Gilbert syndrome is a genetic liver disorder. It causes levels of bilirubin to rise above normal levels. Bilirubin is a yellow chemical by-product of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the red pigment in blood cells that is usually excreted by the liver as bile.
Gilbert syndrome is usually caused by an inherited genetic abnormality. Symptoms occur when there is an interference with the liver enzyme that is important in the elimination of bilirubin. This causes the levels of bilirubin to increase in the blood, which may produce symptoms such as jaundice.
Often, there are no symptoms of Gilbert syndrome. However, people who do have symptoms may experience:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
There is no way to prevent Gilbert syndrome. However, you may prevent symptoms by avoiding the following:
American Liver Foundation
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Liver Foundation
Gilbert syndrome. American Liver Foundation website. Available at: http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/gilbertsyndrome. Updated January 14, 2015. Accessed March 10, 2016.
Gilbert syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115578/Gilbert-syndrome. Updated May 5, 2011. Acessed March 10, 2016.
Gilbert syndrome. Genetics Home Reference website. Available at: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/gilbert-syndrome. Updated February 2012. Accessed March 10, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2016 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.