Lipase is an enzyme that is produced in the pancreas but is also found in other organs (intestinal wall, liver). Its primary role is to digest fats that enter the body, during which it breaks down triglycerides into fatty acid components. Changes in lipase levels (along with amylase) may indicate pancreatic disease.
What does the test show?
The test shows the body’s lipase levels and, when analysed in with amylase, can diagnose pancreatitis, but also gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis.
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
Your doctor will prescribe the test in case of the most common symptoms of pancreatic problems (e.g. extremely severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, etc.).
What sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
High lipase levels can indicate acute or chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and can be up to two to five times higher than normal. A smaller increase in lipase levels may be due to kidney disease or inflammation of the salivary glands. Low levels can occur in people with diabetes.
What to do after the test?
The test alone cannot diagnose any disease, and in all cases consult an internist or hematologist to determine the exact diagnosis and therapy required.
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