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What is Gilbert's Syndrome?

Gilbert’s Syndrome (GS) is an inherent disease of the liver. It is a harmless genetic condition in which the liver enzyme (the protein molecule) becomes abnormal and cannot properly process bilirubin..

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Gilbert’s Syndrome (GS) is an inherent disease of the liver. It is a harmless genetic condition in which the liver enzyme (the protein molecule) becomes abnormal and cannot properly process bilirubin (waste due to worn out-red blood cells). It is generally due to a reduced number of chemicals in the liver. People with this disease experience elevated levels of bilirubin pigment, which may lead to yellowing of eyes and skin. It is a genetic condition and is examined when you take a blood test and that reveals high bilirubin levels. 

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Gilbert's Syndrome
Symptoms

Symptoms of GS are not clearly identified in elevated levels of bilirubin. Most of the people don’t come to a realisation of having it, because the bilirubin levels mostly stay within normal limits and rarely rise – that too slightly, to an extent that is tolerable. However, substances that are glucuronidated by the affected enzymes could cause symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and itching without rashes

Causes

The only cause of Gilbert’s Syndrome is an abnormal gene from either parent. It affects the liver and gives birth to an excessive amount of bilirubin. A gene in the liver controls enzyme which breaks down the bilirubin. A person with an abnormal gene stores a large amount of bilirubin. The syndrome is caused by:

  • Lack or deficiency of the uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase enzyme or UGT.
  • A change of the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase gene – a faulty gene.

Risks

The main risk factors of this disease are:

  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Restlessness

Prevention

Gilbert’s Syndrome cannot be prevented as it is inherited, However, the following can help control the symptoms:

  • Balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Manage stress
  • Avoid junk food

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Our superspecialist doctors provide the highest quality of care through a team-based, doctor-led model. Trained at some of the world's most renowned i..... Continue Reading

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