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Amylase

Also known as Amylase Blood
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What is this test?

This test is used to measure the level of amylase enzyme in your blood. This test may help in diagnosing any disease of the pancreas.

What is Amylase?

Amylase is an enzyme and a special protein which is useful in digestion. This enzyme is produced by the pancreas and the glands that make saliva (salivary glands). The pancreas is an organ present behind your stomach. It produces various enzymes that help in breaking down of food in your intestines. When pancreas function is impaired or if there is an inflammation of pancreas too much or too little of amylase is released into your blood. Thus amylase blood test may detect any problems related to the pancreas.

Why this test is performed?

This test may be recommended to you if you experience symptoms like fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting or upper abdominal pain. This test is also recommended to check existing conditions like pancreatitis, eating disorder, pregnancy.

Precautions:

Some medicines may interfere with the test results like aspirin, birth control pills, opiates, diuretics like furosemide, torsemide, hydrochlorothiazide, etc. Taking alcohol, burns may also affect the test results.

Also known as Serum Amylase Test, Sr. Amylase Test, Amylase Test, Serum Amylase, Sr. Amylase, Amylase Sweat.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Amylase. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Amylase.

No specific preparation is required for the amylase blood test.

Understanding your test results

If your amylase blood test results are higher than the normal range then it may indicate the following conditions:

  • Acute or chronic pancreatitis: It occurs when the enzymes break down the tissues of pancreas instead of breaking down food in the intestines. Acute pancreatitis affects suddenly but lasts very long whereas chronic pancreatitis will fluctuate from time to time.
  • Cholecystitis: It is an inflammation of gallbladder due to the presence of gallstones.
  • Macroamylasemia: It is caused due to the presence of macroamylase in the blood.
  • Gastroenteritis: It is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused due to vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. -Ectopic pregnancy: This is also called tubal pregnancy. This occurs when fertilized egg or embryo is in fallopian tubes instead of being in your uterus.
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Cancers of pancreas, colon, lungs, breast or ovary
  • Cyst in the pancreas (pancreatic pseudocysts)
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Ascites
  • Blockage of intestines
  • Death of intestinal tissues
  • Appendicitis
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Kidney problems
  • Mumps
  • Tumors in prostate
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Eating disorders
  • The high amount of triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia)

If your amylase blood test results are lower than the normal range then it may indicate the following conditions:

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver failure
  • High blood pressure in pregnancy (preeclampsia)
  • Cystic fibrosis

If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your results.

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