Gilbert's syndrome

background

Gilbert's syndrome, also known as constitutional hepatic dysfunction, unconjugated benign bilirubinemia, and familial nonhemolytic jaundice, is an inherited disorder that occurs when the liver is unable to properly process the yellow-green pigments in bile (called bilirubin). The resulting increased levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream may lead to yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), but the liver itself remains normal. In fact, this condition is so mild that doctors do not usually consider it a disease.
Because jaundice is often a symptom of other, more serious liver conditions, people should visit their doctors if they experience symptoms. It is important to rule out other liver problems before Gilbert's syndrome is diagnosed.
Researchers estimate that about 3-10% of Americans have Gilbert's syndrome. It is more common among males than females.
Gilbert's syndrome does not require treatment. Even if a patient experiences periods of jaundice, each symptomatic episode is very mild and will go away in a few days.

Related Terms

Autosomal dominant, bilirubin, bilirubin-BUGT, bilirubin-uridine diphosphate glucuronyl transferase, jaundice, liver disorder, nonhemolytic jaundice, unconjugated bilirubin.