Gilbert's syndrome involves the inability for the liver to properly process a certain substance. Rarely serious, Gilbert's syndrome after its discoverer, Augustin Nicolas Gilbert (and others), in 1901. Follow along to learn the basics of Gilbert's syndrome.
Symptoms and characteristics. A mild liver disorder, Gilber's syndrome is marked when the liver isn't able to properly process bilirubin, which is involved in the breakdown of red blood cells. It is the most common hereditary cause of increased bilirubin. When Gilbert's syndrome is present, jaundice is the most common characteristic. Abdominal pain, fatigue, and weakness are also seen. However, it is not typical for individuals with Gilber's syndrome to experience noticeable symptoms.
Cause. Gilbert's syndrome is caused by a genetic abnormality; the gene that controls the break down of bilirubin is ineffective for those with Gilbert's syndrome. It is passed on by genetic causes only; two people must carry one copy of the abnormal gene to pass on the defect that causes Gilbert's syndrome. Gilbert's syndrome can only be inherited, and it is often discovered by accident, such as during a blood test.
Treatment. Due to the mild nature of the syndrome, Gilbert's syndrome does not normally require specialized treatment. Jaundice can be monitored by reasonable means, such as eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and informing your doctor with regard to medications. Bilirubin levels will fluctuate for those with Gilbert's syndrome. Additionally, affected individuals can watch out for common risk factors associated with Gilbert's syndrome, such as illness, fasting, dehydration, menstruation, stress, and strenuous exercise.