For Patients Caregiver Tips and Advice For Medical Professionals

Gilbert’s Syndrome

Gilbert Syndrome is a mild genetic disorder in which the liver does not properly process a substance called bilirubin. Bilirubin is made by the break down of red blood cells.

Gilbert Syndrome affects three to seven percent of people in the United States. Gilbert Syndrome is more common in men than women.

Gilbert Syndrome is caused by the body having lower amounts of a liver enzyme that breaks down bilirubin. As a result, extra amounts of bilirubin build up in the blood.

People with Gilbert Syndrome usually do not have symptoms. Gilbert Syndrome sometimes causes the liver to make too much bilirubin that the person becomes jaundiced (yellowing of eyes and skin).

Certain things can further increase the level of bilirubin in the bodies of those with Gilbert Syndrome:

  • Being ill
  • Menstruating
  • Fasting or skipping meals
  • Exercising too much

Complications of Gilbert Syndrome may include certain medications causing side effects in people who have Gilbert Syndrome. Talk to a doctor before taking any new medications.

Doctors usually diagnose Gilbert Syndrome after reviewing blood test results and ruling out other liver diseases. In people with Gilbert Syndrome, liver function levels will usually be in normal ranges except for the bilirubin level. However, the level of bilirubin in the blood may change frequently and a doctor may repeat the blood tests a few times.

Since Gilbert Syndrome is a mild and manageable condition, it does not need treatment.

  • Will I experience jaundice due to this liver disease?
  • What kind of routine lab schedule should I anticipate? Should labs be drawn every 3 months, 6 months, annually?
  • Does my diagnosis get noted in a genetic registry?
  • Will genetic tests be done to rule out the possibility of other kinds of genetic liver disorders?
  • Do other members in my family need to be tested?
  • In what ways will we be managing any symptoms I may experience?

Support Groups Near You

Visit the American Liver Foundation support group page here to find the closest support group to you.


Online Support Groups

Visit the American Liver Foundation online support group at Inspire…

PBC Support Group on Facebook
Visit the American Liver Foundation Primary Biliary Cholangitis support group on Facebook. For more details, click here…

No posts found.

Share this page
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail