WHAT IS AN AMYLASE TEST?
An amylase test analyzes the quantity of Amylase in the blood or urine. Amylase is a special protein or an enzyme formed by the salivary glands and pancreas. It helps in the digestion of food. A small amount of amylase in the body is normal. But too much quantity of the enzyme may indicate that there is a pancreatic disorder.
WHAT IS AN AMYLASE TEST USED FOR?
An amylase test determines and diagnosis any disorder in the pancreas. There are two types of Amylase
- AMYLASE BLOOD TEST: An amylase blood test is conducted to diagnose inflammation in the pancreas usually called pancreatitis. There can be a rise in the amylase level due to other pancreatic disorders such as pancreatic abscess, pancreatic pseudo cyst, or pancreatic cancer.
- AMYLASE URINE TEST: An amylase urine test is conducted together with an amylase blood test. The results of an amylase urine test can help in monitoring disorders in the salivary glands and pancreas.
An amylase test can also be used to monitor other conditions like pregnancy or an eating disorder.
WHEN TO CONDUCT AN AMYLASE TEST?
An amylase test is conducted when symptoms of pancreatic disease are suspected such as:
- Rapid pulse
- Vomiting or nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Steatorrhea (stinking stool)
WHAT ARE THE TEST PREPARATIONS AND SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TEST?
- TEST PREPARATIONS
- SAMPLE REQUIREMENTS AND COLLECTION
Drinking of alcohol is restricted 24 hours before the condition of both the blood amylase test and urine amylase test. Also, for blood amylase tests, your doctor would instruct you to not eat or drink (except water) anything at least two hours before the test.
For the sample collection of blood amylase test, a blood sample is drawn from a vein of the arm. With the help of a needle, blood is collected into a test tube which is later sent to the lab for testing. Moreover, to collect a sample for a urine amylase test, a urine sample collected within 24 hours is required.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE TEST RESULTS?
The range of normal results of an amylase test is between 40-140 U/L (Units per liter).
HIGH AMYLASE LEVELS:
High levels of amylase may indicate one of the following conditions:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Blockage in pancreas
- Swelling in salivary glands
- Pancreatic cancer
LOW AMYLASE LEVELS:
Low amylase levels may be a sign of:
- Chronic pancreatitis (probably ongoing)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Liver damage
- Kidney disease
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