Amylase Blood Test

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

The pancreas is an organ in the human body that secretes important enzymes and hormones. The enzymes secreted by the pancreas are associated with digestive functions. The hormones associated with the pancreas are glucagon and insulin. Insulin is essential to lower blood sugar levels as it helps the body absorb glucose which is used for energy generation. Glucagon helps to maintain the blood sugar level at an acceptable level so that the individual does not suffer from hypoglycemia. Therefore, the pancreas is very important when it comes to the maintenance of blood sugar levels in the body. The pancreas lies next to the stomach and its outlet connects into the duodenum. This is the first part of the small intestine that leads out of the stomach.

An amylase blood test is a test that is used to determine problems associated with pancreas function. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas is infected or damaged. Symptoms of pancreatitis include severe abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite. The amylase blood test is used to determine the state of the pancreas by checking the amylase levels in the blood. The amylase levels may rise or fall depending on the health of the pancreas. Also read more on LFT blood test.

Acute pancreatitis is a condition where there is a sudden injury to the pancreas. This may lead to amylase blood test results which show up to 6 times the normal concentration of amylase in the blood. When there is a rapid increase in amylase blood test results, the doctor will suspect acute pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where there is a long term illness of the pancreas. In such a situation, the amylase blood test results will be moderately elevated for a long period of time. As the pancreas gets further damaged, the amylase blood test level will fall.

The amylase blood test may be conducted alongside a urine amylase test to determine how much of this substance is in the urine. The amylase blood test is a simple procedure as far as the patient is concerned. A needle will be used to collect blood, usually from a vein in the upper forearm. This blood is then sent to a laboratory where it is checked for the level of amylase. The results of the amylase blood test are used to determine the condition of the pancreas. Other supporting symptoms are needed to give a conclusive diagnosis of pancreatitis.

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