What Does Amylase Mean?

Amylase is a group of digestive enzymes that break down complex sugars or starches in the body. Primarily produced by the pancreas and salivary glands, amylases are proteins. Measuring the level of amylase in a person's blood can help doctors detect pancreatic diseases or infections.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Amylase

The level of amylase in the body can be measured using either a blood test or a urine test. Amylase present in the blood is called serum amylase. Serum amylase levels are often tested when pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, is suspected. Infections, pancreatic cysts and pancreatic cancer may also be indicated by abnormal amylase levels. Low levels of amylase may also be a marker of liver disease or cystic fibrosis. In some instances, abnormal amylase levels may be indicative of a salivary gland disorder.


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