Amylase Blood Test
Tests & Procedures

What Is An Amylase Blood Test Done For?

Salivary glands and pancreas secrete amylase enzymes that help in the digestion of food. The level of amylase increases during various conditions such as chronic and acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, kidney infection, and ectopic pregnancy. Thus, when the patient experiences diarrhea, fever, vomiting, indigestion, or jaundice, he should contact the healthcare provider. Amylase blood test for pancreatitis is done by taking the blood sample and determining the level of amylase.

[Also Read: How can ovarian cancer misdiagnosed as ovarian cyst]

What Is An Amylase Blood Test?

Amylase is an enzyme that helps in food digestion. It is secreted by salivary glands and pancreas. Pancreases secrete about 40% of the amylase present in the blood. When you suffer from a pancreatic disorder, your pancreas secretes either too high or too low amount of amylase. Thus, an amylase blood test determines the health status of your pancreas. An amylase blood test is simultaneously used with the lipase blood test for a more accurate diagnosis of the pancreatic condition.

Why Is An Amylase Blood Test Done?

Amylase tests are done commonly through blood samples; however, urine samples or peritoneal fluid may also be taken as a sample for testing the level of amylase. The blood test is done when the patient experiences symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and jaundice. The doctor advises the amylase blood test to evaluate, monitor, or diagnosing the following diseases;

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis may be acute or chronic.

Pancreatic Cancer

When there is a growth of cancerous cells in the pancreas, the condition is known as pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer may be primary or metastatic.

Lung Cancer

The growth of cancerous cells in the lungs is known as lung cancer. It may also increase amylase levels.

Other Diseases

Other diseases such as ovarian cancer, ectopic pregnancy, intestinal obstruction, and kidney infection alter the level of amylase.

Is Amylase A Fasting Blood Test?

Amylase is not a fasting blood test and eating or drinking before the test does not have a significant effect on the results. However, the patient should avoid the intake of alcohol 24-hours before the test. Certain medications may also influence the level of amylase in the blood. Thus, it is necessary to inform the doctor, before the test, about any medicines or supplement you are taking.

Amylase Test Normal Range

Normal values of amylase vary from lab to lab and depend upon the type of measuring methods adopted. The normal range of amylase in the blood is 30 U/L to 110 U/L.

High Amylase Blood Test Results

Patients may have a high level of amylase due to various conditions some of them are serious. The level of amylase is 4-6 times higher than normal in acute pancreatitis. In the initial stage of pancreatic damage, the level of amylase increases while it tends to decrease when there is progressive pancreatic damage.

Causes Of High Amylase

If the patient has higher than normal amylase level in the blood, it may be due to the following conditions;

  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Salivary gland tumor
  • Cholecystitis
  • Pancreatic blockage and blockage in bile ducts
  • Macroamylasemia
  • Perforated ulcer
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Intestinal infarction
  • Abdominal swelling (lining of the abdomen)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Prostate tumor

Amylase Blood Test Low

Low amylase blood test results occur when the patient has a low amylase level in blood. Patients may have low amylase blood test results due to various conditions. When the patient experiences any symptoms of low amylase in the blood, he should immediately contact the doctor to avoid the progression of the disease and associated complications.

Causes Of Low Amylase

There are various causes of low amylase levels in the blood. Some of the reasons are listed below;

  • Liver disorders
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic pancreatitis in an advanced stage when there is substantial pancreatic damage

How To Maintain Normal Amylase Levels?

Maintaining an appropriate amylase level is critical. The patient should consult with the doctor and get the treatment for the underlying medical condition. The most common cause of increased amylase levels is acute and chronic pancreatitis. The patient should develop a pancreatitis treatment plan in consultation with the doctor.

Drink sufficient fluids and manage the other conditions that may result in increased amylase levels like kidney infections.

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