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Pancreatitis, or an inflammation of the pancreas, is the most common reason for elevated amylase levels, although other medical issues may also involve this symptom. Some of the possible reasons for abnormally high levels of amylase in the blood include intestinal disorders, salivary gland inflammation, or female reproductive disorders. Additional causes of elevated levels include inflammation of the gallbladder or kidney failure. Questions or concerns about the reason for elevated amylase levels should be directed to a qualified physician.
Inflammation of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis and is the reason for elevated amylase levels in most situations. Symptoms of pancreatitis may include abdominal pain, fever, or nausea and requires immediate medical attention. Other pancreatic problems, including physical trauma and the development of pseudocysts, can sometimes lead to an increase in amylase levels.
A variety of intestinal disorders can result in elevated amylase levels, including appendicitis, peritonitis, and intestinal obstructions. Appendicitis is a medical term used to describe inflammation of the appendix, while peritonitis refers to inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity. Intestinal obstructions are blockages that may occur due to the presence of tumors, twisting of the intestines, or the development of scar tissue.
Parotitis is the inflammation of the salivary glands and may be caused by factors such as infection or the use of certain drugs. Disorders of the reproductive system, including ovarian cysts or a ruptured fallopian tube, may also cause elevated amylase levels. Ovarian cysts are abnormal fluid-filled sacs that sometimes develop inside one or both ovaries. A ruptured fallopian tube typically occurs as a result of an ectopic pregnancy, a condition originating from a fertilized egg becoming stuck inside the tube.
Cholecystitis is a term used to describe the inflammation of the gallbladder, often caused by the presence of gallstones. Upper right abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting are the typical symptoms of gallbladder inflammation. Treatment usually involves the surgical removal of the gallbladder, although prescription medications and dietary changes may sometimes prove helpful.
Chronic kidney disease and renal failure are sometimes responsible for elevated amylase levels. As the kidneys begin to function less efficiently, a variety of enzyme levels become elevated. Dietary changes and prescription medications may be used to combat this symptom, and some kidney patients may experience positive results from the use of a procedure known as dialysis. This medical procedure is performed by connecting the patient to a machine that removes the blood from the body, where it is filtered and cleaned before being returned to the body.