Elevated Amylase Levels: Causes, Symptoms Of High Levels Of Amylase

Elevated Amylase, also known as hyperamylasemia, commonly manifests in acute pancreatitis or kidney-related condition. Depending on the severity it can be 4 – 6 times higher than the normal amylase level.

Amylase and lipase are the enzymes for digestion secreted in the pancreas. These two are commonly tested for severe abdominal pain which is a symptom of acute pancreatitis

These enzymes increase diagnostic sensitivity enabling diagnosis of condition more significant, determining if it is pancreatic or non-pancreatic in nature.

Cause And Symptoms Of Elevated Amylase

Elevated amylase is present in medical conditions such as mumps, malignancies, ectopic pregnancy, disease of liver, peptic ulcer, and renal failure.

Lipase is in high levels in renal failure, obstruction in intestines and liver disease.
Causes of high levels of amylase include:

  • Acute pancreatitis or severe inflammation of the pancreas
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Salivary gland diseases such as parotitis
  • Gastric ulcer where there is perforated peptic ulcer
  • Intestinal obstruction when there is an obstruction of the bowel and amylase escapes into the blood
  • Peritonitis or the inflammation of the peritoneum spreading to the pancreas leading to pancreatitis
  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Diseases like diabetes and kidney problems

Elevated Amylase Symptoms

  • Often, there are no physical symptoms of elevated amylase, but only of the underlying health problem which may cause in cases of pancreatitis, a patient experiences nausea, pain, weakness and vomiting.
  • Elevated amylase caused by pancreatitis disabling insulin production may make the patient feel excessive thirst, increased urination frequency, fatigue and weight loss

Precautions For Elevated Amylase

  • Avoid alcohol especially when under medication which may cause complications
  • Religiously follow treatment course
  • Inform current physician of other ongoing medications
  • Immediately inform the doctor of any unusual reaction such as rashes, nausea, diarrhea, pain, fever, and sweating to medications given.

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