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Natalie asked...

Hi, I have been having stomach pains on my right hand side and middle so have had a number of blood tests taken. All have been clear apart from an abnormal amylase result. They want to re-do the blood test results. can you let me know what amylase is? Thank you.

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The Answer

Amylase and lipase are two key digestive enzymes. Enzymes are proteins produced by the body to do a particular task. Some amylase and lipase can be found in saliva and in the stomach but most of it is made in the pancreas and released into the small intestine. The pancreas produces amylase to break down the carbohydrates in food into simple sugars.

Inflammation of the pancreas can cause high levels of amylase and lipase in the blood stream. Considering other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, the doctors might look into investigations for pancreatitis, other pancreas disorders or specific genetic disorders which might affect the pancreas.

We would suggest that you contact the doctor who is currently investigating your symptoms to discuss a possible early diagnosis for yourself.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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