Lipase plays a very important role in various bodily processes. However, an elevated lipase level in the body may indicate some serious health problems. The following article provides information regarding the same.
Lipase is an enzyme which is found in different organs and systems of the body. It is produced by the pancreas, which is a gland situated just behind the stomach and connected to the first section of the small intestine (duodenum). The primary function of this enzyme is to breakdown the fats in the small intestine during the digestion process. In simple words, lipase helps in the digestion of food by breaking down the fat components into small molecules that can be easily absorbed by the body. Elevated lipase leads to high-blood lipase levels which indicates many hazardous medical conditions such as experiencing the symptoms of diabetes and pancreatitis, or actually developing pancreatitis, etc.
Following are some of the most prominent conditions that would lead to increased production of lipase in the body:
This condition, which occurs due to inflammation of the pancreas, is generally accompanied by increased levels of lipase. Gallstones, excessive intake of alcohol, etc., create a buildup which accumulates a duct in the pancreas resulting in the increased levels of lipase.
Gallbladder infection too is known to cause the lipase levels to go high. In this condition, the gallbladder may be inflamed due to an infection caused by various factors, including bacteria. The inflammation in the gallbladder can lead to raised levels of lipase in blood.
People affected by various intestinal problems can also experience high levels of this enzyme. In such problems, people generally develop scar tissues in their abdomen along with high lipase levels. Apart from this, ulcers in the intestine, especially, the small intestine are also associated with this condition.
Some medicines and drugs containing corticosteroids are known to be responsible for increasing the levels of lipase in blood. Apart from this, furosemide, which is chemically a diuretic drug used to treat swelling and heart problems can interfere with the levels of this enzyme. In addition to this, oral contraceptives, and some other drugs used to treat people with seizures and psychotic disorders, too can trigger high lipase levels.
HIV is also capable of damaging the pancreas and the gallbladder. Kidney failure, duct obstruction, bowel obstruction, renal failure, peptic ulcer, pancreatic cancer, gastroenteritis, etc., too can lead to increased lipase levels in blood.
The doctor would first advise you to undergo a certain blood test wherein the blood will be taken from the specific vein located near your elbow. The patient will also be advised not to eat anything at least eight hours before the test to get the accurate results. The lipase levels will be determined by conducting some special medical tests. The normal level is around 160 units or less, per liter. After analyzing the reports of the blood tests, the doctors will start with the treatment. The course of treatment generally depends on the level of lipase in blood. However, usually, the treatment consists of medication which is free of steroids to alleviate the swelling and pain.
When you are under medication, the doctor may also prescribe you with lipase pills, in case the medication stops the production of this enzyme completely. In such a condition, you would also be asked to follow a low-fat and high-fiber diet so that little amount of fat can be digested by the medicines. Alcoholics are also advised to abstain from alcohol. In severe cases, health care providers may ask you to get admitted in the hospital, where you will have to follow the treatment and guidelines provided by the doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.