Amylase Definiton

amylaseAmylase is an enzyme produced in the salivary glands, pancreas gland and then it is eliminated in the urine. Amylase is a saccharidase which this enzyme breaks down polysaccharides (sugars).

The main function of amylase is to help to digest carbohydrates from the ingested food. Most notably, it plays a major role in the degradation of starch consisting of carbohydrates.

Why is Necessary an Analysis of The Amylase?

If the doctor suspects damage to the pancreas or salivary glands, so that doctor may prescribe an analysis of the rate of amylase.

The Review of Amylase

The analysis of the amylase can be carried in the blood but also in urine. The medical staff in charge of the examination takes the venous blood usually at the level of the elbow crease. It is advised to avoid drinking alcohol before the examination. The doctor may also ask you to change the dosage or even stop taking some medicines which may affect the amount of amylase in the blood (such as aspirin, birth control pills, opiates or some diuretics (water pills).

What results can we expect from a balance sheet of the amylase?

  • The normal value of the rate of amylase lies between 10 and 45 IU/l in the blood (International Units per liter) and 10-150 IU/l in the urine.
  • It should be noted that variations of the amylase urinary follow those of the amylase of the blood with a lag of about 8 hours.
  • The rate of amylase might be higher than the normal value in case of:
  • Impairment of the pancreas : Acute or chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cyst, pancreatic cancer And etc..
  • Abdominal pain : perforated ulcer, inflammation of the gallbladder (cholecystitis), peritonitis and etc..
  • Affection of salivary glands: Mumps, tumor of the salivary glands and chronic alcoholism.
  • Macroamylase presence in the blood (macroamylasemia), that is to say an anomalous assembly amylase to other proteins.

On the contrary, a rate of amylase low may be the sign:

  • Rate significantly increased triglyceride
  • Pre-eclampsia (during pregnancy)
  • Pancreatic lesions
  • Disease of the kidney

 

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