Elevated levels not synonymous with acute pancreatitis.

Elevated levels can be caused by perforated duodenal ulcer, ruptured ectopic pregnancy, small bowel obstruction, pancreatic tumor, pancreatic duct trauma.

An enzyme, or special protein, produced by the pancreas and salivary glands.

An amylase blood test is performed when pancreatitis is suspected.

Amylase levels can also rise due to other pancreatic disorders, such as:

pancreatic pseudocyst

pancreatic abscess

pancreatic cancer

Elevated levels may reflect one of several medical conditions, including acute inflammation of the pancreas, but also perforated peptic ulcer, torsion of an ovarian cyst, strangulation, ileus, mesenteric ischemia, macroamylasemia and mumps.

Amylase may be measured in other body fluids, including urine and peritoneal fluid.

Saliva tests of the enzyme could be used to indicate sleep deficits, as the enzyme increases its activity in correlation with the length of time a subject has been deprived of sleep.

Large polymers such as starch are partially hydrolyzed in the mouth by the enzyme amylase before being cleaved further into sugars.

Groups of people known to rely more on carbohydrates have a higher number of AMY1 gene copies than human populations that consume little starch.

The number of AMY1 gene copies in humans can range from six copies in high starch populations such as European-American and Japanese to only 2-3 copies in hunter-gatherer societies

It is an enzyme that catalyses the hydrolysis of starch into sugars.

Amylase is present in the saliva where it begins the process of digestion.

Foods that contain large amounts of rice and potatoes, may acquire a slightly sweet taste as they are chewed because amylase degrades some of their starch into sugar.

The pancreas and salivary gland make amylase to hydrolyse dietary starch into disaccharides and trisaccharides which are converted by other enzymes to glucose to supply the body with energy.

Both the salivary and pancreatic amylases are α-amylases.

Some medications that can affect the amount of amylase in blood include:



birth control pills

cholinergic medications

ethacrynic acid



thiazide diuretics

Elevated amylase associated with acute or chronic pancreatitis.

Acute or chronic pancreatitis occurs when the enzymes that help break down food in the intestines start breaking down the tissues of the pancreas instead.

Levels will be elevated if the pancreatic duct that allows amylase to enter the small bowel is blocked by a gallstone or inflammation in the area.

Other conditions that can cause elevated amylase levels include: vomiting from any cause, heavy alcohol use, salivary gland infections, and intestinal blockages.

A low amylase count can indicate the following problems:


Kidney disease

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