Gilbert Syndrome: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/18/2019

Gilbert syndrome is a common genetic condition in which an enzyme in the liver that is involved in the breakdown of bilirubin is abnormal. The condition is sometimes called constitutional hepatic dysfunction and familial nonhemolytic jaundice. The enzyme abnormality that causes Gilbert syndrome results in mild elevations of blood bilirubin levels that is especially apparent during dehydration, after starvation, or after the consumption of alcohol. The genetic cause of Gilbert syndrome is a mutation in the promoter region of a gene for the enzyme UGT1A.

Signs and symptoms of Gilbert syndrome, when they occur, include mild yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice). Otherwise, there are no other associated signs or symptoms. The condition does not cause long-term problems or complications.

Cause of Gilbert syndrome

An abnormal gene causes Gilbert syndrome. This genetic disorder passes through families.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2019

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