Gilbert’s Syndrome (GS) is named after the French physician Augustin Nicolas Gilbert who first described the condition in 1901. (extracted from www.gilbertssyndrome.org.uk)
I think this should be called the ‘lesser-known syndrome’ because many sufferers don’t know their symptoms are linked to Gilbert’s Syndrome and remain without diagnosis. According to Wikipedia “GS is a mild liver disorder in which the liver does not properly process bilirubin.”
I discovered GS through a conversation with a General Surgeon, who suggested I have a blood test to check my bilirubin levels after I relayed my symptoms to him. The blood test revealed elevated levels of bilirubin above the ‘normal’ range of 0-22. I believe yoga and homoeopathic treatment helped ease my symptoms. Symptoms that may be experienced to various degrees include:
- Jaundice – red blood cells release ‘billirubin’ into the bloodstream which the liver metabolises into bile and then flushes from the body. In GS, the lack of UGT enzyme, results in a build up of billirubin that can make the patient look yellow.
- Toxic Reactions – In the liver ‘Phase II’ pathways process certain toxins e.g. pollution, chemical fumes, chemicals in drugs, etc. This process, known as glucuronidation, has been reported to be 31% slower in the typical person with GS.
- Bowel complaints
- ‘brain-fog’ or difficulty concentrating
- Pain below right scapula
Certain activities and food/drink may exacerbate symptoms:
- Missing meals
- Lack of sleep
- Vigorous exercise
- Fatty Foods
- Sugary Foods
Apparently other suspects include artificial sweeteners, fluoride, peppermint, vanilla, menthol and the B vitamin niacin (on its own, but ok with other B vitamins).
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is vital as the lack of the enzyme UGT results in the liver using sugar to help the body remove toxins. An enzyme is a chemical substance in the body that causes a chemical reaction. Some scientists believe the condition is inherited and is caused by a mutation in UGT1A1 gene resulting in less of the enzyme (Bilirubin uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransfease or UGT for short).
The good news is diet, lifestyle, yoga and homoeopathic treatment can help ease symptoms:
- Protein can increase energy levels.
- Broccoli, walnuts, blueberries, avocados, cabbage, cauliflower, eggs – will aid the breakdown of toxins and chemicals in the body.
- Turmeric has been shown to increase certain enzymes that help the detoxification process.
- Carrots and beetroot are re-known detox aids.
- Milk Thistle has been used for hundreds of years as a herbal liver remedy.
- Balance Work, Rest and Play.
- Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, etc. can be helpful in reducing Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
Finally when symptoms present listen to your body’s unique healing wisdom to pay attention to what’s happening in and around you.
I believe we all have the power to heal so
RELAX, LET GO, ENJOY THE RIDE, SELF NURTURE and DANCE WITH LIFE!