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Gilbert's syndrome

Gilbert's syndrome is an inherited condition where the liver in unable to process a substance called bilirubin properly.

The main symptom of Gilbert's syndrome is short episodes of jaundice, where the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow.

There's no treatment for Gilbert's syndrome. But avoiding things that trigger your symptoms can help.

Gilbert's syndrome is caused by a faulty gene that runs in families. It's not related to lifestyle or serious liver problems like cirrhosis.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of Gilbert's syndrome is short episodes of jaundice, where the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow.

Symptoms of Gilbert's syndrome

Most people with Gilbert's syndrome experience occasional and short-lived episodes of yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) caused by the build-up of bilirubin in the blood.

As Gilbert's syndrome usually only causes a slight increase in bilirubin levels, the yellowing of jaundice is often mild. The eyes are usually affected most.

Some people also report other problems during episodes of jaundice, including:

But these problems are not necessarily thought to be directly related to increased bilirubin levels, and could indicate a condition other than Gilbert's syndrome.

Around 1 in 3 people with Gilbert's syndrome do not experience any symptoms at all.

You may not realise you have the syndrome until tests for an unrelated problem are carried out.

Read more on the NHS website.

There's no treatment for Gilbert's syndrome. But avoiding things that trigger your symptoms can help.

Medical treatments

Gilbert's syndrome is a lifelong disorder. But it does not require treatment because it does not pose a threat to health and does not cause complications or an increased risk of liver disease.

Episodes of jaundice and any associated symptoms are usually short-lived and eventually pass.

Changing your diet or the amount of exercise you do will not affect whether you have the condition.

But it's still important to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise.

You may find it useful to avoid the things you know trigger episodes of jaundice, such as dehydration and stress.

If you have Gilbert's syndrome, the problem with your liver may also mean you're at risk of developing jaundice or other side effects after taking certain medications, such as medicines for high cholesterol.

You should talk to a GP before taking any new medicine and make sure you mention that you have Gilbert's syndrome to any doctors treating you for the first time.

Read more on the NHS website.

Gilbert's syndrome is caused by a faulty gene that runs in families. It's not related to lifestyle or serious liver problems like cirrhosis.

Read more on the NHS website.