Amylase is an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. Amylase It is made in the pancreas and it is the glands that makes saliva. When the pancreas has a disease or is inflamed, amylase releases into the blood. A test can be done to measure the level of this enzyme in your blood.
The most common cause of elevation of serum amylase is inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). In acute pancreatitis, serum amylase begins to rise within 6-24 hours, remains elevated for a few days and returns to normal in 3-7 days. Other causes of elevated serum amylase are inflammation of salivary glands (mumps), biliary tract disease and bowel obstruction. Elevated serum amylase can also be seen with drugs (e.g., morphine) which constrict the pancreatic duct sphincter preventing excretion of amylase into the intestine.
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- WHAT IT TESTS:Amylase levels.
- WHY TAKE IT:Diagnosis of pancreatitis.
- REQUIRES FAST? No