Gilbert syndrome is a genetic disorder related to the liver. If you have the condition, there will be a buildup of bilirubin in your blood from time to time, which can cause jaundice like symptoms. As mentioned, this is a genetic problem that runs in the family and doesn’t need any treatment. In this post, we will talk about things you need to know about Gilbert syndrome.
Know the causes
Gilbert syndrome is related to the UGT1A1 gene. The UGT1A1 gene contains the required instructions for producing a certain liver enzyme that helps in processing bilirubin. When a person has Gilbert syndrome, there is a change/mutation in the gene. This is a genetic disorder that people inherit from both parents. Even if someone has both genes, they may not have the syndrome.
What are the symptoms?
Gilbert syndrome is not a serious condition. Many people with the condition don’t have any signs and symptoms at all, mainly because they have their liver produces enough enzyme required to process and keep the level of bilirubin in check. In case there is a buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream, the patient may have the symptoms of jaundice, which is marked by yellowish eyes and skin. When a baby is born with Gilbert syndrome, they may have worse signs of jaundice, although the facts vary from case to case. A few things can cause the bilirubin levels to rise, including stress, dehydration, excessive exercise, flu or similar infections, and excessive intake of alcohol. Medicines that impact the liver may make the condition worse, say the experts of USPI.
How to check for Gilbert syndrome?
Most people with the condition don’t realize the same, until they are in their 20s. In many cases, doctors suggest a test for bilirubin for other conditions, which eventually leads to the conclusion that a patient has Gilbert syndrome. Since the level of bilirubin keeps changing, the syndrome might not be found in regular tests at times. As with most genetic disorders, additional tests can be taken to find more about Gilbert syndrome.
You don’t need any treatment, but certain conditions can make things worse. Avoid skipping meals and make sure that you are hydrated. Stress management and alcohol control are two other suggestions. Check with your doctor to know if taking certain medicines can make Gilbert syndrome worse, although you won’t need any medicines to treat these anyway.