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High levels of toxic bilirubin in your blood cause Crigler-Najjar syndrome, a rare genetic condition. Bilirubin is a substance that forms when red blood cells reach the end of their lifespan. Your liver breaks down bilirubin from a toxic substance to a nontoxic substance that you get rid of in your stool. If you’re diagnosed with Crigler-Najjar syndrome, your liver can’t break down bilirubin and it collects in your blood. As a result, Crigler-Najjar syndrome can cause life-threatening symptoms if left untreated.

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Crigler-Najjar syndrome is a rare genetic condition that occurs when your liver can’t break down bilirubin (a substance created by red blood cells). Children with this condition have jaundice, where their skin appears yellow. Some symptoms are life-threatening and cause irreversible brain damage if left untreated.
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A Crigler-Najjar syndrome diagnosis can be challenging for both children and their caretakers. It may be scary to see your child have a yellow hue to their skin and eyes after they’re born. While you’re taking care of your child during their diagnosis, make sure you take care of yourself if you feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious by talking with a mental health professional. When you’re feeling your best, you’ll be able to care for your child to help them feel their best as well.

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