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Test Description

Why get tested?

The amylase test is used to diagnose and monitor pancreatitis disease conditions. Though the amylase test is mainly used for diagnosing pancreatitis, high amylase levels are reported in other disease conditions too, so it is possible to have high amylase without having pancreatitis.  The amylase test is also sometimes used to monitor and diagnose chronic pancreatitis and other abnormalities of the pancreas. Pancreatitis patients have enhanced levels of amylase enzyme in the serum

What is being tested?

The amylase test is an enzyme test as amylase is an enzyme in the body. Amylase is an enzyme. Thus, its purpose is to aid the digestive system and to fasten the process of digestion of carbohydrates. It converts complex carbohydrate molecules into simple sugars. Abnormally high amylase is a symptom of pancreatitis. Intense pancreatitis can elevate the amylase levels so that they get four to six times more than the upper range of the normal spectrum. Other conditions, such as pancreatic cancer also raise the amylase count.

There are three types of amylase enzymes. The ptyalin amylase is secreted by the salivary glands, whereas the pancreatic amylase is formed by the pancreas which gives it off into the small intestine. Fruits and vegetables also contain the amylase enzyme. Amylase enzymes found in bananas and mangoes cause them to ripen. Amylase enzyme also imparts flavor to the fruits and vegetables in which it is present. Many microorganisms also produce amylase to break down the starch molecules outside the cells.

Preparation needed?

A specific preparation is not required for the amylase test but tell the doctor if you take any medicines or supplements.

Fasting required?

Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours before having amylase urine or blood test. If you are having an amylase blood test, the doctor may tell you to fast (not drink or eat) for 2 hours before the test.


It is possible to reduce amylase levels by avoiding alcohol and taking prescription medicines. High amylase levels may take 5 to 7 days to return back to the baseline levels. Acute pancreatitis condition causes the amylase levels to increase within 3 to 6 hours of the start of the symptoms. After that, the amylase blood levels remain high for up to 4 days. Still, the concentration can get back to normal within 24 hours.

Amylase levels in the range of 30-110 units per liter are high. Chronic or acute pancreatitis causes the amylase levels to increase to about 4 to 6 times the upper limit of the healthy range

Mostly the inflammation of the pancreas causes high amylase levels. However, other tumors or gall bladder infections can also result in high amylase levels.

High levels of amylase are a symptom of chronic or acute pancreatitis. Intense pancreatitis causes amylase levels to rise about 4 to 6 times the normal amylase levels. Other diseases may give rise to high amylase levels such as pancreatic cancer.

The normal amylase levels are 40 to 140 units per liter (U/L), which is 0.38 to 1.42 microkat/L. The range for normal amylase levels may also vary between different labs. Certain labs may also use different methods for measurement.

The main treatment to reduce high amylase levels consists of prescription medications. Moreover, the patient has to avoid alcohol.

Yes, amylase levels can increase in many other diseases unrelated to pancreatitis.

Labwork360 provides secure and reliable medical diagnostic services and at-home specimen collection for tests. We provide all types of diagnostic tests including the amylase test in Texas. At-home specimen/mobile phlebotomy also makes it easier to get the amylase test in Texas. For more information about diagnostic tests, please visit our website or consult with us through our helpline.