Gilbert Syndrome is a benign hereditary condition in which there is an elevated level of bilirubin in the body due to inefficiency of liver to process it properly. This condition is also known as constitutional hepatic dysfunction and familial nonhemolytic jaundice. The elevated levels of bilirubin gives slightly yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes, otherwise the condition is not harmful. In the US about 3 to 7 % individuals are thought to be suffering from Gilbert’s Syndrome without having any symptoms or realizing it.
What To Eat When You Have Gilbert Syndrome?
One can certainly recover faster from Gilbert syndrome if they make use of the following suggestions:
Eating Regular Meals
Although Gilbert’s Syndrome is an effectively benign condition with no need to change or follow a particular diet, one should eat regular meals and avoid fasting or skipping meals for longer hours and eating very low calorie diets. One should eat at least three meals daily along with eating about two snacks in between. Along with keeping jaundice at bay, eating regular meals also keeps energy levels high and prevents hunger pangs. There is also news that following Paleolithic diet improves bilirubin levels, but there are no confirmatory studies to prove the theory.
Gilbert’s Syndrome is triggered with dehydration; therefore, it is important to drink enough water to stay rehydrated. Drinking at least 2 liters of water per day is a good way to start by preventing constipation and helping kidney and skin eliminate toxins via urine and sweat. Along with water, it is also beneficial to consume raw fruit and vegetable juices such as cranberry juice, citrus fruit and kiwi juice, wheatgrass and barley-grass juice, teas (green tea and herbal tea), fat free milk or fortified soymilk. A blend of lemon juice and olive oil in a glass of water is known to detox the liver by lowering bilirubin and flushing heavy metals out of the body and promoting increased bile production, stimulation of lymphatic flow and restoration of pH in the body.
Eating Healthy Foods
Although no particular diet is followed in Gilbert’s Syndrome, but it is advisable to eat healthy foods that are natural sources of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. It is important to eat fresh, green, leafy vegetables and fruits. Raw vegetables also provide more minerals and roughage for proper motility of the toxins to get flushed out of the body. These include broccoli, celery, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beets, carrots, tomatoes, grapefruits, brown rice, whole grains, bitter gourd, mustard greens, chicory, burdock root, dandelion, cilantro, oregano, kale, celery, spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, chard, ginger, orange, romaine, milk thistle, eggplant, apple, pear, garlic, onions, chilli, bok choy, lemongrass, coconut, turmeric, Chinese mushrooms, avocado, kiwi, and legumes (beans, peas and lentils).
It is also important to get essential fatty acids for a healthy liver such as seafood, cod liver oil and fish oil. The rich sources of these include sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, bass, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, tailor, herring, blue eyed cod, gem fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, legumes, wheat germ, whole grains, flaxseeds, evening primrose oil, star flower oil and black currant seed oil.
It is essential to consume proteins, either from animal source or from vegetable sources, which include eggs, chicken, fish, seafood, raw nuts, seeds, legumes and milk and milk derivatives.
Liver friendly foods should contain intake of vitamin K (helps in blood clot formation), arginine (helps detoxify ammonia), antioxidants, selenium, methionine and essential fatty acids. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants are found in fruits and their juices such as beetroot, carrot, celery, apple, kiwi, oranges, dandelion, pear, citrus fruits and wheatgrass. Arginine rich foods include oats, walnuts, legumes, carob, seeds and wheat germs. Methionine is found in eggs, fish, garlic, onions, legumes, seeds and meat. Selenium rich foods include kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheat germ, whole grains, garlic and onions.
Therefore, it is important to consume foods that are natural, fresh and organic without any preservatives for a healthy liver to alleviate bilirubin levels in Gilbert’s Syndrome.