Español
PrintEmail
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Article Manager


Digestive system
Digestive system


Digestive system organs
Digestive system organs


Gilbert's disease

Definition:

Gilbert's disease is a common disorder passed down through families. It affects the way bilirubin is processed by the liver, and causes the skin to take on a yellow color (jaundice ).



Alternative Names:

Icterus intermittens juvenilis; Low-grade chronic hyperbilirubinemia; Familial non-hemolytic-non-obstructive jaundice; Constitutional liver dysfunction; Unconjugated benign bilirubinemia



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Gilbert's disease affects up 1 in 10 people in some Caucasian groups..



Symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (mild jaundice)

In people with Gilbert's syndrome, jaundice most often appears during times of exertion, stress, and infection, or when they do not eat.



Signs and tests:

A blood test for bilirubin shows changes that occur with Gilbert's disease. The total bilirubin level is mildly elevated, with most being unconjugated bilirubin. Usually the total level is less than 2 mg/dL, and the conjugated bilirubin level is normal.

Gilbert's disease is linked to a genetic problem, but genetic testing is not needed.



Treatment:

No treatment is necessary for Gilbert's disease.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Jaundice may come and go throughout life. It is more likely to appear during illnesses such as colds. It does not cause health problems, but it can confuse the results of tests for jaundice.



Complications:

There are no known complications.



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if you have jaundice or pain in the abdomen that does not go away.



Prevention:

There is no proven prevention.



References:

Berk PD, Korenblat KM. Approach to the patient with jaundice or abnormal liver test results In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 149.

Lidofsky SD. Jaundice. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 20.




Review Date: 5/13/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Online Tools

Locations

Helpful Info

Links