The Relationship Of Gilbert's Disease And Jaundice
Unpopular diseases such as
Gilbert’s disease can be alarming once you are diagnosed with
it because you will never know what will happen to
you. Upon hearing that you
are or you might be suffering from it, it can be hard to accept
it because you don’t know what to do.
To ease the burden that people with Gilbert’s disease,
doctors try to explain everything about the condition in
layman’s terms. And one of the easiest ways to understand it is
if it is compared to more common diseases that have
similarities in it like jaundice.
What Gilbert’s disease is all about
Gilbert’s disease was first described by a French
gastroenterologist names Augustin Nicolas Gilbert in 1901.
Gilbert’s disease is an asymptomatic (no external symptoms)
condition affecting the liver. The condition affect an enzyme
in the body called urodine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase
or UGT (abbreviation). UGT aids the liver in breaking down
bilirubin which is found also in the blood stream.
Bilirubin is the waste product of the hemoglobin in the
blood. Hemoglobin is found in the red blood cells that carry
oxygen to other cells in the body to complete the cycle of
respiration. After the red blood cells successfully brought the
oxygen to the other parts of the body, the blood produces
bilirubin. The liver cells then collect all the bilirubin
produced by the blood, transfer it to the liver to be broken
down into the gut, and turned to bile.
This is where UGT or urodine diphosphate
glucuronosyltransferase comes in, it helps the liver cells
process the bilirubin in to bile. Gilbert’s disease affects the
production of UGT, this is because it fluctuates the production
of UGT in the body. The fluctuating levels of UGT greatly
affect the levels of bilirubin retained in the blood. Bilirubin
is orangey- yellow in color, which in turn causes a patient to
have jaundiced skin.
What is jaundice?
Jaundice is the condition of the blood that has external
manifestations. The two most common manifestation of Jaundice
is the yellowing of the skin and in the white of the eyes.
Jaundice if one of the most common symptoms or manifestations
of different liver diseases and sometimes it may be the cause
of some discomfort among patients. The heightened bilirubin
stores in the body and in the bloodstream causes jaundice but
it usually has no serious effects and it can occur in people
more than once in their entire lifetime. Mild jaundice is not
always caused by diseases of the liver there are times when it
may happen under conditions of over exertion, long term stress,
intense fasting, and other bodily infections, but the condition
is otherwise shows no external manifestations.
It happens when there is a flaw in the liver that averts
from removing bilirubin from the blood, to be converted to
glucuronic acid (conjugated) or excreted in bile in this case
if the person has Gilbert’s disease.
Lastly, when there is obstruction of the bile ducts that
reduces the stream of bile and bilirubin from the liver into
the guts. The decreased conjugation, emission, or gush of bile
that can result in jaundice refers to cholestasis: however,
cholestasis does not always effect in jaundice.
Jaundice or cholestasis, by themselves, causes just a few
problems (excluding the conditions of newborns, and jaundice in
this case in newborns is different from most other types of
jaundice.) Jaundice can make the skin and the whites of the
eyes look sclera yellow. As well, stool can turn out to be
light in color, even clay-colored because of the lack of
bilirubin that usually gives stool its brown color. The urine
may become dark or brownish in color. This takes place when the
bilirubin that is building up in the blood starts to be
excreted from the body in the urine.
Other than those scenarios there is not much to worry about
if you have Gilbert’s disease, you may experience a jaundiced
appearance but you can still enjoy a healthy life.