or nutrients that may prevent pilia

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent pilia or address its symptoms:

  • Coffee or herbal tea — Drink coffee moderately to improve liver health. Coffee can help lower inflammation, reduce the levels of harmful liver enzymes, and minimize the risk of developing cirrhosis. Additionally, coffee can increase antioxidant levels which helps flush toxins from the body. Drinking at least three cups of coffee or herbal tea daily can alleviate liver stiffness.
  • Digestive enzymes — Naturally-occurring digestive enzymes can help reduce bilirubin. Sources include honey, mango, papaya, and pineapple.
  • Fiber — Fiber, especially soluble fiber, can eliminate bile from the liver and reduce toxicity. Sources include fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. High-fiber foods include almonds, berries, brown rice, cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli and kale), oatmeal, and quinoa.
  • Fruits and vegetables — Consume at least two cups of various fruits and two and a half cups of vegetables daily. Sources include avocado, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, grapes, and mustard greens.
  • Milk thistle — Full of antioxidants, milk thistle also contains silymarin. Silymarin can help repair damaged liver cells.
  • Water — Stay hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water daily to help your liver flush out toxins.

Treatments, management plans for pilia

Treatment for pilia often depends on the underlying cause.

Treatment aims to address the cause instead of side effects associated pilia. Treatment options include:

  • Antiviral or steroid medications — Used when a patient has hepatitis-induced pilia.
  • Increased iron intake — Used to treat pilia caused by anemia. Patients may take iron supplements or consume more iron-rich foods.
  • Medication — If a patient has pilia caused by certain medication, treatment will involve the prescription of alternative medication.
  • Surgery — Used to treat pilia caused by obstructions.

Where to learn more


Pilia, or jaundice, refers to the yellowish tinge of a patient’s skin and sclerae (the whites of the eye).

The side effects of pilia usually include aches and cramps in the body, constipation, dark urine and pale stool, and fever.

Pilia may cause complications like anemia, bleeding, cancer, chronic hepatitis, and death.

Coffee or herbal tea, digestive enzymes, fiber, fruits and vegetables, milk thistle, and water can help prevent pilia or address its symptoms.

Treatment for pilia often depends on the underlying cause. Treatment aims to address the cause instead of side effects associated with the condition. Treatment options include antiviral or steroid medications, increased iron intake, medication, or surgery.

Sources include:


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