Warning Signs of Jaundice in Cold Agglutinin Disease

Emily Malcolm, PhD avatar

by Emily Malcolm, PhD |

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jaundice, CAD

After being diagnosed with a chronic disease such as cold agglutinin disease (CAD), patients can often face some serious complications, including jaundice.

What is jaundice?

Jaundice is a condition in which the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellow as a result of bilirubin buildup in the blood.

The liver normally breaks down bilirubin, but in conditions such as CAD, it may not be able to keep up with the amount of bilirubin being produced by the break down of red blood cells that have been targeted by the immune system.

Jaundice is associated with several signs and symptoms, which are summarized below.

Yellow skin and eyes

The primary visible symptom of jaundice is a yellowing of the eyes and skin. However, jaundice can be present without yellowing of the skin, which is why CAD patients may need to have their blood levels of bilirubin checked regularly.

Weight loss

Jaundice can cause sudden and unexpected weight loss.

Itchy skin

Jaundice can cause itchy skin, also known as pruritus.

Achy joints

CAD patients often experience achy joints as a result of the disease itself. However, an increase in pain severity or number of affected joints may indicate that something else is wrong.

Abdominal pain

Patients may experience abdominal pain as a result of jaundice.


Last updated: Nov. 26, 2019


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