Gilbert disease

Abdomen | Hematology | Gilbert disease (Disease)


A person with Gilberts disease has an inherited disorder that results in high bilirubin levels in the bloodstream, a condition referred to as jaundice. Bilirubin is one of the by-products that result from the breakdown of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the bloodstream.

It has been reported that GS may contribute to an accelerated onset of neonatal jaundice, especially in the presence of increased hemolysis due to diseases like G6PD deficiency. This situation can be especially dangerous if not quickly treated as the high bilirubin causes irreversible neurological disability in the form of kernicterus.

Causes and Risk factors

The liver of a person with Gilberts disease is unable to process bilirubin normally.

When functioning properly, the liver filters impurities and toxins from the body, processes proteins and carbohydrates, and breaks down fats using bile stored in the gall bladder.

Gilbert’s syndrome is a common, mild disorder thought to be inherited in around half of all cases. Men are at higher risk than women, and tend to develop Gilbert’s syndrome between their late teens and early 30s. Usually, the disorder is diagnosed by chance during the investigation of unrelated illnesses.

Gilberts syndrome produces an elevated level of unconjugated bilirubin in the bloodstream but normally has no serious consequences. Mild jaundice may appear under conditions of exertion, stress, fasting, and infections, but the condition is otherwise usually asymptomatic.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An elevated indirect bilirubin level in the blood confirms the diagnosis.

Gilbert’s syndrome is a mild disorder that typically doesn’t need medical treatment. People with the disorder lead normal, healthy lives. There is no evidence to suggest that the condition is harmful or leads to more serious diseases. Medication is available that may lower bilirubin levels and reduce the jaundice if this becomes a problem. ...

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