Amylase increased: types, causes and rate indicator
What is amylase
Amylase is produced in the body, for the most part, by the pancreas and belongs to the group of digestive enzymes. A small part of it is produced in the salivary glands. The enzyme is involved in the breakdown of glycogen, starch and several other types of carbohydrates. For normal functioning, the level of amylase is of great importance, since she takes an active part in the processes of digestion.
In a healthy person in a normal state, the level of amylase is from 20 to 100 U / l. But under the influence of some factors there can be both a decrease in the enzyme content and an increase. To determine the amount of amylase, it is necessary to donate blood for a biochemical analysis, which is taken strictly in the morning hours and on an empty stomach. Otherwise, the result may falsely show that amylase is elevated.
Types of enzyme substances
To date, three types of amylase have been identified, these are alpha, beta, and gamma amylase.Enzymes produced in the salivary glands are alpha-amylase, and are dependent on calcium in cleavage processes. The role of this type of enzymes in digestion is not significant, since they undergo complete dissolution in the acidic environment of the gastric secretion. The entire process of carbohydrate processing in the duodenum ends, where maltose is formed from glycogen and starch. There is also such a form as pancreatic amylase, which is a chemical compound formed as a result of inflammatory diseases of the pancreas.
Why amylase is increased
As a rule, amylase is elevated in acute pancreatitis. Moreover, the level of the enzyme increases during the first day and gradually. After stopping an attack of pancreatitis, the indicator returns to normal within a few days. In some cases, blood amylase is increased, and pancreatitis is not diagnosed, and vice versa. Therefore, when making a diagnosis, they are not always based solely on amylase indicators, the content of some other substances, such as lipase, is also taken into account. Amylase is increased in the blood, not only in the pathology of the pancreas.Inflammation of the salivary glands, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, some viral infections, medication (drugs "Furosemide", "Ibuprofen") - all this causes an increase in the digestive enzyme. Alpha-amylase is increased in the blood in cases of ectopic pregnancy, diabetic coma, poisoning, peritonitis. Hereditary cystic fibrosis can also cause an increase in enzyme levels.
If the results of the analysis indicate a decrease in the level of amylase, then the cause may be cystic fibrosis, liver disease and the absence of the pancreas after surgery. In any case, a survey is required to identify the causes of this phenomenon. When reducing the pancreatic amylase type, no action is taken for treatment, because this is considered a physiological norm.