In a person with Gilbert’s Syndrome , the liver cannot constantly process a yellowish bile pigment, called bilirubin. This situation creates high levels of bilirubin in the blood and causes jaundice, that is, the characteristic yellow color in the skin and eyes.
It is not considered a serious disease, nor does it trigger major health problems. A patient with Gilbert lives as long as a non-carrier and has the same quality of life.
Bilirubin is found naturally in the blood . Bilirubin helps to remove dead red blood cells.
What are the symptoms?
In general, it has no symptoms, but this mild jaundice can occur under conditions of overexertion, stress, insomnia, surgery, fasting, dehydration, menstrual periods, infections or after the ingestion of some medications such as paracetamol, since the bilirubin concentration in the blood increases in these situations.
Most people who are affected by Gilbert’s Syndrome are unaware that they have this disease. Bilirubin levels normally remain within the normal range and in rare cases increase slightly.
How is the diagnosis made?
It is not easy to be diagnosed, because regardless of age, it usually manifests itself only in times of stress , intense physical exercises, during menstrual periods in women, some febrile illness or prolonged fasting.
The diagnosis is clinical. In children who do not have symptoms, the diagnosis can be made when blood tests are performed for another reason and an increase in unconjugated / indirect bilirubin of about 3-6 mg / dL (the intensity of which may fluctuate, but usually no more, is observed). 3 mg / dL).
There is no need to treat Gilbert’s syndrome, however, some care is needed . There is no special diet or any kind of restricted activity for those with the syndrome. Alcohol consumption should be moderate as with any individual.
What is the prognosis?
Although the prognosis remains excellent, there is evidence that some patients with Gilbert’s syndrome may have abnormalities in the metabolism of selective protease inhibitor drugs and monoclonal antibodies used to treat autoimmune and rheumatic diseases. In addition, these patients have no higher mortality compared to an individual without the syndrome.