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Patient education: Gilbert syndrome (The Basics)

Patient education: Gilbert syndrome (The Basics)

What is Gilbert syndrome? — Gilbert syndrome is a condition that causes a substance called "bilirubin" to build up in the blood.

Gilbert syndrome is caused by an abnormal gene that runs in families. People who have Gilbert syndrome were born with it.

What are the symptoms of Gilbert syndrome? — Often, Gilbert syndrome does not cause any symptoms. If it does, the most common symptom is jaundice. Jaundice makes the skin or whites of the eyes look yellow.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies. Babies with Gilbert syndrome might have jaundice longer or worse than other babies, but doctors can treat it. In people with Gilbert syndrome, jaundice can be triggered by a fever, physical effort such as hard exercise, stress, or not eating.

Is there a test for Gilbert syndrome? — Yes. Your doctor or nurse can do different blood tests to see if you have Gilbert syndrome. In some cases, they can also order a test to check whether you have the gene that causes Gilbert syndrome. But the gene test is not usually needed.

How is Gilbert syndrome treated? — Gilbert syndrome does not need treatment. The jaundice goes away on its own, and does not usually cause health problems.

If you have Gilbert syndrome, tell all your doctors and nurses that you have it. Also tell them about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter and herbal medicines. Your doctors and nurses need to know about your condition when deciding on medicines for you, because people with Gilbert syndrome can have worse side effects from certain medicines than other people.

More on this topic

Patient education: Jaundice in adults (The Basics)
Patient education: Jaundice in babies (The Basics)

Patient education: Gilbert syndrome (Beyond the Basics)
Patient education: Jaundice in newborn infants (Beyond the Basics)

This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Jan 02, 2023.
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