Gilbert's syndrome is a condition and is not considered as a disease. This condition is present in just 5 percent of the population and it occurs when the levels of bilirubin in the blood increases and the person gets a jaundiced or yellow appearance. Gilbert's syndrome should not be mistaken for hepatitis, which is a liver disease.
Bilirubin is produced by the liver and it is basically a waste product that is produced when the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is broken down. This breaking down process is continuous as new red blood cells are constantly being manufactured in the bone marrow to replace the old cells. The lifespan of a red blood cell is around 120 days. Under normal circumstances, the bilirubin produced is flushed out of the body along with bile fluids. However, a person suffering from Gilbert's syndrome has a liver enzyme deficiency that cannot flush out the bilirubin and because this waste product is yellow in color, the person looks jaundiced when excess of bilirubin is circulating in the person's blood.
Gilbert's syndrome is usually genetic in nature and is not a serious condition. It also does not require any treatment protocol. Usually the condition is discovered in a routine blood test after bilirubin levels are found to be too high.
A point to be noted is that people with Gilbert's syndrome only look yellow or jaundiced when the levels of bilirubin circulating in their blood is high to impart a yellowish tinge to the skin. Otherwise, most people do not even realize that their bilirubin levels are high.
Under normal circumstances, any liver disease affects the levels of triglycerides. When a person has a liver disease, his triglycerides levels are raised because the liver is responsible for breaking down fats and it cannot do it. However, with Gilbert's syndrome most people do not have elevated triglycerides. Their cholesterol levels are high but high triglycerides are not seen in people with this condition. If a person has Gilbert's syndrome and high triglycerides, it could be a sign of some other underlying problem and should be thoroughly investigated.
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