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Gilbert's zhil-bairs syndrome is a fairly common liver disorder that is present at birth, but usually only becomes apparent in the teens or early adulthood. People with the condition have a mild increase in the level of a yellow pigment in the blood called bilirubin billy-roo-bin.
It is a breakdown product of haemoglobin.
In this article What is Gilbert's syndrome? Bilirubin is carried in the bloodstream to the liver where it is taken in by liver cells. The liver itself is normal and the condition is harmless. Gilbert's syndrome is a very common hereditary condition. If the level of bilirubin goes above a certain level you can develop yellowing of skin and the whites of your eyes. It is due to a reduced amount of a chemical in the liver, which processes a breakdown product of blood cells, called bilirubin. In this series.
Next article Jaundice. It is not clear whether these symptoms are actually related to Gilbert's syndrome. Who gets Gilbert's syndrome? At other times it is higher than normal but not very high. Yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes jaundice - a high level of bilirubin can be caused by many different diseases of the liver and blood. About 1 out of every 20 people have this syndrome - but 1 in 3 people who have it will not know that they have it.
Gilbert's syndrome is also commonly diagnosed by chance when routine blood tests that are done for other problems show a raised level of bilirubin. Book now. The liver cells process the bilirubin which is then passed out from the liver into the gut with the bile. A chemical enzyme in liver cells, called uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase UGThelps the liver cells to process the bilirubin. Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker.
What is Gilbert's syndrome? This condition is called jaundice.
The jaundice tends to occur most commonly if you are ill with another problem such as:. This is because bilirubin is an orangy-yellow colour. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Some people with Gilbert's syndrome become mildly jaundiced from time to time.
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The condition is named after the doctor who first described it in Bilirubin is constantly being made. Book a private assessment with a qualified dietician today. That is, these symptoms may develop whether the level of bilirubin is high or not and may be due to the problem that caused the liver to have to work a little bit harder. There is even some evidence that people with Gilbert's syndrome live longer and are heathier than people who don't have it.
Very rarely, other tests such as a liver biopsy may be done to rule out liver diseases if the diagnosis is in doubt. People with Gilbert's syndrome lead normal healthy lives. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Horsfall LJ, Hardy R, Wong A, et al ; Genetic variation underlying common hereditary hyperbilirubinaemia Gilbert's syndrome and respiratory health in the British birth cohort.
the discussion on the forums. People with Gilbert's syndrome have less of this enzyme and so a backlog of bilirubin can build up in the bloodstream. No treatment is needed. In people with Gilbert's syndrome, the blood level of bilirubin can go up and down.
Therefore, if you develop jaundice you are likely to need tests to clarify the cause and to rule out serious disease. Iron and total bonding iron are high.
Life expectancy is not affected and life insurance is not affected. Want to see a dietician? You may also be offered genetic testing. However, this does not usually cause any problems as the level does not go very high. It is sometimes called Gilbert's disease although it does not cause 'disease' as such. Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Mild yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes jaundice may come back from time to time for short periods but usually causes no health problems.
These include:. J Hepatol. It shows a mildly raised level of bilirubin; however, all the other liver tests will be normal. Further reading and references. A high level of bilirubin causes a yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes jaundice.
The take home message is - Gilbert's syndrome is really a mild abnormality of how the liver processes a chemical enzyme called bilirubin. It is more common in men than in women. However, some people with Gilbert's syndrome report other symptoms - most commonly:. Gilbert's Syndrome In this article What is Gilbert's syndrome? It is usually harmless and does not require treatment.
article Abnormal Liver Function Tests. If you have Gilbert's syndrome there are some medicines which you should avoid if alternatives are available. This may seem alarming, but is of little concern if the cause is Gilbert's syndrome. Gilbert's syndrome symptoms Do I need any tests? What is bilirubin and what happens in Gilbert's syndrome? Start symptom checker. Gilbert's syndrome is a condition where the liver does not process bilirubin very well.
Haemoglobin is a chemical that is in red blood cells and carries oxygen to the tissues. Often the level is normal.
For details see our conditions. Treatment for Gilbert's syndrome. Epub Jul Hum Genomics. A blood test can usually confirm the diagnosis of Gilbert's syndrome.
Many red blood cells break down each day releasing haemoglobin, and bilirubin is one of the waste products. It is often first diagnosed in the late teens or early twenties. Gilbert's syndrome can cause mild jaundice from time to time. It is not really a 'disease' and does not normally cause problems. The jaundice itself does not usually cause any problems.
There does not seem to be any relationship between these symptoms and the level of bilirubin in the blood. Egton Medical Information Systems Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy.
Health Tools Feeling unwell? The level of bilirubin in the blood goes up and down.