Gilbert syndrome is a condition of the liver that’s considered to be harmless and doesn’t require any treatment in most cases.
Below are seven facts worth knowing about the condition.
- Gilbert syndrome, also known as Gilbert’s syndrome, is a genetic condition. The liver produces certain enzymes that help in processing a substance called bilirubin. A patient with the condition has a gene mutation, due to which these enzymes are not produced, and therefore, there is a buildup of bilirubin in the blood. For the uninitiated, bilirubin is produced due to breakdown of RBCs.
- Patients with Gilbert’s disease have symptoms of jaundice. The skin and whites of the eyes may appear yellowish as the level of bilirubin increases in the blood. This can happen at different points of time, and many factors can contribute to the same.
- Some of factors that may make bilirubin level worse includes illness caused by flu-like infection, fasting, lack of hydration, menstruation, excessive exercise and lack of sleep. Stress can also make things worse. While you won’t feel a difference in your body, experts of USPI suggest seeing a doctor in case of discomfort with jaundice symptoms.
- Gilbert’s disease is caused by the mutation of the UGT1A1 gene, which carries the instruction for making certain liver enzymes that help in processing bilirubin. The patient must have one copy of the mutated gene from both parents to get the condition, although he/she may not get the condition at all.
- This is an inherited condition, and people don’t realize they have Gilbert syndrome, until they get tested for bilirubin level in the blood. Experts of USPI believe that men are more likely to get the condition than women.
- Patients who have Gilbert’s syndrome should speak to their doctor about taking new medicines and drugs, because some might lead to the development of gallbladder stones or gallstones. If you have other liver conditions, talk to your doctor about the medications you can take.
- Gilbert’s syndrome doesn’t need any treatment. If you have signs of jaundice, it will get better with time, and you don’t need doctor’s appointment. However, if you have abdominal pain or other kinds of discomfort, speak with your doctor to get tested for liver and digestive disorders. In general, Gilbert’s syndrome won’t cause you any trouble, unless there is an underlying condition.
Check online now to find more about the condition and talk to your doctor if you have Gilbert’s syndrome in the family.