The lipase test is used to quantify the level of the protein or enzyme called lipase present in the blood. Lipase is released by the pancreas, the gland located in the abdomen behind the stomach. Lipase is involved in the absorption and digestion of fats. The lipase test is also known as LPS or serum lipase.
Lipases are released by the body after we consume food to digest it. Normally, lipase occurs at low levels in the body, and a high level of lipase in the body is considered abnormal, which is usually associated with inflammation of the pancreas or any other disease of the pancreas. Injury or inflammation of the pancreas leads to the diffusion of this enzyme into the bloodstream. Usually, another test called amylase is performed together with the lipase test to get a clear picture of the diagnosis of pancreatic disorders.
The lipase test is used to diagnose pancreatitis or other disorders of the pancreas, the presence of chronic diseases like cystic fibrosis, and any pancreatic blockages. A lipase test is also used to monitor conditions such as pancreatic cysts, Crohn’s disease, peritonitis, and celiac disease.
A high lipase level indicates the presence of conditions affecting the pancreas. Normal lipase levels vary among different laboratories. Acute pancreatitis is associated with about a five to ten-fold increase in the reference value. Other conditions associated with high lipase levels include blockages in the pancreas, peptic ulcers, kidney disease, and disorders of the gallbladder.
A low level of lipase may indicate a decrease in the number of cells that synthesize lipase in the pancreas. However, abnormal lipase levels may not always be associated with disorders of the pancreas. Sometimes, it may be induced by drugs like birth control pills or codeine. Always go for the doctor’s opinion rather than self-diagnose.
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Why do I need a lipase test?The lipase test is indicated if the patient is experiencing symptoms of pancreatic inflammation like severe back or abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever, nausea with or without vomiting, and fatty stools. It is also recommended if the patient has diabetes, a family history of pancreatitis, obesity, high triglyceride levels, or gallstones.
What happens during lipase blood test?During the blood test, the healthcare professional collects a blood sample from the vein in the patient's hand into a test tube or vial using a small needle. Before taking a lipase test, you may be asked to fast for 8 to 12 hours.
What is the normal range of lipase?The normal lipase level typically ranges between 0-160 units per litre of blood. For adults aged 60 years or younger, the normal range is between 10-140 U/L, and for those who are 60 years or older, the normal range is between 24-151 U/L. The values may vary slightly among different laboratories.
What does the lipase blood test check for?A blood lipase test measures the levels of lipase in the blood, an enzyme produced by the pancreatic cells responsible for the absorption and digestion of fats. Before the lipase blood test, 8-12 hours of fasting may be recommended.
What is considered a high level of lipase?The normal lipase level typically ranges between 0-160 units per litre of blood. Higher than normal levels of lipase, i.e., more than three times the upper normal limit, usually indicate a problem with your pancreas. However, abnormal lipase levels may not always be associated with disorders of the pancreas and may be induced by drugs such as birth control pills, diuretics, or codeine.
What are the symptoms of high lipase?Your doctor may recommend a lipase test if you exhibit signs of a pancreatic disorder, such as fever, nausea, fatty stools, severe back or abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. If needed, an amylase test can also be ordered to help confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, both lipase and amylase tests (pancreatitis blood tests) can help monitor the effectiveness of treatment for the pancreatic condition.
What drugs cause high lipase levels?Drug-induced hyperlipasemia refers to an elevated level of lipase following exposure to certain medications. Drugs such as oral contraceptives, narcotics, thiazide diuretics, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and cholinergics are commonly associated with hyperlipasemia.
What foods are high in lipase?Some foods contain digestive enzymes, such as lipase, that may benefit digestion. Foods such as mango, papaya, pineapple, banana, honey, and avocado contain high levels of lipase. Although lipase is produced by the body, consuming foods high in lipase may help ease digestion after a fatty meal.
What level of lipase is dangerous?A lipase level three to ten times higher than the normal reference range may indicate an abnormality in the pancreas. Lipase is a digestive enzyme that is elevated in conditions such as pancreatitis, gallstones, and Crohn’s disease. If you experience any symptoms of a pancreatic disorder, your doctor may recommend a lipase blood test to help confirm the diagnosis.
How to lower lipase levels?High lipase levels usually indicate an issue with the pancreas. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment can help lower the high lipase levels. Treatment may include intravenous fluids and medications to help alleviate pain and treat underlying conditions. Eating a healthy diet and avoiding excessive alcohol can help prevent acute pancreatitis and maintain normal lipase levels. No matter the underlying cause, receiving proper treatment is key to bringing lipase levels back to a normal range.
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