LIPASE

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The serum lipase test measures the amount of lipase in the body. Lipase is a protein enzyme mainly produced by the pancreas. It secretes it into the pancreatic duct, from where it flows into the duodenal part of the small intestine. Additionally, small quantities of lipase are also produced by the salivary gland, the intestine, the stomach and the liver. It helps in the breakdown and completes digestion of triglycerides (complex fats) into simple fatty acids for easy absorption into the intestines. A lipase blood test measures the amount of lipase in the blood. Cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease or celiac disease prevents the body from producing enough lipase that interferes with fat digestion and absorption. Furthermore, when the pancreas is affected by inflammation or infection, the body produces excess lipase. A lipase blood test can determine a disease or damage to the pancreas by measuring the amount of lipase in the body. Although a small amount of lipase in the blood is normal, an increase or decrease in blood lipase levels could indicate a disorder of the pancreas. Having symptoms like abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, nausea, vomiting, back pain, diarrhea and unexplained weight loss shows an abnormality in lipase level in the blood. Your doctor prescribes a blood lipase test for diagnosis and monitoring of disorders related to the pancreas and associated conditions. Blood lipase levels can rise due to its increased secretion into the blood because of cell injury in the pancreas. A high level of blood lipase is commonly seen in acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, gallstones and pancreatic duct obstruction. Lipase concentrations usually rise within 3 to 6 hours of an acute pancreatic attack and will gain peak elevation in 24 hours and remain elevated for up to 8 to 14 days. This elevation of lipase in the blood gives insight to the doctor to start an effective treatment timely. A higher level of lipase in the blood for a longer period may have adverse medical implications. Lipase test high values give your doctor an idea of the severity of the pancreatic inflammation so that your doctor can begin an effective treatment.

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