Gilbert’s Syndrome GS; Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Symptoms of Gilbert syndrome

  • Most patients with the condition are completely symptomless and present with jaundice for the first time in their teens or early 20s.
  • People with the condition usually have a history of prolonged jaundice in their early neonatal period (just after birth).
  • In a small percentage of people, Gilbert syndrome can be coupled with other conditions that cause jaundice by themselves such as thalassemia. In such cases, jaundice is severe.
  • Jaundice is the main first symptom of Gilbert syndrome. It is mild and usually only involves the whites of the eyes (the sclera). Jaundice is usually related to the stressor and disappears with it. Most patients experience their first episode in relation to their puberty with the changes in sex hormones. The reason behind that is that sex hormones are metabolized by the same defective enzymes as bilirubin, causing some stress on the liver.
  • General feeling of weakness and loss of energy: There is no explanation to the phenomenon, but patients with Gilbert syndrome tend to get tired easily and have lower endurance than those without.
  • Nausea, intermittent abdominal pain and anxiety: There is no doubt that Gilbert syndrome is a systemic disease and many patients can have a wide variety of symptoms involving the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system or even the heart and blood vessels.
  • Side effects to certain medications: Owing to the defect of the enzymes responsible for processing bilirubin, some medications may not be processed appropriately, and some side effects can occur. Examples of such medications include irinotecan and paracetamol.

Written by Martin Davis