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Gilbert's Syndrome

Gilbert's Syndrome Causes

Although the cause of Gilbert's syndrome remains unknown, it is believed that the main cause is hereditary. Persons with the disease are born with an abnormal gene which causes lower levels of the enzymes.

Gilbert's Syndrome Definition

Gilbert's syndrome is a benign disease characterized by jaundice, and is also the main cause for increased amounts of bilirubin in the bloodstream. The disease affects 5% of the population.

Gilbert's Syndrome Diagnosis

Gilbert's syndrome is generally harmless; some believe that it is just a variation of bilirubin levels. However, the importance of its diagnosis is in separating it from being confused with liver diseases that may be much more dangerous. Diagnosis is often done through hemolysis; and in rare cases, liver biopsy.

Gilbert's Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Gilber's syndrome is primarily asymptomatic, although those suffering tend to commonly report the following: loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea or dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty maintaining concentration. Persons at risk for jaundice are those who are under stress, have infections, fasting, and exertion. The disease also affects the liver's functioning in terms of detoxification of drugs. It is associated with certain diseases whose medications require the use of irinotecan, for example.

Gilbert's Syndrome Treatment

For patients with jaundice, small doses of phenobarbitone are usually prescribed. Because Gilbert's syndrome is harmless, no treatment is necessary.

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