Gilbert's Disease: Symptoms and treatments for this liver disease?

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  1. Gilbert's closing
  2. Gilbert's disease: what exactly is it?
    1. Explanations.
  3. To wit.
  4. Gilbert's disease: what are the symptoms?
  5. Diagnosis and treatment: What is the management of Gilbert's disease?
  6. Treatments.
    1. Other Options:
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Gilbert's closing

Gilbert's disease is a genetic and hereditary disease of the liver. The point with a gastroenterologist.

Gilbert's Syndrome

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Gilbert's disease: what exactly is it?

Gilbert's disease was discovered in 1901 by Dr. Augustin Nicolas Gilbert, a French gastroenterologist.

This is an inherited genetic disorder of the liver that is defined, in medical language, as a "partial deficiency of the liver enzyme that allows the conjugation of bilirubin".


In the body, our red blood cells are regularly renewed: some of the "waste" produced in this way is transformed into bilirubin, a molecule that is transported in the bloodstream (by albumin) in a particular form that is called "unconjugated".

When bilirubin reaches the liver, an enzyme "conjugates" it to allow its elimination: bilirubin then passes into the bile and then into the small intestine before being eliminated in the feces.

"When the enzyme does not work at all, it is a very serious and often fatal neonatal disease, but when the enzyme (whose full name is bilirubin glyuronosyltransferase) is only partially deficient, bilirubin from the breakdown of hemoglobin can build up in the blood, and that is Gilbert's disease," says Dr. Dominique Lescut, a gastroenterologist.

To wit.

The origin of Gilbert's disease is a genetic mutation, identified in 1955. Specialists now estimate that between 5% and 8% of the population is affected, although the figures are probably underestimated.

And also... Gilbert's disease is transmitted from parents to children in an autosomal recessive manner, which means that both parents must possess the gene affected by the genetic mutation in question, and both must pass it on. Therefore, the risk of the child being affected is 25%.

Gilbert's disease: what are the symptoms?

Gilbert's disease is usually discovered in teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 during laboratory tests.

Medical specialists judge it to be "benign": "Thus, we can more easily talk about Gilbert's syndrome, since the term "disease" is reserved for pathological states; Gilbert's disease, on the other hand, is not serious," stresses Dr. Dominique Lescut, a gastroenterologist.

Because the enzyme deficiency that characterizes Gilbert's disease is not permanently expressed: "as long as we lead a healthy lifestyle, the functioning of the enzyme responsible for the transport and evacuation of bilirubin is sufficient in patients with Gilbert's disease," says the gastroenterologist.

On the other hand, if there is significant degradation of the red blood cells (for example: in case of stress, fatigue, viral or bacterial infection, excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged fasting), "this is where genetic enzymatic fragility is observed and the level of bilirubin in the blood increases," explains Dr. Lescut. Gilbert's disease is then manifested by a conjunctive subscript: the white of the eyes turns yellow. "

Diagnosis and treatment: What is the management of Gilbert's disease?

Diagnosis. The diagnosis of Gilbert's disease requires a blood test for unconjugated bilirubin to detect "isolated unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia". "The doctor will also prescribe a blood count (especially with the red blood cell count and reticulocytes - an indicator of red blood cell regeneration) to rule out the diagnosis of hemolysis, a much more serious blood disorder involving the hyper destruction of red blood cells," adds Dr. Lescut.


There is no drug treatment for Gilbert's disease. "The management of Gilbert's disease is based on a healthy lifestyle: patients are advised to eat a balanced diet, watch their sleep and engage in regular physical activity," the specialist adds. In addition, it is advisable to limit alcohol consumption.

To wit. According to ongoing studies, Gilbert's disease may even have some benefits... "Researchers believe that hyperbilirubinemia could be associated with additional vascular protection: patients with Gilbert's disease would thus have a lower risk of coronary insufficiency... and therefore of myocardial infarction. " explains Dr. Lescut.

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